Today is the fifth day in a row I have been dragged to an awakened state by my own mind.
It’s like self-inflicted, water board torture.
Without the press to conjure up feelings of compassion.
It is no secret that I’m a HUGE fan of sleep and that the worst part of parenting was that first year of not getting any. I evolved into the woman I vowed I’d never become. I told my birthing story to anyone who would listen (or not). In retrospect, I think it was the last coherent moment I truly had at that point so I talked about it a lot. Sometimes people were even there to listen.
I haven’t been in that place in about 13 years. But it seems I have found it again. Except this time I’m birthing this trip. Repeatedly. Every morning at 4AM.
I felt better at the last meeting when people were talking about packing (minus OT Debbie, “You guys are packing already?”) and Kelly shared that she just spends her days screaming “DON’T TOUCH THAT PILE” which apparently is her hoarders-like effort to organize hearth and home for a trip. This is Kelly. She’s likely thinking about the pile here.
I don’t have to worry about a pile.
I’m making an effort to pretend I’m on the Amazing Race and need to pack as little as possible. [Well, as little as possible that will ensure my a food supply (nuts, protein bars, fruit strips and the like) that will allow me sustenance as an option to the likely meat, bread, or beer.]
I mean really, at 18 in Europe I had this backpack I dragged about and did just fine. True, my standards for personal care were lower then. But I should be able to be a minimalist. And fyi, there are 75 steps to my apt. in Dubrovnik, Croatia. That’s like SEVEN FLIGHTS OF STAIRS! So in self-preservation, I purchased the smallest suitcase I’ve ever owned (but still meets my requirements of 360 degree rotating wheels). This is my suitcase and some of my stuff.
Notice there are no clothes in the photo. Between my food supply, items to haul, small gifts, my water bottle, personal care items . . . I’ll have approximately 40% of small bag space left for clothes. And yesterday, Sharon asked if I was taking a coat?! Are you kidding me? Another contraction here. Sharon Scheurer is the lady laughing gayly in the dark sweater. She’s happy because she’s excited about the trip. I’m sure leaving 3 kids in her wake has nothing to do with it. No contractions for her.
But the ticking in my head is louder than the initial biological clock that hammered through my ignorant body years ago. The ticking is the list to do. The To Do list.
Because the contractions are over and it’s about time to push. And in my own labor, when the doctor said, “Okay it’s time to push.” I freaked out and screamed, “Push?!? I didn’t pay any attention to that part in the class. I was busy making fun of all the other couples. What the hell am I supposed to do now?” (and then gag and vomit-yes, I was one of those women sick for 9 months and still throwing up in labor. I’m happy to tell you all about it.).
But fortunately for my daughter, my body took over. And from somewhere deep within my most primal self, I pushed her out in spite of myself. Granted they wanted me to hold her for awhile afterward and I replied, “(heavy sigh, sweaty hair pushed back, and eyes rolling into skull) That’s okay. I think Dad will take it from here.”
So again, 13 years later, I’m relying on my most primal self. In my mental blur of tying up loose ends for business on my desk, transitioning management to others in my absence, packing the few precious things I will be taking, getting hearth and home ready for my absence, providing the go-team pep talks of reassurance, I know I will deliver this baby.
And my hair may be sweaty, myself exhausted, and it’s not out of control to visualize my own eyes rolling into the back of my head periodically.
But what a baby it will be.
Back to pushing . . .