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The Sarcastic Welcome Wagon

            I never thought I’d say this, but….. I miss being pregnant. (GASP!) I know. I know! Those are the words I was pretty positive would never leave my lips, not in a million years. Now, I’m not saying that I long for the days of constant puking and horrible back pains – not a chance! But let’s just say that I didn't acknowledge the perks of pregnancy and give them their due at the time. But as I sit here in my grass-is-always-greener state of mind, I feel a tinge of nostalgia for the days of swollen feet and profuse sweating.

            This week, three evils have resurfaced in my life – evils that pregnancy had gloriously masked. And now, in the full light of post-natal day, I’m feeling rather deflated (and not just in my abdomen).

1)      Welcome Back, Nail Biting. Ugh! The habit is so disturbing I can’t even handle it. I don’t enjoy biting, I don’t like the way my nails look, and I can’t even handle thinking of the trillions of germs I’m ingesting each time I put a fingernail to my lips. And after 16 months of gorgeous, hard-as-rock nails, I’m back to square one. Me and my stubs are disappointed in my defeat. Pregnancy hormones did for my nails what nothing ever has – I had perfect color, shape, and thickness growing at rapid rates from my fingertips with nary a break, crack, or peal. But even though I’m still nursing my little man, the hormones had to eventually come to an end, bringing with it dull, flimsy, pealy nails. And what’s an ex-nail biter to do? Leave them there, all scratchy and sharp? My OCD wouldn't allow this. And so, with bitterness in my tone, I say Welcome Back, Nail Biting.

2)      Welcome Back, Period. In the past year-and-a-half, I’d forgotten just how horrible it is to bleed profusely and for no freaking reason at all. If this were a nosebleed, I’d already be at the hospital getting cauterized. Isn’t it bad enough that I’m still not able to fit into half of my old clothes? Isn’t it enough that I’m utterly exhausted and that I change more diapers in a day than I get hours of sleep? Nope. Apparently it wasn't enough. Because now I get to wear nipple pads AND crotch pads, along with my granny panties and my super huge nursing bra. I make Victoria’s Secret models weep. So, with sarcasm and utter hatred, I say Hello, Cramps. Hello, Tampons. Hello, Back Aches. Welcome Back, Period, you disgusting piece of crap.

3)      Welcome Back, Mood Swings. Perhaps this one goes along well with number 2, but it’s also a sign that my hormones have continued their decline from pregnancy and freshly-labored Mama to just a regular old crabby, menstruating machine. And unfortunately, these mood swings are running rampant! No one cries over a generic Christmas card. No one. Oh, wait…. I do! I cry over generic Christmas cards, staring at a pile of laundry, and each time I step on the scale. On the flip side of all this sobbing is the real problem. The rage. I never realized it before, but when I watch crime shows on television, I’ve now noticed that I’m one pick axe, roll of duct tape, and a trash bag away from finding myself on America’s Most Wanted. It’s crazy how quickly it creeps up! One minute I’m making dinner while quizzing spelling words, and the next minute I’m screaming my head off because my kids bought themselves gifts at Santa’s Workshop when they were told only to buy for their family. (The hundreds of dollars spent on presents currently sitting under the Christmas tree was obviously not enough for them.) I threw things, screamed things, grounded things, and threatened things. I was seconds away from bellowing to the entire world that there really is no Santa Claus! (Spoiler Alert?) And you know what followed this almighty tantrum? You guessed it. More tears. And alas, with bi-polar tendencies I holler a hearty Welcome Back, Mood Swings!

I can see now why women have more children. For a long time I didn't see it. I couldn't look past the terrible pregnancy symptoms and terrifying labor and delivery events long enough to realize that these women of multiple children are not crazy. No. They’re just putting off the Welcome Wagon a little bit longer. And to these women I tip my hat. 



