Little Lincoln?

To be perfectly honest, I did not have any thoughts, whatsoever, about who Baby No.5 resembled at our 20 week ultrasound. How can you really tell in those space-agey images if a kiddo looks like another kiddo or one of you two? I figured that arms up by the face (which pretty much all of our ultrasounds have looked like) was enough proof of being a Little Welschie and left it at that.

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And then I got a text from one of my dearest friends after she saw the image on FB that said, “That picture is SO Lincoln!” and when I went to look at it again, holy moly cow, I saw that she was SO right. Now I can’t see anything but Baby Lincoln’s little face and it is entertaining to think that our babe who did not resemble the others when born might end up with a little twin in November. In fact, I love it.

I mention all of this because I have actually been struggling a lot in the last couple weeks and the last time I remember being this constantly angry and discontent was the time April tried to do us in, the spring I was pregnant with – you got it – Lincoln. Do some of you remember the birth that month of Captain Cranky Pants? It’s a name I’ve come back to a time or four over the years, but I honestly don’t think it’s been quite so accurate of a connection until now. Because, whoa. Everything and everything is irritating the crap out of me these days.

The real culprit? Probably not a shocker, but my guess is sleep. The 4th of July put us behind and it’s not like I’ve ever really been ahead since, oh, mid-March, so I know I’m a very tired, fairly pregnant mama and I’m just not handling (any)things very well.

What occurred to me, beyond the CCP connection, relates back to something my OB said at my last appointment – the same one where that very image was captured by the ultrasound machine. We were talking about my going back to CO this month (sadly, I opted out because it was one thing I could take off my schedule, even if I didn’t want to, and the risk of another setback was just too much for me to take on, even if medically speaking, going wouldn’t have been an inherent risk for either myself or the baby) and I mentioned that I’m just so much more tired and worn down this time around, which led to her response of, “Yeah, you haven’t had an easy go of it with this one.”

Of course my immediate response was, “Oh, it hasn’t been that bad.” because tough as it’s been, I wouldn’t call this a bad pregnancy. But that’s not what she was calling it either. It’s not bad. But it certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing, and that’s where the still-behind-on-energy-and-appetite feeling, even at 21 weeks, comes into play.

The last time I heard her say something like that? Well, I tried to find it on the blog archives to verify and couldn’t, but I am pretty darn sure that she said something very similar during Linky’s pregnancy which was, yes, not easy. And then, as it did now, it took me a while for the reality to sink that if my obstetrician is pointing out the difficulty of my experience, perhaps it would be OK for me to acknowledge and accept that for what it is. And then, perhaps I could cut myself a wee bit of slack with the guilt over being a raging crank momster (error intended) and instead focus on doing what I can to get back to feeling good again.

Honestly, it might take some time. It might take 1,000 baby steps. It might take acknowledging and accepting that this too may just be a season in the tunnel that I have to ride out, because eventually this sweet Little Lincoln-clone is going to join us earth side and while I probably won’t sleep much in the immediate after (is it wrong if I start having daily convos with the bump promising favoritism if s/he comes out as our best sleeper ever? yeah? it is? darn.), someday I will again be rested and able to carve out a space for myself in our family of seven. And while I know that no human can be expected to never have some CCP flareups, I also know that eventually – whether it is tomorrow or next July – mine can be fewer and farther between, and far less cranky in general.

And in the meantime, I can be far less hard on myself for having (and seeing it as such) a hard time.

P.S. Just in case more evidence was needed…it was after Lincoln was born that I reached the point of starting therapy which lead to yoga and breakthroughs and all the work that I have spent the last four years doing to better take care of myself mentally, so again, no shocker here that his little buddy is putting those same tasks directly in my face again. And just as with Lincoln, I’ll be forever grateful for the nudge to do so.

 

A Lot More Peace

Maybe this is a gift of the 5th baby.

Maybe it is a result of now being 35.

Maybe it is both of those things and the work of the last (almost) four years on body image and a dedicated yoga practice.

