Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Mama

The other day, I attempted a trip to Babies R Us with the kids. I really needed suction cup bowls for the babies. So rather than wait for Monte to be home to help, there I found myself, balancing babies and herding the girls. Whoever I held on me was happy, and whoever was in the cart... wasn't. After switching them from cart to Ergo a few times at the cart-corral, I realized how ridiculous I must look when I looked up and noticed a woman who worked there staring at me through the window giving me a sympathetic look, and when we made eye-contact, she motioned an offer of help. "No thank you" I mouthed to her with an "I'm used to this shit" expression on my face. Once the babies seemed calm and happy, I hustled the kids into the store and headed for the feeding section. Almost immediately, Beatrix became angry that she was in the cart, so I picked her up and just held them both on me which made her happy, but, along with the other 2 standing at my feet, it's exactly the exact same thing as placing a giant neon sign over my head that says "PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'VE GOT MY HANDS FULL!" because almost immediately, that's what everybody I pass by in the store feels the need to say; "You've sure got your hands full!". "Wow, no shit!! Really?? I've never heard that line before, ever!" is what I truly, truly want to say, but I grit my teeth and simply reply "Yup!" with a smile.

I get my bowls and high-tail it for the registers. The babies are getting restless, and I'm starting to regret this decision. Why didn't I just order these things online?? I must be a glutton for punishment. As I'm standing in line, I am reminded of a time almost a year ago when I was at this same exact store, only under much different circumstances.

I had just been released from the hospital after having a C-section, and dealing with Atticus being in the NICU. We spent one night home with the babies hooked up to bili-blankets, hoping to get their levels down. We went to the Dr. to test them the next morning and had to wait for the results, so we drove home hoping that they were finally fine and we could move on from this.

We were on our way home when the Dr. called with the results of his bilirubin tests, and it turned out that he had to be re-admitted for another night or two, so we had to go back to the hospital. This had already been an extremely stressful few days with my recovery and breastfeeding the twins with cracked, bleeding nipples due to a bad latch with Bea, and Atticus in the NICU. This was almost too much to handle, I was utterly exhausted and now Atticus would have to be away from me for a whole night (maybe more) while I stayed home with Beatrix because they wouldn't allow her to stay at the hospital if I went with Atticus. It was decided that Monte would stay the night with Atticus and cup feed him my pumped milk for feedings, and I'd go home with Beatrix. I had to get some pump parts for my pump, and Monte had no idea what I needed, so we stopped by Babies R Us where I quickly jumped out to get it while he stayed in the car with the now crying babies.

I remember standing in line that day, 4 days after a C-section, my stomach still looking huge and pregnant, my hair a mess on top of my head, my face was surely a wreck of old makeup with bags under my eyes. As I stood there, clutching my valves and membranes, I glanced over to the magazine rack and what I saw brought tears to my tired eyes. There I was, on the current cover of Fit Pregnancy, looking bright eyed and bushy tailed with perfect hair and makeup and my little girls by my side. That was a world so far away from where I was in that moment; a disheveled, exhausted, hormonal mess with a lot of uncertainties ahead; How long would Atticus be in the hospital for? Would I make enough milk to pump for him and nurse Beatrix as well? Will I ever sleep again?? Monte was leaving in a matter of days for 6 whole months. I was overwhelmed and terrified. It was very rough, but fortunately, Atticus ended up being there for only one night, and I was able to make and pump enough milk to sustain both babies. We all survived then, and beyond and at almost 1 year they are still nursing strong!

So here I was again, same exact place, under much different circumstances. My two almost 1 year old babies were happy (a bit whiney) and healthy and clinging to my body, and the girls were by my side, begging for every toy in sight, gotta love 'em. Life is good.