When I was pregnant with Louisa I took a childbirth class. Which was basically an L&D nurse doing a PowerPoint presentation during which she explained that epidurals were the most wonderful thing ever and people who gave birth without them were abnormal before she asked if anyone was planning on foregoing the epidural (I proudly raised my hand and she tried really hard to refrain from scoffing) and then when I had finished delivering Simon (my SECOND BABY WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL, NURSE JERKFACE) she did rounds with the nursing students and I wanted to karate kick her in the face but that is so way off topic, what I was writing about? Where am I? What happened? Oh right. Childbirth class. PowerPoint. One of the slides was this quote: “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I have since seen this quote shared, liked, thumbs upped, pinned etc and while I understand the sentiment behind it I have to disagree. Before you get all hot about how I hate my babies, I just mean that it doesn’t… quite cover it for me. Like, my heart – whoopee. Outside my body – whoopee. Who cares? A heart is just a body part. Sure it’s an essential body part but still, it can be repaired and/or replaced. Once I had Louisa I suddenly felt like part of my soul was running around outside of me, you know? Like, if something happened to her part of me would cease to exist. Sure, I’d still be alive but I wouldn’t be whole. And suddenly I’m wondering if this is all some kind of Harry Potter-induced ridiculousness? It sounded good in my head. But I am still slightly sleep-deprived so maybe I should refrain from blogging until Simon sleeps through the night. Anyhoo – I’m not saying my kids are Horcruxes or anything like that. The point is, now I have two children and thus the soul – it is even more vulnerable. And this is why I hate being away from my kids. And that was the point of all of this Voldemorty nonsense – I hate being away from my kids. I worry. I wonder what is happening with them. I freak out, basically. My two-month hospital stay? A fucking nightmare of worry, day in and day out, about what was going on with Louisa. I was on the phone with my husband once when he was outside with her and she fell down and cried and I totally lost my mind and scream-cried into a towel in the bathroom lest one of the nurses come in and try to be all comforting. It was a dark time.
On Monday I had to take Simon to the pediatrician for his two-month well visit. As I learned the hard way last month, taking two kids to the pediatrician when only one of them has an appointment is sort of a hassle (by which I mean a red, hot pain in the ass – for reals, Louisa screamed herself silly and she didn’t even have to get out of the stroller) and I knew it would be an even bigger pain in the ass this time because Simon was getting his first vaccinations (which, by the way, the person who gave them this time? Sucked. He has huge, hard welts on his tiny little thighs. That never happened to Louisa, but the nurse (or is she a medical assistant? CNA? janitor?) who used to work there doesn’t anymore and so Simon got Stabby McWelterstein for a nurse (medical assistant? court jester?)). So to avoid the dueling screamers I asked my mother-in-law to come and hang out with Louisa while I took Simon all by himself.
She wanted to take Louisa to the outlet mall down the street because they have a Carter’s outlet and she wanted to buy her shoes. I said yes. Then automatically started envisioning scenarios in which either A) My daughter runs from my mother-in-law (she runs from me and my husband all the time so it is not entirely out of the realm of possibility) and gets lost in a sea of people and LO! SHE IS MISSING! or B) She falls down/gets hit by a car in the parking lot/hits her head on something/etc/etc/INJURYANDDEATH. I know. I’m ridiculous. This is why I should be on medication for anxiety. But still. She also wanted to take Louisa swimming. SWIMMING. And… I said no. Which, Jason agreed with me later so I didn’t feel too bad and/or over-protectively crazy. I just don’t really want my daughter in the water when I’m not around. Especially since this thing has been making the rounds on Facebook for weeks now. Jason totally thinks it’s a scam but it’s things like this that send me into a fresh panic and make me want to keep my children locked up in the house for the rest of their lives. Logic – it’s what’s for dinner. (side note: it’s totally real as there are entries on both wikipedia AND WebMD so THERE, JASON!
My pediatrician has two offices. One of them, the one I took Simon to, is in the medical building next to the hospital I was in for two months. It’s in the same parking lot. My chest got all constricty when I passed it. Is it possible to have PTSD from such an experience? Or some lesser, not-as-hardcore psychological reaction that doesn’t sound like an insult to people who have fought in wars and have actual PTSD (sorry, Davey!)? Because really. I don’t think I’m over that whole experience yet.
So essentially, Monday was an exercise in semi-terror for me. I watched one child get stabbed while I worried that the other one was getting kidnapped and/or fatally injured and then I had a mild panic attack driving by a hospital. I sound like a nut. Which… if the shoe fits…