Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

I need a mom.

I was reading all the online stuff yesterday about how my baby is 24 weeks along now and she's as big as a (giant) mango and she can blink her eyes in Morse code if only I could see it to interpret what she means and she now has very strong opinions about the rompers she sees me buying her and the dinner I ate last night.

I realized that because my babies come early (two and five weeks early so far) that she's going to be here PDQ. We're prepared, mostly. She got stuff in the way of clothes and we're good with a crib, etc. We'll have a larger stroller by then and I'm switching our travel swing (which did nothing for Baby G) to one that goes back-and-forth AND side to side. I'm going to raid one of our retirement accounts next month and stock up on diapers and wipes. I figure if we live on nothing but Ramen the year Kenny turns 72, we should be able to afford the first month of Pampers Swaddlers, no problem.

So she's all set, or nearly.

But I'm not.

When Little J came ten years ago, I had just moved into a new place the day before. Nothing was unpacked. I didn't even have a working phone. I had to roll into the grocery store belly first at 2 a.m. to wake my doctor up and find out that yes, dummy, that was your water breaking. Go to the hospital.

My mom was on a plane within two hours of me calling her and at the hospital by the time they started my epidural. She was there through the delivery and when Little J and I got home, she had unpacked my whole house for me. It was a little house and I didn't have much stuff, but it still made it easier to breathe.

She put off work for an extra week to stay with me because (as she told me later) I wasn't exactly into picking the baby up to do anything besides feed him at first. But then everything was okay.

When Baby G was born a couple of years ago, my sister happened to be here on a fluke visit so that she was ready to jump in even though he was five weeks early. My sister is a very, very good person to have around if you're ever in the hospital for any reason from a tonsillectomy to open heart surgery. She was nearly as good as having my mom there.

But this time...

I don't know. I just need a mom. I need someone who's going to show up for a few days in a Mary Poppins-ish manner and play with my kids and either

1) Ignore the fact that some of the messy spots in my house have been neglected since before I was pregnant and either
      a) pretend like I do that they don't exist or
      b) clean them and never say a word to me about it because um, yeah, my  mom would know exactly who taught me to keep house that way

2) Scold me for having certain messy spots in my house but somehow manage to not judge me in the least and then either
      a) ignore them, like I do or
      b) clean them and never say a word to me about them

She would warm up the meals the Relief Society brought over for me and change Tiny E's tenth diaper of the day like it's her greatest delight because she can clearly see after the first nine, I've lost my enchantment with the whole process for the day.

She would take the boys to the park while I slept with Tiny E, knowing that Baby G thinks my naps mean I'm prone so we can start wrestling. She wouldn't care that Baby G gets a couple of Nickelodeon marathons while I stare into space, sleep-deprived. And after a few days she would realize I'm gaining a little traction and she'd go home, knowing that I've rejoined the land of the living and I'm child-cuddling and bum-wiping abilities have been fully restored.

My aunt, who is more my aunt even by marriage than she could be by blood, flew out from Illinois last time for a weekend a couple of months after Baby G was born. There was just something about knowing that she was willing to do that for me that made everything bearable, filled the gap a little. But she is kicking butt and taking names in  her new nursing program and I'd put her right back on a plane and ship her back if she tried to come out this time because she needs to be there, not here.

I miss my mom. Do you think if I tore this blog post into small pieces and threw it into the fireplace that the wind would whisk it away and suddenly she would appear in a smart coat with a carpet bag the morning I go to the hospital? Because I need her.


Susan said...

So sorry, Melanie. Having a mom around after delivery is the best thing ever. Almost. My husband took complete care of everything after baby number four because my mom was too swamped with her own mom. I thought it was going to be awful. I thought the house would be a disaster and he would drive me nuts. But it was actually kind of nice just to be the six of us, no guests. But he did have two weeks off at the time. I know you probably just wanted to vent, not have someone fix your problems so I'll stop now. I hope it's better than you're expecting right now, because baby girls are so sweet. Kiss her and love her and dress her in pink.

Emily said...

I can relate! But I don't have a great story to follow . . . you see, after almost a decade of infertility, I found myself pregnant, living out of the country, on a tiny island in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. I wanted and NEEDED my mother so badly during that time. I begged with her to be by my side as I birthed my first baby in a third world country in a hospital that didn't have air conditioning (middle of July too!) or nurses that spoke English.

My mom said no.


Because it was inconvenient. My parents are good people, but the only thing all nine of my siblings agree on is that they only offer conditional love or convenient love.

My mother-in-law, with a recently replaced knee and fused back, spent 12 hours on a plane to come to my aid.

Even though your mom is gone, you are very lucky to have had a mom that was willing to jump on a plane within two hours to help you in your time of need.

I'm sorry. I know the feeling. I hope someone (maybe your sister?) jumps in!

Kristina P. said...

My mom is physically here, but not emotionally at all. It sucks!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

where are you? I'll come.

I'm like in tears over here missing your mom.

Luisa Perkins said...

Well, you just made me cry. I wish I could help.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I know it's not the same, but you bet your sweet bippy your mom WILL be there. And I won't think you're crazy if you talk to her out loud as much as you want. My guess is she'll bring a whole army of angels and whip up your household into a frenzy of (perhaps unseen) blessings.

In the meantime, your mourning is completely valid, and I wish there were any kind of worthy substitute to take her place. Or that your wish comes true.

InkMom said...

My mom is still around, but my grandmother (her mom) died soon after I got married. It was hard for all of us -- she and my grandfather lived next door and we practically lived there when we were growing up, and she was my mom's best friend.

