One of my favorite professors had a lengthy family motto, but all I remember is the last phrase: Be cheerful, even if it kills you. I took that to heart, because I think its a good way to go through life. It doesn't do you or anyone else any good to be morose or irritable. I am also convinced that being cheerful opens you up to inspiration.
But I admit, tonight it feels a little like it might kill me to be cheerful. Yesterday I had to be taken to the hospital for an IV because I was so dehydrated it started some heavy-duty contractions. I have three massive bruises from three failed attempts at getting in a needle, because when you don't have enough water your veins ain't that big. The root of the problem is that I'm in some pain most of the time, which makes me nauseous and dizzy, which makes it hard to eat or drink, which leads to dehydration, which cause contractions, which are dangerous with placenta previa. My doctor has me on an anti-nausea medication, which is helping. But it comes with its very own lovely side affects.
But what is really getting me down is that tomorrow my sewing space is being dismantled. I own a corner of Hazel's room with my sewing table, machine, and all the haberdashery involved with sewing. Pictures and patterns I love, teacups, tiny porcelain pitchers. Problem is Hazel is big enough to climb out of her crib, and climb into all the needles, pins and scissors. Its just not safe anymore to have my sewing supplies in her reach, and there is no configuration that can accommodate my sewing table anywhere else in our small house. So out it goes, and I have to condense everything into an itty-bitty closet. I am going to have to eliminate some fabric.
Its not so much the condensing that I mind, its the surrendering of my one corner. A Room of One's Own. I knew I would have to at some point, because I would never make Hazel sleep with the twins. She will have to share with New Baby, and I was going to have to surrender my corner to that cause anyway.
So I may not be able to be cheerful, but I can tell you some of the good things that have come from all this. First, the difficulties of this pregnancy have given the girls a chance to understand compassion. It has helped them recognize suffering in others, and to put their own needs aside, even if it is only for three minutes. This is big for four-year-olds. Every time Jo cuddles next to me and says something sweet like, "Poor mama. You are beautiful. I love you." Or when Millie will tell the others, "Give mama a break - she feels bad." I can see it in their eyes. I can see their hearts expanding to new frontiers of compassionate love. This trial has given them a chance to do that.
It has also strengthened my resolve to help others in their times of need. Needing help is humbling. Being physically unable to do everything that falls under my responsibility is hard, and its even harder to ask someone else to do it. There is so much work involved with caring for three very young children. But it has been teaching me flexibility and greater humility. And I'm pretty sure there isn't anything nice enough I could do for my mom to repay her for all the help she has given me.
Its less than a month now to the scheduled c-section, which should make me feel better, but I'm afraid of what could happen. I'm worried to have another baby in the NICU, and all the potential complications. I'm worried about the lengthy recovery.
But I AM trying to be cheerful, and enjoying my sugar-free ice cream :).