There are those seasons in motherhood where I’m convinced we completely forget to include ourselves in the daily hustle and bustle that is “care-taking.” It wasn’t until being six months postpartum that I started to address the laundry list of health issues that had needed attention for quite some time, but never seemed to make its way onto the notorious calendar that is my real lifeline. So there I was in a new office. It was funny actually. Or is it pathetic? I’m still not sure, but I found my doctor’s question to when my last physical was rather amusing. At first I paused and couldn’t remember. I explained that I had been seeing my OBGYN for awhile. She proceeded by asking when my last pregnancy was.
“Six months ago,” I replied.
Then, she asked if he was my only child. So, we did the numbers game a bit. I explained that I had four pregnancies within five years. Her jaw dropped. Well, maybe she gasped. Or, did she do both? Whatever, I can’t remember. I’ll likely need to see a neurologist next for my mild memory loss that also started five years ago. I did the usual reply when I sense someone is entering shock after hearing I’ve actually had four pregnancies in five years.
“Yeah, I know. I’ve been busy.” I stole that line from all of the elderly women who approach me at the grocery store and state the obvious. All while, my children are usually melting down, making my “busyness” anything but quiet.
So, we continued. I left the doctor’s office with a handful of scripts for blood work and referrals to see the next line of doctor’s that would likely need medical intervention after entering shock during the intake like she did. Like most of us mothers, it took me weeks to prioritize time for myself. Besides, this was supposed to be a measly check-up. Like many seasons in my life, God would prove he had His own check-up for me. I received a call that I needed an ultrasound for what they suspected were ulcers and cysts. Turns out, my doctor was right and they needed to be addressed.
“Hmm, maybe that is why I’ve had severe abdominal pain for the past few months,” I thought to myself.
What was my response to the doctor on the phone?
“Can this wait until after the holidays? I can’t fit this into the schedule.”
She may have done that whole “drop the jaw” or gasp thing again, but I’m not sure? It’s hard to tell these things over the phone.
The kids were down for their nap and I just sat in our living room stunned. Like many of us mothers, all I could think about was how the hell I was going to fit this in? When and where? My concern was only about the upcoming birthday parties, final exams for work and the fact that we had scheduled to visit Santa next weekend. I did what most mothers do who have it all together like me.
I wept. You know the ugly kind. After feeling sorry for myself (and scavenging around for the Hershey kisses I had put aside for the advent calendar), I wiped my face and just surrendered to what I had zero control over. This holiday season is proving that I don’t have much control of anything around me and I’m accepting entries for anyone who can help explain why. Just omit anything that has to do with me. Please and thank you.
No soon after my weeping fest, did the kids wake up from their nap. At this point, it was 3 p.m. and I had already been up since 4 a.m. and felt like I was physically crashing from the exhaustion. Or, what I am now aware could be from more than just lack of sleep. I prepared snacks for the kids and put Benny down in his bouncer. All of a sudden, Autumn came around the corner from the playroom with a Witch’s hat in her hand where she proceeded to put it on her brother’s head.
There it was.
In the midst of exhaustion, worry and crumbled Hershey kisses wrappers was my invitation. The kids couldn’t stop laughing and neither could I. It hurt, but now I know my laughter hurt with good reason. I didn’t care. I couldn’t stop from laughing because of that adorable face anymore than they could. The best part was that Benny had no idea why we were all staring at him in complete hysteria. He just looked up at us and smiled as if he knew I needed the distraction at that exact moment. I did too.
I don’t know how these three kids seem to innately know when I’m at my lowest even when I think I’m hiding it, but they never disappoint. I couldn’t resist taking out my camera to capture a moment I know I’ll need to step back into. A bright person might suggest that I take better care of myself while making sure I’m taking care of these three children. That may be true and it’s likely I’ll be thinking about that during my outpatient stay. For now, I don’t regret putting them first because it’s moments like this when I’m reminded of how they manage to put me first too.
All in a Witch’s Hat.
In Love & Truth,