I fully intended to write about C3’s transition to her big girl bed. There are Mickey Mouse sheets and she uses the blanket I sewed for her before she was born. It’s going really, really well. Better than I thought. Which is why I am surprised by the million pounds currently sitting on my shoulders this afternoon.
The Little One is sprawled across my lap, sleeping. I should be frantically fitting in some calls and finishing my expense report. Instead, I feel this amazing sense of guilt. I was gone from my daughter for two weeks. She’d only been on the outside for nine weeks. I wouldn’t leave C3 for an overnight until she was nine months old. I missed – at the time, almost 1/5 of her entire life. Two weeks, I missed of her smiling, her pooping, her need for food.
Now, I’m proud of the fact that I pumped and dumped. I’m proud of the way I pushed through pain. I’m proud of the way I got myself up and moving. This isn’t a humble brag thing. This is recovery, in all its glory. Today marks eight weeks from my accident. Last night, I was frustrated by the ongoing feeding session and this small infant preventing me from sleeping. I wished for a night of uninterrupted sleep. (Of course I did, I’m only human.)
Today, I’m feeling guilty. This one, who wants to be near me at all times? This one, who won’t sleep without being near me? Yeah, I get it. I missed two weeks of her life. I wasn’t there. And on some level, she knows it. Towards the end of my hospital stay, she wasn’t turning towards me, didn’t even recognize my voice. I’m feeling guilty today about it. I know it’ll pass.
Recovery is tough. I’m keeping a brave, happy face – and for 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 59 seconds – I really am happy. I’ve been getting in and out of my shower by myself for weeks. My scars are healing – inside and out. I am a human barometer, which comes in really handy in our part of the world. But every once in a while, those random seconds accumulate on my shoulders into minutes of real discomfort. (And yes, I know I’m so lucky it’s only minutes.)
So tonight, when exhaustion is burning my eyelids and my nipples ache, when I want to ignore the cries and soft whimpers, when I think I can’t do this for a second more… I will remember those two weeks, when all I wanted was to smell her stinky neck and hold her in my arms. Although, I may also pump before bed and let K take one for the team. Recovery is weird, yo.