Emily is going to be 12 weeks old tomorrow. 3 months has gone by so fast, but, with all of the complications it can at times feel like a lifetime. This experience has been a very humbling one for me. I have had to learn how to ask for and accept help from others, learn to prioritize and how to let stuff go. In reflecting on the past 84 days I have come to realize;
* I have failed my children as a parent. I always thought I was raising independent, strong girls filled with kindness and compassion for others. NOPE! When I was down and out they did not care!! Apparently having a hole in your belly and a back that is revolting against you means nothing when your children want Lucky Charms. At one point when I was literally crying out in pain one of my children asked why I was crying and I told her my back hurt really bad and she accused me of faking and then proceeded to ask me for a snack.
* My suspicion that our cat Lucy is out to kill me was validated. I was in excruciating pain and I was leaning against the island in the kitchen for support. The damn cat climbed up on my shoulder and snuggled around my neck like a flippin' fur stole. She would not move and since I was unable to move I had to just stand there with her on my neck until she decided to get off. I honestly believe she was hoping I would just die off from the pain. Let me tell you, the thought to just give up did cross my mind But Hah! The friggin' joke was on her! I waited her out. I was not going to let that stupid cat win. I waited for a good 10 minutes...standing there motionless and contemplating what the hell happened to my life that I have a cat standing on my shoulders and there is not a damn thing I can do about... and then she finally gave up! Point Mommy!!
* The small town we moved to 4 years ago, the one I have been dying to get out of is filled with some pretty amazing people!!! When all this crap went down people came out of the woodwork to help us out. Whether it was offering to wait with the baby so I wouldn't have to take her out of the car at school drop-off or put the stroller in the trunk for me, to watching my kids, driving them to and from school and making meals...it was ALL appreciated!! It has really made me rethink the whole moving away idea. Along those lines I want to thank everyone for the emails, cards and phone calls of support they really helped lift my spirits. I could not have kept my sanity if it were not for my parents, sister and mother in law. They have gone above and beyond and we are so grateful. I also really want to thank Laurie C. for setting up the meal delivery program...it was a HUGE help and I know Chuck and the girls truly appreciated it. Nikki R., Renee C., and Dawn G. thank you for being surrogate moms to my girls the past 3 months. It has been beyond stressful but thankfully when the girls were with you ladies I had one less thing to worry about. "Thank you" just doesn't seem adequate...
* Don't trust anyone with your life who is named after a Shakespearean character. Romeo may have been the Chief Resident, but I am thinking he may have won that distinction more because his fellow classmates felt bad he was stuck with a sh*tty name and less due to his medical skill set.
* The human body stinks. Not figuratively, literally. It does. It stinks. Not much more to say on that one.
* I have let go of the small stuff. I really had to rely on Chuck to keep everything running smoothly here at home. He would work full time and then come home and have to do everything around here. I couldn't do anything for a while. I knew he was doing his best and I didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth so I wouldn't complain when the small spoons were mixed in with the large spoons or when the kids dishes were kind of haphazardly thrown into the cabinet. That kind of stuff always bothered me, but, you know what? I have realized that really does it matter if the big, blue, plastic bowl is teetering on top of the small pink princess one? No, it doesn't...get over it Erin don't waste your energy on the small insignificant stuff. I am referring to this as the new "zen" Erin. I know the kids have noticed a difference and I am hoping that this is one of the life lessons I don't forget in a few months.
* Your mom was right when she would tell you to make sure you have clean underwear on. I am taking that one step further for the ladies and reminding you to make sure your "area" is part of your emergency preparedness plan. You never know when you will be on full display for the entire medical community (and a random Chinese man), or when you will need to have a giant, super sticky bandage placed over it and ripped off by a new person every 3 days. Do your self a favor and make Nair a bathroom staple.
* Obama Care isn't the only thing driving up insurance premiums. Case in point; during the height of my medical crisis I was getting supplies delivered to my home every day. Had I wanted to, I could have opened up my own walk-in clinic. After I ditched the wound vac I had a ton of set-ups for it. The rental fee for the vac itself was $56 a day. It needed a new canister ($6) and sponge/tubing set ($21) every 3 days. Thankfully I have good health insurance that covered the cost. However, when I no longer needed the vac the company would not take the supplies back, even though they were all sealed in its original, sterile packages. What a waste!!! So I asked my VNA nurse if she had any patients with wound vacs that don't have insurance that could use them. It seemed so wasteful to throw them away. She said she did. Now, if that is true or not I can't say. She may have passed them along to a needy patient or she may have set them up, surrounded them with incense and my picture and looks at them lovingly as that is the last connection she has to me. Remember...she did have some stalker like tendencies towards me...could happen.
* Again, and this one I can not stess enough...if you are having surgery, general anesthesia is your friend! Take it, embrace it and enjoy it. Surgery with out it is just as unpleasent as you would imagine. A lesson I wish I hadn't learned. I just HAD to prove a point...
* Chuck is an amazing guy. I always knew he was, I mean, I married him after all. But he has handled all of this in stride. He has had to rearrange his work schedule on more than one occassion, had to be both father and mother to the girls, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, working full time, planning two birthday parties, packed my wound,...the list goes on and on. Through it all he has not complained, not once!! Thankfully he has a good sense of humor about life too. A few weeks ago I had the worst headache of my life, now I know you are supposed to go to the ER if you ever have the worst headache ever, but I just couldn't do that to him. He had fallen asleep on the couch and I couldn't wake him to go to the hospital with me again. Suddenly I began to vomit. It came on so fast I couldn't make it to the bathroom, it was violent. It was everywhere, the floor, walls, on the dresser. As I was puking up round two in the bathroom he got up and cleaned it all up. I told him to leave it, I would do it, but he did it. I just kept apologizing for the past couple of months and he said no need to and he just kept cleaning the puke. Sounds crazy but it made me love him even more. I am so glad I never settled on a mate. He is so much more than I could have asked for in a husband. And yes, I know how lucky I am to have him.
* As I look back over the past 12 weeks I go from being angry at being cheated out of the newborn bonding time with Emily, to feeling sad for all the chaos Sara and Anna have had to endure to feelings of indescribable gratitude for having been blessed with another healthy child after being told that was pretty much an impossibility. This has been a difficult process both physically and emotionally and it is just now with hindsight I am realizing just how grueling it has been. No matter what, I will do anything for my children...even have surgery without anesthesia!! I would do it all over again to have what I have. They are the reason I get up everyday and I have come to realize that I am ONE TOUGH Mother!!!!!!