Scott and I looked at each other. Each child had been freed from their car seat and we were ready to go join our community group in a picnic.
“Where’s the food?” My shoulders went limp.
“We forgot it didn’t we?” He asked, knowing the answer.
I nodded. It was a twenty minute drive back to our home, by the time we retrieved it our picnic would be over. We decided just to join our friends and decide on a course of action later. As we rolled up to our group of friends, we unfurled our blanket and started confessing that we had indeed forgotten our meal. The response to our complete flagrant flakiness,
“Oh,” and a nod of the head. I commented to one friend that everyone had been so gracious,
“I think we were all thinking it could’ve been us,” she giggled hiding her mouth behind her hand.
That same friend came over to my house before a playground playdate, I pointed to the car seat where my infant child was napping,
“Don’t let me forget that.” She just nodded. Could’ve been her.
I am amazed at what sleep deprivation has done to me. There are just pieces missing all over my thought life. I can’t remember past events, names, mostly I feel lucky if I leave the house clothed. I have a list on my whiteboard of what everyone needs to leave the house. Extra clothes, sippy cups, nursing covers, etc. I almost wrote pants for me, just to make me smile.
* * *
I had hauled out the double breast pump that a friend had lent me, it comes encased in a leather bag. The motor is actually inside the satchel, the tubes and the wire to plug it in all attach to the satchel. I set it on the floor, flipped back the large leather flap and started assembling all the tubes and wires. Scott looked over,
“That looks like something that Herr Doctor would use to torture detainees,” he observed.
“Perhaps by applying suction to the nipples,” I suggest.
“Something like that.”
Sigh. A few minutes later he looked over again and made a comment about the funny look on my face. Well, it hurts. It’s not the most normal feeling ever.
· * *
Some friends were gathered in a group. Talking about how our bodies had been changed by childbearing. I complain about how much I gain,
“Oh, but you’re all belly,” someone says, conciliatorily.
“Now, don’t be nice, I know what size pants I was wearing. You know I caught my reflection at one point and was surprised at how slim by bottom did look. I realized it was because nothing would look big under that belly!”
And here she is. 9.2 pounds at birth, and all smiles.
I wish I could say with a resounding shout that it’s all worth it. But it’s hard to think about it in those terms. It is what it is. The stretch marks, the loose skin, it’s just what happens. Nobody wins the gravity battle.
The things we go through for our children. Nobody makes it out of this unscathed. Everybody comes out a little stretchier, a little looser, and a lot more tired.