Thursday, October 28, 2010

Life Is Pain, Princess

And anyone who tells you differently is selling something. 

The birth of B was supposed to be the big, huge hurdle that we had to make it over before our life could settle into normalcy again.  Our last baby was wonderfully mellow and sleepy--even from the very beginning.  We figured karma was on our side and was rewarding us for choosing a life of service rather than one of leisure . . . or something like that.  We were hoping and probably expecting this baby to have read the heavenly memo that explained that she would be a FIFTH child and should therefore be decidedly LOW maintenance. 

But I don't believe she got that memo.

She is most certainly NOT low maintenance.  Her first flaw is that she refuses to take a pacifier.  Which leads to her second flaw of not napping very well on her own.  Which makes it nearly impossible for me to get anything done.  Which wouldn't be a big deal, really, except for the fact that the other kids need clean clothes to wear to school and have to be able to find their shoes in the hurricane zone that my floors sometimes become.  And the fact that I really hate to let R watch too much tv each day.

So we were muddling through the first month post-baby, just taking things one day at a time.  But I remember asking Shaggy after a particularly difficult day, "What were we thinking, believing that we could handle five kids?!"

I probably shouldn't have asked that question--I must have jinxed myself in a major way.  Because right after that, things got a whole lot tougher.

I started having horrible abdominal pain which would keep me up most of the night.  Didn't know what it was, but I had experienced something similar after R was born.  But back then, it just went away after several weeks.  So this time, I just tried to dig in and wait it out. 

Only that didn't work out so well for me.  The pain just got worse, lasted longer, and came more frequently.  Early on, I remember thinking that if the attacks would only come during the day, then at least I could get some rest.  But then they did, and it certainly wasn't better.

It's a funny thing about pain;  when you're not feeling it, you don't really think about it at all.  But when you are experiencing it, EVERYTHING else fades in importance.  Stopping the pain becomes the most important thing.  Unfortunately, it didn't occur to me to take a pain pill.  So I just sat up all night and endured it until it finally faded away.

But I couldn't really do that during the day.  Because I had two little ones at home I had to take care of.  Whose needs didn't make any concessions for my pain.  So I had to endure the pain AND take care of them, which added a whole new dimension to my agony.  Which finally drove me to tears and my leftover vicodin.  Which was a godsend.

But as the attacks didn't seem to be going away, I figured I would actually need to see a doctor.  Ugghhh!

Turns out that it was a good thing that I went when I did, as my condition was fairly serious.  Gallstones . . . blocking my liver.  Nice.

So here I am, a week later, and post-surgery.  I've earned a whole lot more pain endurance points, because the nice vicodin unfortunately started making little B sick.

But I've realized something.  I got the memo that God has apparently been trying to send me.

Appreciate the now, because things can ALWAYS get worse.

Suddenly life with five kids doesn't seem so overwhelming.  Because in the absence of my pain, I get to live my life blissfully grateful that it's gone.  And that . . .  well, that just makes absolutely everything easier.

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