Whatever the reason(s), I’m writing today to check in and say “Hey!” and “Yay!” because not as many check-ins regarding how I physically look during this pregnancy have seemed necessary. With Truman’s, I was in the middle of some big work in therapy in regards to a whacked out body image, so I wrote – a lot – about my body and people’s reactions to it and my reactions to their reactions. In fact, I did regular trimester updates (including the fourth) and probably some extras here and there, too. But with Baby No.5, I’ve made it to darn near the halfway point before feeling the need to type away on the subject matter.

Now this doesn’t mean everything has been a breeze and I am now 100% magically fine with every random comment I get or sideways glance they throw at my belly when people find out how far along I am (however, I feel I fall far more into the category of regular pregnant lady annoyances than body image over-reactor these days, so there’s that).

For instance, last week a person I don’t know was chatting with me, in a perfectly fine and friendly manner, when she looked at my bump and asked, “And I see you are expecting again soon?”

Friends, I’m 19 weeks. You see the word there that was the problem right? I know some people say you should NEVER ask a woman if she is pregnant (let her tell you about it, if she wants) and I do follow that as a personal, general rule. That being said, I would not have cared about her question at all had she left off the ridiculous word “soon” there at the end. If you simply must comment on a stranger’s tummy (see how this can become a slippery slope?), never EVER assume you know how far along she is (because, hi, she might not even be pregnant).

Anyway – there are moments like those. But fine. Because this IS my fifth kid and my oldest is only just about to turn eight and my belly knows very much where to go on this process and so what? So what if it looks like I am due soon but I still have 21ish weeks to go?

For the record, I don’t look like that, or if I do, I don’t think so, and instead of spinning off into my head as a result of that comment, I was able to laugh (not directly at the woman, but almost) and use it as fodder for jokes with friends that same day. This is a big change for me from the past.

So cheers to being a more mature mama-to-be and doing the work of accepting my physical shape with more grace and ease than ever before.

As we continue into the second half of bump growth, I very much hope this trend continues, and to support that (along with a bunch of other facets of pregnancy), I’m super excited for these gorgeous affirmation cards I just got from Mama Natural. img_6631No product endorsement or affiliation here, but thanks to the weirdness of the internets, these showed up in my feed and I ordered some because I love them. They are a beautiful set of 50 cards that I plan to use with my prenatal yoga teaching for always and for myself in the coming months. The few shown here are the ones that highlight the beauty and acceptance of the physical body which is just perfect.

And so. There you have it. An update on being a little bit older, a little bit wiser, and whole lot grateful for both.

Early Bird

So it turns out, HD is no longer the only kiddo in this family associated with birds. Nope, he’s got a new little sibling to share that with, or at least he will, come November.

In a stroke of inspiration at 4:50 this morning, as I was unloading/loading the dishwasher and making jello (don’t ask), it occurred to me that I very much know the patronus of Baby No.5 and before the halfway mark which is actually super, super fitting, given what I am about to explain!

You all remember how our babies have acquired animal likenesses as wee  little things? Well, LT (and his kicky-kicky legs) was the only one previously to get a creature power from the womb, but this current babe has now joined those ranks because we have some serious patterns happening and they liken very much to this kids’ future symbolic representation on my arm (read: someday I will sport one heck of zoo tattoo – not actually zoo themed, just animals, folks – in honor of all these little Welschies), and yes, that is very much going to be a bird.

From just before I found out I was pregnant and then with consistency ever since, I have been seeing feathers around our yard. I’m not sure what’s going on with our neighborhood birds and why they seem more shed-y than in years past, but yes – feathers. All the time. This didn’t really connect in my brain as being related to the baby until this morning in the kitchen when I was ruminating on how blasted early I wake up Every. Single. Day. no matter how many or what kind of sleep remedy I attempt the night before, but now it all makes sense. This kid is clearly going to be an Early Bird and, well, you know – light bulbs and all that.

