This post serves as an addendum to my post the other day about the reality of life with a baby. I can’t really believe I forgot to include it (actually, I can believe it- my memory has been absolutely terrible since I was pregnant with Charlotte). Anyway, here’s another harsh reality for you: there are no sick days when you have kids. This was brutally illustrated to me last night, when my mildly annoying sinus headache rapidly deteriorated into a full-blown migraine around 7pm. With Mark out for the evening, all of the bedtime and nighttime feeding stuff fell on my shoulders, despite the fact that I was shaky, dizzy, in pain, and incredibly nauseated. As much as I wanted to shut off all the lights and fall into bed, cradling a bucket to vomit in, I couldn’t. I had to get Charlotte into her pajamas and settled in bed and then I had to give Penelope her 8pm formula. Charlotte’s bedtime wasn’t so bad- she is a sweet and sensitive girl, and so when she realized that I wasn’t feeling well, she very obediently brushed her teeth and changed into her jammies, and gave me no hassles at all about going to bed. Getting Penelope’s feed set up proved more difficult, as the smell of the formula turned my stomach even more. But I got through it. It wasn’t fun and I have no desire to do it again anytime soon, but that’s the reality of parenting.
This reality will be brutally illustrated to you as soon as that baby is born. You may be in pain. You may not be able to remember the last time you slept. You may have had major abdominal surgery to birth your baby. But you will have to put all of that aside to care for your baby. And it won’t be the last time you will be required to function normally even though you feel like you have been hit by a truck. Just remember: you can do it, you are not alone, and you won’t always feel that way. It will get easier. And in the meantime, accept whatever help is offered to you.
I am feeling better this morning. Still a bit shaky and not quite myself, but better. And even though I would love nothing more than to curl up on the couch and watch Gilmore Girls all morning until I felt completely back to normal, that’s not an option. Charlotte needs to get to school and Penelope needs to be cared for and entertained until naptime. But I know I can and will make it through. And so will you.