Friday, January 22, 2010

Day #17 — Day After Day

I have not been feeling at all well today, but I don't want to break my string of consecutive free writing days. Funny how it was easier to give up my Friday walking date than it is to give up my date with this online journal. Clearly, I've managed to make writing more of a habit than exercise. Big surprise.

I've been watching the telethon for Haiti and my initial reaction to this prompt from Lisa Romeo was to talk about the relentlessness of the current tragedy, but I changed my mind. We'll see where it goes from here.

Prompt: Day After Day 

Day after day, the sun refuses to shine. Like me, it seems barely able to haul its ass out of bed to get done the work that is absolutely necessary before its 12-hour shift is over and it can go back to sleep. 

Laundry — done. Well, done enough. There are clean socks and underwear. I even put Peter's in his drawer so he won't bitch about having to pull them out of the laundry basket when he gets dressed for work tomorrow. Why does underwear need to be folded? Who invented dressers, anyway? What difference does it make as long as they're clean? What does he want from me.

The baby clothes are clean, too, at least most of them, although not put away. I just couldn't do it. Rachel came by for about an hour to stay with the babies so I could get to the grocery store. We had nothing. Now we have next to nothing, but enough to get us through the weekend — as long as Peter doesn't mind spaghetti for dinner again.

Jesus, why am I so tired? I wanted these babies for so long. I would have done anything to get them. I did do everything to get them — injections and hormones and harvesting and invitro and surgeries. God, it was so important to me. Now I look at them and think "Who are you and what are you doing in my house?" They can't possibly be my babies. They don't even look like me. They don't even look like people — just, I don't know, wrinkly red worms or something. 

I'm so pissed at my mom. All those years she bugged me and bugged me about things she didn't understand — what I should wear (like she knew what teenagers were wearing), where I should go to school (she never even went to college), who I should marry (like my dad was such a prize). Now, when I really need her, when she could actually help me because she knew how to take care of babies, where is she? Dead. 

Good and dead and I'm all alone with these people who want stuff from me all day long. They want my boobs, they want formula (because my two boobs aren't good enough for their two hungry mouths, even though I'm now a D-cup). They want to be changed and have their butts wiped and snot cleaned when the cry and it bubbles out of their nostrils. It's not anything like I imagined it would be. They aren't sweet and good smelling and happy to see me when I walk in the room. And every time I fall asleep (which could be any minute), one of them wails. They don't cry little baby cries — they wail loud sirens of misery and discontent. Day after day. Night after night. 

I read all the books. I know "this too shall pass". But when? Will I make it? Will I ever feel like a mother, like I would do anything for them? Where did that feeling go? I can tell you this; I think I would do anything for them if I could just get one night's sleep. Just one.

Time: 13 minutes

This was an odd thing to write because I never felt this way about my babies. I know many women who did, but babyhood never got to me like this. I have felt it since then, many times, but I don't think it's as overwhelming when they are not completely helpless. My mother didn't die, although she almost did on my wedding day and I remember being absolutely furious with her at the idea that she wouldn't be around right when I needed her again.

Today, with this weird virus and the relentlessness of winter and the tragic news on TV, I felt like all I wanted to do was sleep and shut out the world. And I did. I could, because most of my children were at school and the one who was home did not need constant care and attention, and he was not in danger being awake while I was asleep. I did drag myself out of bed this morning and again this afternoon to get the necessities done. That and no more. Tomorrow, the girl needs to be at school at 5:30 a.m., so I will go to sleep again now, and start over again in the morning. And the day after that. And the day after that.

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