Side note: normally I don’t get up and clean the kitchen when I can’t sleep, although maybe I should because doing so sure seems a lot more productive than tossing and turning and hoping I fall back asleep before everyone else starts rumbling around the house. Pregnancy, I tell ya. For eight years, I have not needed a single moment of practice at being tired, and yet, this growing babes seem to think I am some sort of sleep deprivation experiment/newbie at the tired game. As if! (wow – maybe blogging in the 5:00 hour isn’t the best idea…)

Now. Will this early rising trend of mine/ours continue? Let’s be honest. I hope not. I’ll take my revelation and animal connection and call it good, if my hormones would agree/allow. I would like very much to sleep all night for as long as I can, because goodness knows I won’t be come winter.

Or perhaps this it the time of day (er, night?) when this kid will want to wake and eat, or better yet – will always, always sleep through, right?!

And as much as I’d probably love a little reprieve come mid-November, let’s hope that this littlest and last babe (you’ve all picked up on that at this point, yes? That Mama is real tired on multiple levels and will not be doing this again, no matter how much the children ask or how cute/sweet/sleepy this baby is??) doesn’t take me too literally on the early part. Anything within full-term safe reason? Sure, bring it on, kid. But otherwise, you just keep doing your thing in there, even if it means I’m a Mombie for the next 22 weeks.

P.S. This might be a 5 a.m. brain stretch, but I have been obsessed in the last couple months with bird calls. It seems like we’ve heard some unique ones from our yard and the kids and I are constantly craning (ha!) our necks to try to catch glimpses of the birds so we can then attempt identification via our lovely Prairie Loft gifted bird guide, but not much luck on that front. I think I need some sort of app instead so we can match song to singer.

Also, in case you are wanting gender prediction leanings – this all would very much point to us having a girl because I totally remember my mom’s mom being quite the birder back in the day. Just sayin’.

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School’s (pretty much) Out for Summer (and)…

This week marks the end of my five-week summer class and the LONGEST, FULLEST year of adjuncting I have ever done. Do I seem a little extreme with my shouty caps there? Well, perhaps, but when I look back at the last 10 months, I can’t help but recognize that they were in fact quite extreme and, as far as a personal blog goes, they deserve some recognition!

I remember, rather distinctly, a conversation I had about this time last summer with a friend who is also in academia, telling her about what I had agreed to for the fall semester and her audible gasp when she realized I meant two classes (seven credit hours) on top of staying home with four kids, and this was still before any of us knew I was leaving the yoga studio and would eventually start my own business in the coming months, as well. Is that a confusing sentence? Yeah, it’s another metaphor for just what this last year has been in terms of activity and commitment!

As you know, it wasn’t just the fall semester that was full. The spring schedule shifted on me last pretty well last minute (in collegiate standards) and I once again found myself on campus two nights a week while offering an online class during my “down time” hours at home.

You’re laughing along with me at that last bit, right? I know several of you work from home and know just how hard it is to get ANYTHING done with Littles around, much less uninterrupted, grownup work tasks, but that is what I kept plugging along at all the way until the first week of May.

Then, three weeks later, and five whole days after landing in the hospital for an evening, I started the summer session. Thankfully summer students tend to be super motivated and get right after it, but still. As my OB explained to me when I saw her the first week of June and couldn’t understand why at 16 weeks I was still feeling so behind, a normal person could take a couple weeks to recover from such a setback, much less a preggers (with four others at home who is suddenly at work every morning) who came into the event with zero reserve.

Less than a week after that conversation? Altitude sickness.

I’m sorry. Does this post sound like one big list of complaints? I promise that’s not the intention. Rather, I’m trying to put into perspective for myself why I am continuing to struggle with energy levels, eating, and headaches at this stage in the game (18 weeks), when really…if I just look back over the last 10 months, it’s not actually all that hard to see why I am where I am.

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The plate spinning has been intense. The hat wearing varied. And so, a change in plans was needed.

You see, originally, before I knew I was pregnant, I signed on to teach an online course in the fall. Up until last week (yes, even post CO craziness), I still thought I was going to do that. The fact that my due date falls fairly well before the actual end of the semester? Well, I’m not sure what I was thinking other than not clearly, because when I sat down late last week to really look at the calendar, I realized there was no freaking way I could expect students to finish up to a month early with their course work OR for myself to do anywhere from 2-5 weeks of semester wrap-up while also newly postpartum with Baby No.5.

