I don’t often allow myself to indulge this line of thinking. But last week, on my second trip to Iowa City that week, I found myself thinking about what should have been.
Mid-February. I SHOULD have a 6 week old baby. I should be spending my days with homeschool and enjoying my kids. I should still be on maternity break from Wallypop. My kids should have had a fairly easy transition with a new baby, particularly with mommy and daddy there to help smooth things out. I should be nursing my baby throughout the day and delighting in his phenomenal growth from my awesome milk (just like his siblings). My afternoons should be spent playing on the Wii – an activity that was promised to Wally once the baby came, and that he has not even once complained about not getting.
And you know what I should NOT be doing?
Washing bottles, washing feeding pump parts, measuring medicines to squirt into my 10 week old’s stomach via a plastic tube. Driving to Iowa City for doctors. Leaving my kids at least once a week while I take their brother to the doctor. Watching my three year old become increasingly unable to deal with just life in general as her world has become so uncertain she can’t get her bearings. Listening to my seven year old tell me he understands why things are the way they are, but with such a sadness in his eyes that I turn away because I can’t bear to see it.
Researching, for the 40th time, prognosis statistics on infants with renal failure. Learning about the realities of our future – blood pressure medicines that cause gums to grow over baby teeth, completely nasty stomach bugs that cause diarrhea for months on end, exchanging worries about dialysis for worries about organ rejection. Calling home health, doctors offices, SSI, social workers, central line nurses, gtube nurses, and WIC.
Not even three months ago, I was still pregnant.
Such a different world I live in now.