Since Labor Day I've felt as though I am living under a rock.
(Madison Boulder, Madison, New Hampshire)
Each time I start to creep out, I don't make it very far before scurrying back under. Since early September we've gone back to school, managed the holidays, and endured what seems like countless school vacations, snow days (and more snow days), half days and sick days.
Blizzard of February 2013
None of which would normally feel insurmountable. The difference is that I'm slogging through it all while pregnant with our fourth child. And yes, I’m thrilled…but I’m also exhausted.
Couple the exhaustion with the normal “help me through the day” things I’ve
forced to willingly given up: a full night’s sleep, several cups of coffee
a day, a cold beer or glass of wine before heading to the (afternoon) bus stop,
I can barely make it until the first kid's head hits the pillow.
Consequently, with this pregnancy, there are other things that have taken a back seat to simply getting through the day. This pregnancy has not involved day dreaming about my baby, or making lists or repeatedly washing and folding baby clothes. This pregnancy has been solely about putting one foot in front of the other and moving forward. I also no longer give a crap or feel guilty about my lack of exercise. The word cleaning isn’t in my vocabulary. Okay, the word cleaning has never been in my vocabulary. I no longer worry about how much screen time the kids get in a day. Laundry is not even on my radar screen. Recently Gills took her favorite shirt out of the dirty laundry pile and wore it for the second day in a row. I didn’t even attempt to reason with her or talk her out of it. I kinda sprayed her with perfume and sent her on her way.
Having three kids during this pregnancy has drained the life out of me, but also managed to sustain my excitement about our new addition. Their eyes grow wide when they feel him move, or listen to me tell them about how he has the hiccups. They imagine what he’s doing “in there” and love to hear the stories I tell them from when they were “in there” too. They cannot wait for the birth of their baby brother, and while I love experiencing this pregnancy alongside them, they have sensed my many weaknesses along the way.
My three year old understands with complete certainty that I cannot and will not chase after her. If she starts running, I’m all like “you’re on your own kid.” I have agreed to things like getting a lizard, just because I was too breathless to explain how if said lizard appeared in our house, I would have to bludgeon it to death with a meat tenderizer while they were at school. I’ve made promises about Disney vacations and above ground pools, just to expedite their departure from my bedside so I could resume napping. They’re listening to upbeat but inappropriate songs in the van so I don’t fall asleep at the wheel. And more than once in the past few weeks, dessert not only before dinner, but FOR dinner has become the norm.
I am counting down the days until I no longer pee, walk out of the bathroom, and have to go back in to pee again. I dream about cold, crisp adult beverages. Baby gear is beginning to be unpacked. The kids are ready and slowly I am coming to the realization that there will soon be another little person in our family. Yes, I am excited. Yes, I am in love. Yes, I am exhausted.