Mary Ellen woke me up at 6am this morning. I had forgotten how insistent a newborn can be. But of course, I don’t really mind getting up to feed her. It’s my job! I felt a little badly for Kurt, since he had to get up just thirty minutes later, and I think I woke him up before his alarm went off. We really need to get to bed earlier, though. Last night we went to bed at 1am again, and that’s just too late.
With her feeding at 6am, Mary Ellen let me sleep in this morning. I had every intention of getting up at 9 or 9:30am, but when I finally rolled over and peered at my clock, I was shocked to discover it was 10:30am! I didn’t even hear my mom get Grace up and ready for the day, though I had the baby monitor on.
I didn’t even bother trying to snooze, like I do most mornings. I jumped up and went to find the rest of my family.
It took me a while to find my mom and Grace. They weren’t anywhere in the house, so I was thinking maybe they’d gone to the playground across the street. On my way back through the house, though, I caught some movement out the corner of my eye. They were in the backyard, playing with Grace’s chalk.
My mom offered to feed the baby for me one last time while I jumped in the shower, and by the time I was dressed, it was time for her to shove off home. I didn’t even really get to see much of her this morning because I was sleeping so much, and I really regret that. Now that she’s gone, I’m so sad. I called her about an hour after she left, crying because I miss her so much.
Even just thinking of it makes me start to tear up again. She called me a little bit ago to tell me that she had arrived home safely, and I began crying again.
The thing is, there hasn’t been much time in my life when I’ve gotten my mom all to myself. When she and my dad got custody of us in 1985 when I was six years old, both my father and my mom were working full-time, serving in the Navy. I didn’t get to see much of my parents while we were growing up; most of the time we had a live-in nanny who would care for us, and we saw my parents at dinner and for a couple of hours before bed. My mom was trying to figure out how to be a mother and a wife all at the same time, since she acquired the three of us in one fell swoop once she said, “I do!” to my father.
By the time I hit middle school, my mom had separated from the Navy and was a stay-at-home mom. But by then we had my brother, ten years younger than me, who required a lot of my mom’s time. I tried my best to keep her in the loop regarding my life, but she was stretched so thin that it was difficult for her.
The first time I ever got her all to myself was in October 2004, after I gave birth to Grace and she had lost so much weight in her first two weeks. I called her in desperation, as Kurt was gone to San Diego and wouldnt’ return for six weeks, and within a few days, she was on a flight all the way out to Seattle to help take care of the baby and me. She stayed for three whole weeks, helping out with the baby and making sure I was okay. We spent a lot of time at home, but we were also able to do a lot around the area too. We could talk about things without anyone interrupting us, we could share some things we’d never shared before, and we could come to terms with our history together a lot better. Even though we’d been getting closer in small steps ever since I became an adult, our relationship really did move to the next level during the three weeks she was helping me take care of Grace. So when I told her we were trying for another baby, she promised me she’d come stay with me for as long as she could and help take care of Grace for me.
When Kurt called her last Monday to tell her my water had broken, she immediately jumped into her car and started driving north so she could keep her promise. And for the last week, she’s done exactly that. If she wasn’t entertaining Grace by taking her to the playground or reading to her or helping her put her puzzle together, she was volunteering to feed the baby or even just to hold her.
Now you know why I’m so bummed that she’s gone again. This chance of having her all to myself is a bit fleeting. I was also really upset to realize I hadn’t thought to take a photo of my mom, my girls, and me before she left.
But she’s only eight hours away, and I’ve been lucky to meet up with her twice this summer already at my grandparents’ home. She’s promised to call me every day this week to check in with me, and I am already looking forward to tomorrow’s phone call.
Speaking of tomorrow, we are going in for the ultrasound on Mary Ellen’s kidneys tomorrow. Please keep your fingers crossed that this is just a routine check that will find that her kidneys are perfectly fine. I’m thinking positive thoughts, but there is a niggling worry in the back of my brain that maybe something isn’t quite right.