Natalie woke up with a fever this morning, although she seemed fine when she came into bed for her early morning nursing. Our weekend routine is to return Natalie to her crib after nursing to read books and chatter to herself while we steal a little more sleep, and she was willing to go along with the routine. However, by the time she started fussing for one of us to spring her from the pokey, her mood had deteriorated and she had become a sad, clingy mess.
I sat on the bed and rocked her in my arms for a few minutes, mentally composing my next post. My temperature had fallen even further this morning, pretty much dashing my hopes for this cycle. My thoughts were interrupted by Natalie’s demand to sit on the potty. The potty process became prolonged when we discovered that she had already pooped in her diaper, necessitating the hunt for wipes. Eventually, everyone in the house was involved, as Cait dealt with wiping while I held Natalie as she wailed at the cold air on her feverish body. Natalie then turned down the potty, but of course we didn’t have a new diaper ready, so I went in search of a new diaper.
As I walked past our bed, I was startled to see a large bloodstain on the sheets. “Was that you or me?” I asked Cait, in bafflement. She looked at me like I had two heads. “I never sat on that side of the bed. It must be you.” With the chaos surrounding Natalie’s fever and fussiness, I didn’t get to investigate for a few more minutes, but it was indeed I who was bleeding. My two overwhelming emotions were confusion (how could I have bled that much without feeling it?!) and relief.
Yes, relief. Relief that the agony of waiting and wondering was over. I am still very eager to have another child, but this time around the two-week wait is KILLING me. It’s the same all-consuming madness as it always was – a frenzy of rocketing between hope and despair, imagined pregnancy symptoms, daydreaming and self-flagellation, squinting and staring at peesticks, and schizophrenic simultaneous strategizing of sperm and stroller shopping – but now there is the added reality of trying also to juggle life with a child who needs moms who are present and functioning, instead of lost in the clouds or wallowing in misery.
At the beginning of the TWW, it actually helps us stay sane. We have too much going on in our lives to get caught up in agonizing over every decimal on the thermometer or twinge in the belly. But as the roller coaster picks up speed over the top of the hill, we can’t escape the rush, and hurtle along over the mad twists and turns, breathless in fear and excitement. We manage to get the necessities covered, but not much more. So it really is a relief to get a final answer, even if it’s the wrong one. I’ve gotten the majority of my sadness out in the despairing moments of the past week, so now I can get on with life and deal with the consequences of the insanity: mountains of laundry, a nearly empty refrigerator, and an overwhelming list of chores and tasks put off too long. And I know I have to do it NOW because the madness will be back in just a few weeks.
And the poor sick girl we already have needs us now.
[side note from Cait] As Jen sat on the toilet, figuring out that she was indeed bleeding, Natalie sat naked in my lap, feverishly thwarting my attempts to prep a new diaper. She announced “pee!” just as a warm, wet feeling spread across my leg. It’s been a fun morning all around.