May 2, 2001
Breakdown and Vent

Today's Pic
What with my recent propensity for updating on Monday nights, I'm actually rather surprised that nobody wrote to see if I was in labor.
One year ago (or thereabouts): If she heard and her feelings were hurt, there's nothing that can be done now.

Dear Bit,

Yesterday morning must have been a bit scary for you. Everything I've read says that you can feel all of my strongest emotions as waves of hormones, so yesterday must have been quite unnerving. I wonder what you thought was happening?

Frankly, I wasn't sure myself. Daddy got a little worried, too, because suddenly I was standing in the bathroom, trying to dry my hair, and I couldn't stop crying long enough to breathe. See, while you're sitting inside my womb, blissfully unaware of most of what's happening around you, the tempo of your family's life has begun to accelerate by leaps and bounds, and I haven't been handling it very well at all.

The biggest problem looming over our heads has been the upcoming midwife visit, when Barbara and Joy will come to our house and make sure everything is prepared for your arrival. Your daddy and I have been working very hard to get ready for both your arrival and that visit, but it seems as if we will never get there. It's not as though we've been lazy; we've just been so very busy that we forgot how little time we have left. I'm sorry. I also forgot to take into consideration the fact that you're getting so very big. My back hurts so horribly that sometimes even trying to walk takes my breath away and leaves me doubled over in pain. My efforts to clean and unpack had to be shelved, but now there's no time left to wait.

Anyway, I realized yesterday that we would be literally unable to have the house ready for the midwife visit, and I panicked. Actually, I believe the biggest catalyst was the sudden recollection that Joy was going to be examining the contents of our fridge - the currently mostly empty appliance that we'd barely touched since we'd moved in. Also, our Birthworks teacher had just called to reschedule our last class for this Tuesday instead of Saturday, further complicating matters. The end result was me crying my eyes out, especially when Daddy began to grump (as he tends to do in the morning).

Daddy tried to talk me into calling the library to tell them that I wasn't coming to work, but I didn't want to do that. See, I'll be leaving there very soon, and there's just too much to finish before that. Not only am I running out of time at home, I'm running out of time at work. What a mess. I finally managed to calm myself a little bit so that I could drive safely and headed off for work, too late to even grab breakfast. (For that, too, I'm sorry.)

I might as well not even have tried. It was one of those mornings when everything I touched seemed to backfire on me. The fax machine, the copier, my computer - nothing worked. I ended up crying again when the computer went haywire, and my boss decided to send me home. She was very nice about it; once I told her the whole story, she decided that I could take the afternoon off yesterday and the morning today. I didn't argue with her as she filled out the vacation request cards for me.

I went home and cleaned until my back wouldn't let me do anything else but sit and rest. At that point I got a phone call from Daddy; he'd managed to move the midwife appointment to next week! I felt much better and much less fragile.

I think we can be ready for you pretty soon, Baby. I still have many things I need to do and get before you arrive, but as long as you're willing to stay in place for a little while longer, I think we can manage. I'm really hoping that you'll stay in place at least through next weekend; Grandma and Grandpa Richmond want to come for a visit, and I think we'll all be more comfortable if they were not here for your grand entrance to the world.

I love you, Baby. See you soon!



Okay, a small vent here. Please understand, I'm not accusing anybody of anything; my mind is simply unable to grasp the notion presented to me, and I'm simply still trying to work it out in my brain. The main reason that Rita and Ronnie are coming next weekend, Mother's Day weekend, is that Bryan and Linda are planning to travel to Las Vegas for a five-day vacation. Baby Haley will be left with the other grandmother.

Here's where my mind boggles, and Eric was equally baffled. Let's leave, for the moment, the fact that the baby is only three months old; Linda is no longer breastfeeding, so I suppose the mechanics of the situation have been worked out in that extent, and not everybody feels similarly about infant attachment. It's not my place to sit in judgment on this score. No, what strikes me as terribly odd is that it will be Mother's Day. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this traditionally a holiday to be spent celebrating the fact that one has children - not jetting across the country to get away from them?

Believe me, I understand perfectly that not every woman wishes to feel permanently joined at the hip (or breast) to her offspring. I'm trying to put aside my own personal feelings and the fact that I will likely be, on this, next, and all future Mother's Days, reduced to a quivering, sobbing mass of blissful happiness. The fact remains that, at least in my own experience, Mother's Day isn't a time for Mom and Dad to be alone, sans kids. Wedding anniversaries might be more fitting for that (I clearly recall my own father saying, as he shuttled my mother through the door on their way out to eat, "You kids weren't there for the first anniversary, so you don't get to be there for this one!"), or perhaps birthdays. I know that when I was a child, I relished celebrating Mother's Day with my mom. My favorite Mother's Day moment was when Cory and I combined our money to buy Mom a water-filled ball covering a yellow rose. I still remember how she smiled in surprise as we presented it to her after church.

Yes, Haley's a baby. She probably won't give two figs about Mother's Day for some years to come. I suppose it's just the principle of the thing. Instead of celebrating their new family, my brother and sister-in-law are going on a gambling spree. I guess we'll all have different ideas of fun, if nothing else.


My back is still throbbing whenever I'm called upon to move. Some of the options presented to me have been chiropractic treatment (Barb suggested this one), Watsu (a tip from my aquatics instructor), moist heat application (from Rita, after she first wondered aloud whether or not I could be having a placental abruption), and an assortment of pain-killers (from the other librarians). I'm definitely holding off on the first two for a while, at least until I've exhausted my "free" options, though the second one sounds really tempting. The drugs are, likewise, not currently an option for me. Heat is more on target, though it was something I was already trying and finding less than satisfactory. Cold packs work somewhat better. Stretching exercises are effective only as long as I can maintain the stretch.

Can anyone else give me some more suggestions? I realize that it's probably just something with which I'll have to deal for the next few weeks, but I can hardly work like this. I've had to be quite apologetic to many patrons tonight: "I'm sorry I can't walk you to the stack, but it just hurts too bad..." I can't keep doing this for long. If it continues, that maternity leave will have to begin a little sooner than planned.

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