I mean, obviously, right?!

But it took me so long to admit to myself that no, I can’t do it all. And I don’t have to, nor do I need to feel bad for making that call (no one, for the record, has tried to make me feel bad about it; I’m just saying that it is OK to give oneself a little extra grace sometimes, you know?). So now that I am getting ready to enter my final grades for this summer, I am actually doing so for the last time this calendar year. My name won’t be back on the teaching schedule until January at the earliest and again, hopefully via online so I can attempt to squeeze work into nap and night times instead of actually having to be campus-presentable each week.

After the hustle of the last year, this is going to take some adjustment, but I think it will be wonderful to get the rest of the summer with the fam to just be (and go and do, as needed but within reason) and then have the fall to get everything from the house to the deep freeze to my brain ready for this baby’s Thanksgiving-ish arrival.

Yep. I can totally dig it.

 

Are You Listening?

Wowzers. Another month, another adventure.

In some ways, that adventure was legit, honest-to-goodness, fill-up-the-soul experience. In others, it was a metaphorical lesson of “Yep. You are so totally human and so totally growing a human, to boot (now, chill).” You’d think by Baby No.5 that I had learned all of those lessons possible, but I’m pretty sure I could have 13 kids like my great-grandmother (bwahaha – SO. NOT. HAPPENING!) and I still wouldn’t know it all because it is no joke that every babe is different and so is every pregnancy, so the lessons just never stop (but as for me and my uterus? yeah. stopping). 

First, the soul-filling. Last week I got to road trip with one of my dearest friends to see one of my absolute music LOVES in concert not once but twice in Colorado. I pretty much blew up my IG and FB with pictures, so you probably already know all this, but Chelsie and I had an incredible time seeing Nahko and Medicine for the People in Boulder the first night and at Red Rocks the second. Nahko has been a bucket list point of mine for a few years. Red Rocks? Oh, I’d say I’ve been waiting at least 20 years on that one, so to combine the two? Ahhhh, so good! I’ve shared N&MftP’s music before in blog posts and online, but for real – if you aren’t familiar, take a stroll down Spotify or iTunes to take them in because they aren’t kidding when they call their work medicine. Their stuff is charged and conscious and speaks so much to the humanity and spirit in all of us, plus our connection to the planet and each other. I could gush on and on, but instead, take a listen for yourselves and check out these six men on stage together having the absolute best time ever playing together and interacting with the crowd and you’ll get a tiny taste of my last Thursday and Friday nights and why they made all the chaos to come totally worth it. 

Because of the dual venues and decent drive to get to CO in the first place, both Thursday and Friday turned into long days and nights. Thursday was especially rough as my excited night-before-Christmas feeling self didn’t sleep well before we got up pre-sunrise to hit the road and then were up past midnight mountain time that same day because the show ended late (um, hello – my other musical love and Nahko BFF, Trevor Hall, surprised us by showing up during the show’s encore and I may have bruised Chelsie’s arm slapping her so hard out of “OHMYGOSH! DOYOUSEETHIS! TREVORHALL! TREVORHALL!” fangirl excitement, even though, yes, she clearly had two eyes to see for herself all the awesomeness). But yeah, there was definitely more activity and adrenaline going on during our trip than actual rest and relaxation. 

And of this was totally fine, until it totally wasn’t. 

Saturday morning we again got up pre-sunrise to begin the long-ish road home and were in the car for less than an hour, chatting away and looking for a coffee stop, before all of the sudden I broke off mid-story and said, “I think I’m going to be sick.” And because I just can’t put you all through the gory details like I did poor Chels, just imagine that scene happening again every 45 minutes or less the rest of the way home from Denver. It. Was. AWFUL. I was a shitty travel companion and felt even shittier myself on many fronts. For one, I couldn’t believe this was happening again less than a month from when I would up in the hospital for an IV. It’s hard not to feel responsible for getting sick when it feels like you haven’t taken very good care of yourself/know you’ve pushed your limits and figure exhaustion is then getting the best of you. I also thought for sure I was headed back to the hospital because whoa. How is a mama supposed to get ahead?! 

