23 April 2012

Carrying on

This is going to be a complaining-type post, but I realized that I was holding off on posting at all because I didn't want to complain, which is not necessarily a good reason not to post. I had such a good bloggy momentum going last month but this month it's hard to find the time and energy to write!

We still have six or more weeks to go before this baby's due date, but we're struggling to keep our heads above water. I'm feeling increasingly wiped out and limited by the aches of pregnancy, all compounded by the past three days or so of a cold (fortunately this is the first time I've gotten sick since October). The cold has brought a sore throat that joined forces with burning heartburn to set my entire esophagus on fire, achy joints to join lower back pain and upper back pain and abdominal pain, and a throbbing head to add to the fun. Between Saturday and Sunday I developed a knot in my back so painful that I could only cry or lay down by the end of the day.

Yet, life must still happen: daycare pickups and dropoffs in the rain, lugging groceries home, dragging the stroller through our muddy, rocky street and hoisting it up to the front door, feeding the family, making beds, carrying laundry up and down narrow stairs, keeping up with Gabriel and the messes he leaves in his wake. Plus, I have an academic essay due in a few weeks for which I need to do some serious work. I had my book club here on Friday night, something I had been looking forward to, but that meant cleaning the entire house, which meant that the Mister cleaned the entire house, because I am simply unable to sweep and mop right now. Or load the dishwasher. Or pick up legos from the floor. Or...

M. left work early to pick up Gabriel and go to the grocery store the day I got sick, while I lay down in a guilty funk. The same day that he mopped and swept everything. Meanwhile, he's trying to write his thesis in any extra time he has. He had to go to Paris for a meeting related to his dissertation, and we didn't realize it coincided with my book club day. So he changed his entire schedule, stayed in Paris for barely two hours, and made it home in time to take care of Gabriel for the evening (bearing Parisian macarons, no less!). We had guests over for lunch yesterday, and I made the food but once again he did everything else, and found time to work on his dissertation in addition to massaging my aching back and putting Gabriel to bed and...and...

I guess what I'm saying is: I might be carrying this baby, but he is carrying me. I really don't know how I could do this without the Mister. Which is not to overlook the fact that this is hard on him, too. As you can imagine, things are very stressful right now: he's exhausted, and it's not exactly fun to rush home from work (an hour-long commute from Brussels) just so he can juggle everything at home as well. I at least have my days open, go to Dutch class, take naps (whether I want to or not...they happen). We don't go to bed early enough, so we don't get enough sleep at night (and the quality of my sleep is pretty abysmal lately) and Gabriel has been waking at 6:30...guess who gets up with him to let the other parent sleep an extra hour?

We have managed to fit in some fun things, still. Since today is Sant Jordi, the day of the rose and the book in Catalonia, we spent good chunks of Saturday in the library and bookstores, picking out books for one another. There's time with friends (the reason I didn't cancel book club or our lunch guests even though I didn't feel very well). Gabriel is a real treat these days. And we have our family from Barcelona coming for a visit over the holiday weekend starting on Thursday. That of course presents its own logistical challenges--four extra adults and two children staying here for four days requires some air-mattress purchases, plus bedroom rearrangements, and more cleaning, shopping, etc.--but it will be lovely to have some help and spend time with them. Plus! I had another ultrasound last week and the baby is looking fantastic, and rather *huge*--no wonder he's putting me through my paces. Aside from the aches and pains, I'm healthy too, all tests perfectly normal.

So. Six weeks to go when I already am feeling so miserable sounds impossible but somehow we'll make it. Then there will be an entirely different kind of not-sleeping, messy, hormonal chaos, but at least we'll have a break from regular life for a little while...five days in the hospital, paternity leave, help from family, and so forth. And finally, a few weeks after that, I should be able to stand up without some part of my body protesting loudly. Something I'm really looking forward to!

I told you this would be a complainy post, but it feels good to write it all out, anyway.

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