Friday, May 05, 2006

About Last Night...

It's been a mixed bag over here on the Ark, and last night exemplified it.

Bigfella's sleep has been slowly slipping toward the crapper. We think he is teething, which means that his evenings are spent with hand shoved in mouth, chewing on his fingers, crying as he valiantly fights falling asleep. Dyke Two is gearing up for the end of school year reports and presentation to the school board, which means later nights at work. I feel guilty putting Bigfella to bed before she even comes home from work, so she comes home to a cranky, drooling baby and a cranky, hungry wife. But, she gets home and I end up trying to put Bigfella to sleep just as dinner is ready. I know this is a mom issue, not a baby issue, but by the time Bigfella finally falls asleep, I am resenting the hell out of Dyke Two and cycling through all sorts of catastrophic thinking about what life will be like when I return to school.

Last night, she took Bigfella into the kitchen while she cooked and I watered the boxwoods and forsythia we got from freecycle and the grass seed we are trying to get sprouted on our front "lawn." Dinner was ready just as Bigfella hit nuclear meltdown mode. I inhaled dinner as he writhed in my arms and then began to try and nurse him into tranquility. We went into the bedroom and I swaddled him, turned on his CD and began the rest of the bedtime routine. At that precise moment, my abdomen began to burn and cramp with what can only be described as the Worst Fucking Pain I Have Ever Felt. (In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that this pain was, in fact tied with the pain described in an earlier entry when I writhed on the couch, trying to determine if I was having a heart attack and freaked out that Bigfella refuses the bottle since I was sure I was about to die and leave Dyke Two with an infant she was unable to feed. Once that pain subsided, I began to build up my freezer stash.) I placed Bigfella in the crib, and called to Dyke Two to come and complete the sleeping routine, as I staggered toward the bed to curl into the fetal position. She came in and picked him up and brought him into the living room. This of course pissed me off even more since in the pain-induced haze, I saw this as Dyke Two sabotaging what little sleep routine we had. Within seconds, however, I decided to overlook the anger and focus on breathing through the pain.

I couldn't do it. I breathed through 23 hours of labor and pushing out a 10 pound baby without an epidural, but this pain was worse. I wove my way toward the couch, where I squirmed in pain for 10 minutes, and then made a beeline for the bathroom where I dry heaved and spit into the toilet for 30 minutes. I then returned to the couch, and lay there for another 15 minutes as we debated a trip to the ER. Thankfully, Bigfella was happily sleeping in his bouncy chair as Dyke Two rocked him throughout the whole ordeal. Just as we were gearing up to go to the ER, the pain subsided as quickly as it started. Internet research later in the night is leading us toward gallstones. Great. I'm a woman who has never had more serious surgery than tooth extraction, and has never spent more than an hour in a hospital except for Bigfella's birth. My plan right now involves borrowing a page from ostriches, and I successfully avoided calling the doctor until the office was closed today.

After the excruciating hour, I took Bigfella back into the bedroom and successfully transferred him into the crib while Dyke Two turned off the sprinkler and brought in the mail. She handed me a letter from URS. I opened it, and skimmed it:

congratulations on your acceptance. Tuition and fees covered. Health insurance covered. Stipend awarded. Named Fellowship with large sum of money attached to it. contact office to discuss your work assignment.

Excuse me?? Back up a moment. Re-read second to last sentence.

Named Fellowship with large sum of money attached to it. (Editorial note: by large sum, we mean three times the stipend offered last year.)

I hadn't actually realized how nervous and guilty I felt about paying for childcare for the semester until this unexpected money came into our lives.


At 1:29 PM, Blogger art-sweet said...

Congratulations on the fellowship! That's awesome news.

Hope everything else resolves itself okay...

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous JustLinda said...

Sorry about the gallbladder issue. Yuck. BUT SCORE on the letter, huh??? WOW!

At 12:16 AM, Blogger madeline said...

Yep. As I was reading your description of the pain and the vomit-but-not-quite-vomiting stuff, I'm thinking, "she's doin the gallstone thing."

I had to have mine out when my son was a month old. My advice: get it done NOW before you have a stone lodged in your bile duct (if you wait, it makes the surgery a day longer and MUCH MORE MISERABLE).

The regular removal of the gallbladder is not too bad, though. Quick recovery. You can't nurse for about 2 days b/c you'll be on antibiotics, but the hospital will give you a pump if you don't have one so you can keep production up (you'll have to dump the milk, though)...

*sigh* Here's a hug for you ((((hug)))). To be fair, was NOT offered a fellowship upon discovering I had gallstones. That would have been fab!


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