As it turned out, getting home really was the best medicine for me. I crawled into my own bed where I napped and sipped on Gatoraid and got to see my sweet babes and really, with the exception of one more yuck before turning in for the night, my tummy settled and I was “just” left with a nasty, nasty headache. I was so relieved because Sunday was our first charity yoga event and I did not want to miss it even though I totally did have to take other items off the Sunday To Do list because even feeling better did not mean feeling normal after the insanity of Saturday. Also, check out my right leg. I remember it being sore while I was trying to sleep at the hotel Friday night, and then I wore pants Saturday, so it wasn’t until late that night when I had changed into shorts that I caught a glimpse of my lower leg when I saw holy moly pissed off Achilles’! Thankfully I don’t think major damage was done and the bruises are all but gone today, but wow. I don’t think I need any more signs at this point, do you? 

So. Did we ever determine the cause of said sickness craziness? Well, again – like the supposed food poisoning – we think so. After posting and hearing back from multiple friends over the course of the weekend, we think that yes, exhaustion did not help but that the real culprit was altitude sickness. Apparently it can go bonkers during pregnancy for some women (I had no issues with it in Aspen last summer and was there for four days) and it can take up to a couple days to strike. And that super sucks because I am supposed to go back later in the summer and now don’t know if I can handle it because I honestly can’t keep doing this get sick, kind of get better, get sick business. This babe and I are worn the flip out and I need to get that true reset to my system that I keep talking about here on the blog, which leads me back to this post’s title. 

Am I listening? Yes, I am. Or at least I am trying, and will try even harder after this weekend’s experience. I have loaded my summer pretty heavy and now I see that the bump and I need to just be as much as possible (with five other people in our family who still need time, attention, and love) and that means taking things off the schedule. That’s not going to be fun. In fact, it’s going to plain hurt in a couple cases, but the message I keep getting is slow down. Knock it off with the Trying to Do ALL the Things and listen. 

If every pregnancy is different (and it is), then every baby teaches us something different, and I do believe we’ve figured out that this baby’s agenda is: patience. Might seem kind of ironic for fifth kid to come with that approach but it might also be totally perfect. S/he (who is going to very much need a whole lot of Nahko on a birthing playlist) might just really be this mama’s best teacher when it comes to not rushing, not forcing the issue (Dear God, please do not let this mean that s/he is going to get super cozy in my tummy and go (way) past due date like my other Nov. baby). 

Because I’m themey and my brain has been singing 30 second shuffle sound bytes ever since Thursday night, I’ll end with this conglomeration of Nahko lyrics that echo this baby’s prescription of how to proceed: 

Nature has her signs/And they’re clear affirmations. 

It all can be done/Whatever your theory or method of one/It all can be done. 

Take your time, with every little thing/With every little thing, take time. 

Update Overdue

I’ve gone with some quiet periods on the blog before, but I don’t know if ever before so many crickets have chirped here between posts. Since getting sick mid-May, we’ve been in the whirlwind of transition between Ben’s school year and my summer adjuncting, plus house projects, and even though I often have words dancing through my brain and stories waiting to be told, I just have not made time to sit down and get them down on paper (page). But today I have a spare moment and some time to myself, so I’m vowing to get back to it with the writing here and now. What follows may be hodge-podgey and scattered, but so it goes with my brain anyway these days, so why not embrace it, right? img_6269

The Monday following my whatever-the-heck-that-was, I started my first ever five-week course at CCC. In summers past, I have always taught three-week sessions, but this was asked of me and I could make it work, so I took on the challenge of leading a dual-course Emporium Lab. Thankfully I did not have to create the course(s) from scratch and once-upon-a-lifetime ago, I did offer self-paced classes as a full-time instructor, but I have never done what I’m doing currently which is to guide students in two classes through their work simultaneously. Actually, some of them are doing one and then the other in the span of five weeks while the rest are signed up for just one of the two.

Have I confused you yet? Yes, I know. It’s unique!

