Turns out, this isn't just a metaphor. Nine days post-partum: My birth went well, no damage to my plumbing, I've been up and moving, well...since giving birth. I delivered at a free standing birth center and was sent home just 6 hours after my boy's arrival - and I was happy to be back in my own bed.
My mother came into town 2 days later. Now, my mother means well, but at 69 years old, her body isn't what it used to be. In fact, she's a wreck. Plagued by manic-depression, she gave up living years ago. Long story short, she can't stand for more 10 minutes, she shakes to much to write, and gets lost going to her mailbox. Frankly, she needs to live in an assisted-living facility, but refuses. What makes it tragic is that she'd rather have a hundred ailments listed on her gravestone than try to take care of herself. This week, I took care of two "infants."
I made her dinner while trying to teach my 2 day old to breastfeed. I helped her buckle her seatbelt after I hooked in my 3 day old into his carseat in order to pick up my 4 1/2 year old from preschool. I unsuccessfully tried to get her to shower while re-diapering my 5 day old.
I'm thankful my birth went well enough that I could keep my family going AND care for my mother. But I'm exhausted. I'm tired and sore and angry that I couldn't take it easy during my son's first week of life. I'm upset that she invited herself into my home for 8 days knowing full well that she couldn't help walk our dog, drive my son to school, help with meals or even clear her own dishes. I'm furious that she came with a runny nose and loud cough - and now my 4 1/2 year old and I have it.
I want to run. I want to strap on my running shoes and refuel with each step. I want to erase my bitterness by sweating it out but I can't. I should have been healing, but I've been up and moving non-stop. After driving my mom to the airport, I'm just now realizing how sore I am. I know I have to walk before I run, but I didn't think walking would be such a challenge. I know it's only been 9 days since a major event - giving birth - but a 20 minute walk shouldn't have been so hard. Maybe I'm just aching because I've lost my mother.