Nobody knows just how real motherhood can be more than a mom with young children about to give birth. Despite my perpetual fog, these moments have not been lost on me the past week. These beautiful, humorous, and soul-screaming little nuggets encompass all the rawness of this life I have chosen.
Last week was filled with rain and I had hoped that the barometric pressure would help kickstart labor, but instead brought back the re-emergence of morning sickness, heartburn, and a pelvic pain that can only be described as a bowling ball clanging constantly against bone. My oldest has had a fever on and off for the past few days, so she’s been sleeping later than usual and Maddie spends the mornings following me around like a puppy missing her true owner, but settling for the companionship of a less fun squeak toy. As I am said unfun squeak toy, she gets to sit beside me while I start my morning spitting out spit-up while internally chanting, this is the last time, this is the last one. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been questioned about the contents and consistency of your throw up, but it definitely adds another layer to have a curious witness to your misery.
One afternoon while getting my girls from preschool, after successfully navigating the landmines of pick-up that include but are not limited to: just one more art project, I forgot my lunch box, I can’t find my shoes, and I need to hug my friend one last time—we were all buckled safely in our magical, cozy minivan when Charlotte announced that she needed to use the bathroom. The rain was pelting down heavily on the windshield and I quickly reviewed our options in this condition. Luckily, being a seasoned mom at this point we never go anywhere without a travel potty so I proceeded to place the potty next to the car in the parking lot while holding the umbrella over my squatting child like she was Princess Charlotte of Cambridge. This was ineffective at keeping me dry, but at least we didn’t have to start from square one with both kids back in the classroom. Charlotte began crying because drops were somehow pelting her in the eye and so I channeled my inner yogi and managed what could only be described as the birthing position in the rain, 39 weeks pregnant, holding an umbrella over my daughter while wiping her tush, as she held up her dress and Maddie serenaded us with A Whole New World. This is real life.
The hormones of pregnancy, especially in the end are no joke. I unabashedly cried at the park while Madeleine snuggled in my lap when I realized that she will only be my littlest baby for a limited time. Recently, after my trip to the doctor’s office, the only other place I spend more time these days than the bathroom, I picked up my girls from my moms and Charlotte’s fever had returned, so I tucked her into a blanket in the back seat. I was watching them carefully in the rearview and Charlotte extended her blanket so it draped lovingly across Madeleine and I noticed their eyes meet and fill with the compassion and tenderness that can only be expressed through the unspoken language of siblings and soon there will be one more adoring look to add in the mix. So while the spit-up, storm, and the squatting undeniably stink, it is absolutely nothing when compared to the sisterhood.
*this blog was written two weeks ago and am now 40 weeks and 4 days… but who’s counting.