The students spend three and a half hours with me four mornings a week and work through course content, quizzes, and writing assignments at their own pace (which has to be quite regimented for those attempting to complete two courses in this one session). I am there to guide, facilitate, answer questions, respond to writing, give quizzes, and keep everyone on track/target. I thought, going in, that it might be a bit dull on my end since there would be no formal lecture, but holy moly cow. Not dull. Now that we are two weeks in and some are on the verge of finishing all units of their said class while others are still working to wrap up one class in order to move to the next, I see just how wild a lab like this can be.

I feel like someone is constantly calling out “SQUIRREL!” at me, not because the students are bothersome (I’ve been off from summer teaching for a bit and I forgot just how much I appreciate summer students and their dedication), but because someone is constantly doing something different or needing something else than the person next to them, and I spend my mornings trying to keep it and them all flowing smoothly. For the most part, I think it is, and I appreciate the focus and attention this group has brought to their mornings with me.

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Post-class selfies with TJ. 

After I get home for the afternoon, I’m pretty well shot and most days have to throw lunch at myself and then rest for a bit. That doesn’t exactly help with productivity around the house, but B and I have saved that for the evenings as we decided to – finally, after 5+ of being in the house and me wanting to change it all that time – paint our giant, pink-ish living room. Baby No.5 has actually inspired several house projects to make our space even more functional for our crew and painting was a precursor to making those other things happen. I’ll be sure to do a post soon with more detail on all that has happened thus far and other plans to come, but for now I’ll share a few pictures so you can see some of the transformation.

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The painting process was a little scary, not to mention strung out over almost a handful of days because, hi – it’s not easy to paint with this many little Littles in the house (at least not when they are awake), but we got it done (save for the top edge of the room) and I really like the end result.

Other reasons for not writing in the evenings these last two and a half weeks? Well, for img_6276one, we started allowing Harrison to stay up later than the other kids, during which time he and I read together. This is lovely and he’s so darn excited about it but I have to say, it has cut into some of my own personal time in the evening and I legit feel that in my energy level. That doesn’t mean I would trade our new little routine for anything, but I’ve got to be mindful of not letting the tiredness that creeps in during 50+ minutes of extra reading with him totally wipe out the rest of my nights. I’ve recently reactivated my YogaGlo account and am very much dedicated to practicing for myself and this growing babe at least once a week, no matter how long the days seem (another soon-to-come post, I’m sure).

The final two culprits? Books and Netflix. I finished only one book in April (hello morning sickness and end-of-school year rush), but I more than made up for it in May by completing seven titles (two of which I started in April, mind you). And then Netflix decided to drop new seasons of all our favorite original series of theirs plus Hulu has The Handmaid’s Tale and yeah…..more “TV” for me in last three weeks than the previous three months, I bet (and we still haven’t even touched two of our faves on Netflix).

So there ya have it: life as a busy mama who is growing a babe and a business while teaching and momming and still trying to be a person with actual interests pertaining to self. It’s a wild and wonderful ride and even when I don’t always record all the details, I’m still happy to come back to this space and reflect on just how we fill our days, hearts, and minds.

Just Ask. And Then Let Them.

I tell myself a lot of stories in my head when it comes to asking for help. I’m not good at it. I don’t need to do it; I can handle this myself. If I ask someone for something, I will be in debt to them and feel guilty until I can go above and beyond to repay them. This and so much more runs through my mind when I’m in a tight spot or in need of assistance. Do you ever tell yourself similar stories, maybe surrounding different issues?

Since I came into motherhood, I have had to work on this. A lot. When you don’t live in the same city (or state) as family, and you have Littles, you are inevitably going to need help from others. Sometimes a lot. The concept of a village is no joke, and in the 7 3/4 years (the 3/4 is very important to HD these days) of being a mom, I have been fortunate enough to meet and surround myself with some of the best and most caring helpers out there.

And yet, still, I sometimes don’t know how or when to ask for help.

Yesterday started out as one of them.

In my defense, I did not know what was coming for me yesterday. Now that it’s over, I’m still not entirely sure what came at me, but it turned out to be far more intense than what I anticipated when I got sick before breakfast yesterday.

