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Anyone notice that I was missing in action from the blog this week? (Hi mom, hi dad!) There were things I wanted to say, pictures I wanted to post, but I just couldn't get around to it because this horrible sickness came and took over my body and I've been rendered helpless for most of this week. These photos were taken on Sunday, when I was merely feeling my throat tickle that warning sign, and before Ken had to fly away for work again.
Let me just say here, for the record, if it's not obvious already, that being sick while working a full-time job and taking care of a toddler, as a single parent, while 6 months pregnant...is.the.worst? I'm sure there are things that are even worse, like being sick while working, while handling two kids as a single parent, with another one on the way (omygod omygod). But it's all relative and this week felt pretty darn bad. The more I experience moments like this, the more I feel like there absolutely needs to be a get out of jail free card for moms who get sick. The juggling act that is characteristic of the mom gig gets a tad bit crazier when sickness hits - I have to get sleep and focus on getting better, but I can't miss work and fall behind, much less lose those PTO hours I so badly need to save up for maternity leave, and Sloane needs my full attention, and what about making our meals and not letting the house become a complete mess? The thing I learned this week is that - none of those things wins. All of those categories suffer a little bit: I can't get the full rest I need, I can't drug up like I normally would because of the pregnancy, I'm going to have to miss out on some work and fall behind (both of my jobs...), Sloane is not going to get as much attention, and the house will fall into disarray.
On Wednesday I hit sort of breaking point. I have never in my life been so congested and groggy. Let me paint you the picture - it was difficult to move my head because the whole thing was so stuffed up that it was painful, I couldn't breathe properly out of my mouth because my throat hurt so bad and I definitely couldn't breathe out of my nose, I was getting these feelings of panic from feeling so closed in my head, and then I found out I had a fever and I started getting paranoid about whether it was affecting the baby, I couldn't sleep, my midwife wasn't calling me back..... I had to finish up something at work and needed to pick up Sloane and get her fed and to bed, but I couldn't even imagine driving..... it was all hanging by an extremely thin thread. My husband - poor thing was getting this all relayed to him through text - decided we needed to call in reinforcements and asked my mother-in-law if she could help, and God bless her, she drove up here that night. The fact that I've survived and am here typing this all out to you now is largely due to her presence here last night and today. See, mothers!
Here's the thing about mothers, and the thing that I know now because I am a mother. As a mother, there is this grit that grows in you, and that is the grit of "just do it anyways." My mom knows this, from raising three kids in difficult circumstances, my mother in law knows this from her own set of difficult circumstances.... all mothers know this. No matter how hard, no matter how crazy it gets, you just go through it because....YOU HAVE TO. It's not the most romantic super power in the world, but I'll take it, because it's a survival gene like no other. I sure do fantasize about being able to stop time so that I could just get some sleep, but until I get that ability, my daughter needs me, this baby growing inside needs me, and those are pretty darn great incentives towards making it through the day.
It amazes me, that through all the sickness and stress, that this baby keeps chugging along, growing inside me. And all in all, that's why I'm documenting these photos - not because a pregnant belly is anything new - but because I regard this belly for what it is, a mind-blowing miracle.
I'm going to put this rambling post to an end, but to end I want to share with you this sweet moment I had last week which made me more excited than ever to be a mother of two: Sloane fell down hard and I went to comfort her. We were sitting on the floor, her in my lap and she was crying, and all of a sudden I felt the baby kicking like crazy. I wondered aloud if the baby was moving and kicking around in response to hearing Sloane cry, and I told Sloane to put her hand on my belly to feel the baby move. So there we were, my first baby in my lap, her small hand on my belly feeling my second baby move around, and it kind of blew my mind. Sloane felt her too -the baby was kicking so hard that you could see and feel the movements with a hand on the belly. Sloane dried her tears, smiled up at me, and we sat there for a few minutes, all of us just holding each other.
I know my eyes are closed here, but let's pretend that it's closed in a moment bliss, shall we?
And Sloane has her hand on her stomach like that because she's apparently feeling her baby bump, too.