As promised (for once), I continue the story. The lessons in letting go didn't stop with varicose veins. At our 38 week appointment there was cause for concern regarding preeclampsia. I had some tests run that weekend, and the results were not promising. At my next appointment, the midwife was strongly suggesting to try and induce labor. I was upset. This was not how it was supposed to be, a week early. I had things that needed to get done before Mary arrived. Code Monkey had a project due that weekend. Things were just not how I wanted them to go. I reluctantly agreed to take the midwife's advice, and left the appointment with a kit to try and induce labor naturally. I honestly was hoping that it wouldn't work; this was not how I had planned it. God had different plans. After taking different herbal tinctures and homeopathic remedies every 15 minutes for 4 hours, there was some cramping but nothing consistent, so I went to bed. Around 2 a.m. I started timing the cramps, which were 2-3 minutes apart, and called the midwife around 3 a.m. We packed up the van, headed to the birth center, and Mary Ryan was born at 6:02 a.m. on the 14th. All things considered, it was the best birth experience yet, though I don't think labor will ever be anything remotely enjoyable for me.
At any rate, it has taken me three births to finally allow myself the "luxury" of taking time off, and actually resting. Three times my body has been pushed to its limits, and it is only now that I am fully acknowledging that, and allowing myself to recuperate without guilt. But even now it is hard to let go of the control, to admit my inability to do things, or to force myself to say "no" to things I really shouldn't be doing, especially when I can see how hard my absence has been on the boys. Particularly in regards to not holding them. I ought not be picking them up, or anything heavier than the baby, really; and it is so hard because Juanito doesn't understand. Jose is able to comprehend that Mama has a boo-boo in her tummy, and can't do X yet, but Juanito only knows that Mama isn't holding him. I know I have a responsibility to take care of Mary, and take care of myself so I can get back to doing things again, but it breaks my heart to have to tell them no, we can't do that thing because I am too broken at the moment.
*sigh* I know it will get better; I know it won't be like this forever; that it's been just over a week, and I'm halfway to the slowly getting back to normal stage; but sometimes that knowledge doesn't make it any easier.