Since my initial OB appointment, I’ve been taking a little medicine before bed each night to curb the nausea and help me get some sleep. All safe. All doctor approved. Since I’ve been feeling better for the last week and a half and Wednesday marked 13 weeks, I decided that night not to take it because I thought I was past all that.

When I hardly slept, had a raging headache, and then got sick at 7 a.m., I thought otherwise. In fact, I thought I had made a very stupid mistake and was being treated to some really crappy morning sickness in return. Yesterday was HD’s first day of summer vacation (read: my first day with all four kids home) and Ben’s last day of finals, so I knew I just had to suck it up. I was stuck, sick, at home with four kids all day and that was just that.

Except then I continued to get sick. Nothing stayed in my system. By mid-day, I was so wiped out that I knew I was either in the middle of the worst morning sickness flareup EVER or had the stomach flu. But I still didn’t reach out to anyone because Ben was at least able to come for a few minutes to throw lunch at the kids (anyone else use that expression?) and then it was crash time for me and the baby during afternoon nap (which turned into extended screen time for the Big 3 which might have been just as good of a start to summer vacay as if Mom had been upright and functioning). So we were surviving. Mostly.

After Ben got home for good post-testing, I crawled into bed with the computer and reached out to some mamas in town to see if they knew about anything going around that I might have caught. From there, bless their sweet hearts, we parsed my situation and ruled out the morning sickness entirely, and settled somewhere between potential bug and potential food reaction. I was all in favor of diagnosing myself with something that wouldn’t spread to the rest of my family, and by that point in the day I was at least keeping Gatoraid in me for a little bit before getting sick again so I thought things were improving.

And then they went downhill again. Frequency and intensity of sickness increased and had it been just me at stake, I probably would have just toughed it out. But by the afternoon, every time I’d run for the bathroom, I kept thinking about this tiny baby growing in my belly and felt so bad for the wild ride s/he was being given. So after Ben got the kids down for the night, we called the answering service for my OB’s office and got a return call from the doc soon after that. He was very reassuring that Baby was undoubtedly fine, and that it was really just up to me on how I felt on whether or not I should go up to the hospital for fluids. I mean, at that point, I hadn’t kept anything down in over 12 hours for more than 30-45 minutes at a time, and couldn’t remember the last time I peed, so we decided going in was probably a good call.

Not only was it absolutely the best thing to do for my body, it gave me another opportunity to know just how willing my people are to step up when I just ask for help.

With some quick phone calls and later messages, we had people here at the house to hang with the sleeping kiddos, a friend to sit with me at the hospital while Ben ran up to school to get his tests to grade (so he could stay home and take care of me/the kids today), and eventually, thanks to the beauty of social media, lots of well wishes and prayers from all of you as you learned about the day and the situation. And don’t even get me started on the ridiculously awesome care I received at MLH – they always go above and beyond and if I start writing about that, I won’t stop.

img_6228At one point, Ben and I were sitting there in the room, waiting for the fluids to start working their magic (which they totally did, by the way) and I told him I was glad we didn’t decide to wait overnight to see how things went. He looked at me and told me point blank that he was very glad I had come in because he knows how much I tend to push through and that I had already done plenty of that yesterday as it was. That sounds like false humility when I read over it, but it’s also just witness to my stubbornness and my “I don’t need to burden others”ness which he sees.

Which is crap. And I need to keep reminding myself that that story is crap. Of course I need others. Asking them for help is not burdening them; it is allowing them to be part of my life, to be there when I am vulnerable. I very much need all the people who reach out and help, or offer to help, and show that they care. I can be as tough as I want, but I still can’t exist in a vacuum, sick or not. I am very lucky to have such good support and I hope my friends know how much I appreciate them, even when I don’t always reach out to them when I should.

As for the health front…I got to come home at 11:30 last night and crawl into my own bed where I collapsed and thankfully slept without getting sick the rest of the night. I woke up today with a headache that has persisted even now, but have kept down all fluids and dry cereal that I’ve had so far today. I call this a major win, especially compared to yesterday.

Going in was the right call. Asking for help and being willing to take that help was also right. It always is, for all of us.

Your people love you. Let them.