Sometimes I think the reason it took my babies so long to get here is because my Grandma was holding onto them up in heaven, getting to know them there since she didn't get to here.

Sometimes, my shopping cart is compelled to drive itself to the linens section of the store, and I know then that my grandmother is shopping with me -- she could never resist a new set of sheets or towels.

The twins' dresser in their room used to be hers. I left the scented drawer paper in it, and the shorts that they never wear because they're on the bottom still smell like she did. When I miss her, I go pull out little boy shorts and probably look like a total pervert as I inhale deeply and remember how she used to scratch my back to get me to sleep when I was little, and how she used to hum all the time, even when she didn't realize it.

Now, my baby rattles off 4 or 5 sneezes at a time and I know she's related to her great grandmother, who could never sneeze just once.

Steph's right. Your mama will be there -- but I wish she could be there the way you need her the most. I hope someone else will rise to the occasion, and bless your life with their extraordinary efforts.

Shellie said...

I'm sorry Melanie. That made me want my mom too. I loved the PDQ I'll have to start using it. it made me laugh.

Amber Lynae said...

I wish you could conjure your mom up to help you too.

If you wanna move to VA I could help you. But I think that would just give you more work.

That Girl said...

Girl, this made me bawl harder than I have for a while. (Which is saying something, seeing as I'm 23 weeks and cry pretty much every day.)

I wish I could lend you my mom. She would totally go, too.

wonder woman said...

-struggling through tears for words-

All I can think is that there are definitely times when girls need their mamas, and I hope we're always there for our girls when they need us.

annie valentine said...

I WILL COME! Seriously, I am killer new baby helper material. And I'm bossy with just the right touch of soothing. You email me with the info and I'll ditch my family for a week pronto to help you out.

Kaylie said...

The two times I want my mommy most: when I have a new baby, and when I'm sick.

DeNae said...

My original comment - the one I just backspaced into oblivion - was a sincere offer to come and help you after you have your baby. Which I will totally do.

But then I thought about what you've written here, and I realized -- that's not really the point, is it?

I'm sorry you've had to do so many things in your life without your mom. And dad, for that matter. If any good can come of it, you will be a wonderful, AVAILABLE mother for your own kids.

Sue said...


Dang. I'm all sniffly over here.

I'm so sorry Mel. That kind of ache just doesn't go away.

How are things with your MIL? Maybe she can fill the gap a little?

Love ya bunches.

charrette said...

Oh, sweetie, I feel every word of this. My mom was there when I delivered my oldest. And even stayed an extra week waiting for him to come and helping me afterward. I know.

And I delivered the last three without her. Except that I didn't. Because she was there. Every. Single. Time. I felt her come. I knew she was there. And I felt her leave when her work was done.

But that doesn't take away from that aching for her physical presence. I know that too. Right at this moment I am seriously considering buying a plane ticket for, uh, March 23?

But I know I could never take her place.

Terresa said...

Moms come and go, even the ones that are still physically with us on this green earth.

((hugs to you))

At some points in my life, including after the birth of my twins, my friends and a sister stepped in where my mom (emotionally) could not.

Some times our friends are our surrogate moms. And that works out, too.

Kimberly said...

If I could I'd share my mum with you. Not that it'd make things all the way better, nothing can. And can I say that I admire the heck out of you for writing this? For facing this? For being strong enough to admit how hard it is and how hard it's going to be?

Denial can be a sweet place to live, but it damages us...hinders us. Good for you for not giving in to it.

LisAway said...

If only. That's so neat that you had such support and help for your first two. I'm sure someone will turn up. But I'm sorry it can't be your mom (physically, anyway). I think it's interesting how you never get used to giving birth. Every time is a first, really and it's just so hard. I'm really hoping that my husband will even be able to be there at the hospital. I'd better not start thinking about it. . .

MommyJ said...

So many wonderful comments here, so I don't know what else to say. Except that my heart ached for you reading this. Can't say I fully understand because having not been there, I can only imagine what it must feel like. I'm close to my Mom. REALLY close. It would be so very difficult to lose that.

Kazzy said...

You caught me on a weak day already, but, man.

I am so sorry for that absence you have to endure. I am sure it is constantly on your mind.

I'm thinking of you today.

Becca said...

Amen to DeNae. Same sentiment here. And you know, it's totally okay for you to want. Need. Miss. But having it be okay doesn't make it easy, does it?

My sister had a baby in Utah when airports were closed in September 2001. My step-mom was standing, ticket in hand, at the locked door of the Dulles airport. Meanwhile, a girl in Mama's ward (in VA) had a baby and Her mom was in UT. They switched. Really. Each mom went and did duty for someone else's daughter/grandperson.

Point? If there's anything I've learned by being a step-person, it's that you can ache all you want, but then you take Family wherever you can find it.


L.T. Elliot said...

I wish your mommy could come and stay with you. I never had any of those experiences (my dudes lived in the nicu for a while) but I always wanted to.
I'd totally come out for you, Melanie. I'm an expert at baby bum wiping and changing.

Heather of the EO said...

You DO, you DO need a mom. I wish that whole ripping this blog post up thing would work. I really do.

Somehow I just KNOW that all your dreams will come true. Maybe not in the form of your mom, but somehow...

Eowyn said...

I'm having several conflicting feelings about this.

My mom was never there at childbirth. She's been there (and is still there) lots of other times, but never at those times.

I wish yours could be. I wish it so badly my eyes are tearing up and I'm hurting for you.

I'd come if I thought I could even be a close substitute, but I don't know you like she did and I never could do that.

But maybe I can do something else. . .

Linda said...

I love you!!!!

Your IL Aunt who by the way, WILL be coming out to see you and meet baby E!


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