Pregnancy Hormones Vs. Life

     Perhaps it's all the running around I do throughout my day, or the normal child neediness of my 6 and 8 year olds when I get home, or the fact that I had a whirlwind trip to Michigan for my second baby shower and maternity photo shoot, or possibly it's the fact that I had the flu for 5 days and ended up sitting in the Triage unit getting pumped full of fluids and meds.... and maybe it's just  a combination of all these things that have me worn and ragged these days. (Not to mention all the normal pregnancy joys that you other Mamas out there warned me of.... ok, screw not mentioning them! If these things have to plague me daily then somebody is gonna hear about them! Things such as insomnia, constant indegestion, peeing EVERY FIVE MINUTES, headaches, nausea, and shear exhaustion.)
     So, today, in honor of not feeling like death, I decided to try to knock a few things off of my to-do list... that ever-growing list that multiplies by 10 each time I cross one thing off. The list that haunts my dreams and makes me sleepy before I even wake up in the morning. But if I'm not puking, I should take the opportunity to be productive, right? Unfortunately, everything that I touched today broke (quite literally). Pay the bills? Sure! Except that our internet connection refused to cooperative for the first half of the day... and then, when it did, wouldn't you know that my bank's page froze on me twice AND pop-up ads almost led to the demise of my computer screen. Forget bills, I said to myelf, I'll vacuum! After spending 20 minutes untangling the cord (yes, someone is going to pay for this injustice when they get home!), I plugged in my brand new vacuum and started in one corner of the first room.
     I was branching out of my corner when I noticed a sea of dead lady bugs in the window sill (no, this wasn't the first time I had noticed them, just the first time I had bothered to care in, oh, about 8 months). So I hooked on my new handy-dandy wand attachment and sucked those little ladies right up! Feeling pleased, I put the attachment hose back into it's place and realized that I was unable to release the base of the wand from the main vacuum. I checked for special buttons, read the manual, and prayed for miracles.... and still nothing. That attachment is stuck like cement on the end of my handle, making it impossible for me to use the vacuum for anything else. Looking at my one clean corner in my one lonely room, and noticing that I had just shook out the rugs in all the other rooms in preparation for The Great Sweep of 2014, a wave of anger washed over me. My calm, rational "There must be a way to figure this out" self went right out the window and a crazed, hormonal woman that I barely recognized appeared. I found great comfort in beating the wand off the arms of the couch... I may have also found it rather therapeutic to scream at the top of my lungs, sending all three dogs, tails between their legs, running for the upstairs with panic in their eyes. And then finally, the vacuum cleaner won.
     In a fit of exhaustion, I flopped myself down on the loveseat (causing me to wince in pain because, let's face it, EVERYTHING hurts these days) and I sobbed. These were uncontrollable, face-swelling wretches that increased everytime I looked back at the sweeper. And I didn't even try to stop them. For some reason, I needed the release, and I let myself have it. Several minutes later, I was feeling slightly better, braver even, and I was ready to try again with fresh eyes. I looked back at the vacuum cleaner and spent about 10 seconds pondering the situation before I chucked the wand across the room and screamed in rage, "I'M PREGNANT, DON'T MESS WITH ME, DANG IT!!" And then I screamed some more and dissolved into a second fit of tears. I decided to call my mother-in-law, the evil woman who bought me said vacuum cleaner, to see if she had any ideas. Before she arrived to give the sweeper a try, I gave the machine one last stab, sending myself into such a tizzy that my nose began to bleed... by the time my husband's mother arrived, I was drenched in sweat, my eyes were almost swollen shut, and I was nursing my nose. Slightly embarrassed, I pointed her in the direction of the broken piece of crap that was once called my vacuum cleaner.
     Twenty minutes later, my mother-in-law was in the same state as me.... except she used cool things like pliars and hammers, butter knives and liquid soap while she did her ranting.... none of which worked, all of which caused her to yell and hit the wand off the same couch that had taken the beating earlier. So we called customer service and this was their reply.... "Why don't you wait for your husband to come home and have him fix it?" Excuse me?? For one, this isn't the 1940's! And two, unless my husband is the Incredible Hulk, he ain't going to be able to get this stupid wand off either!!! So, I yelled about that for a while too. And after two hours, my mother-in-law gave up, as did I, and I continued with my to-do list... I started to unpack baby gifts from my shower and put them away. That will be fun and productivce, right? Which it was, until I bent to pick up the first bag and my back went out. You know the drill.... I cried for a while, although carefully, as not to aggravate my nose again. And I hobbled down the stairs to let my frantic dogs outside while I rested on the unbeaten couch. When it was time to bring them back in, I knelt slowly, keeping my back as straight as possible.... and when my left knee touched the ground, I heard a POP and felt pain shoot up my leg. Unable to now bend my leg, stand upright, vacuum, or accomplish anything on my to-do list, I retired back to the couch and cried for the millionth time today.
    I'm still not sure if it's the flu, the traveling, the long days at work, or the mulititude of lovely pregnancy symptoms that have me down, but one thing IS for sure.... in the battle of Hormones Vs. Life today, it is very apparent that Life won. Now here's hoping that my husband brings home a heating pad and Bruce Banner for dinner this evening!