I'm not a fan of staying up late by myself.
For one thing, I always freak myself out.
(Have you ever sat by a window late at night imagining what you'd do if you looked out and there was a FACE, a creepy-guy face, staring at you?! I have. Too many times.)
I was up late Thursday night thinking about things that come in three's:
Three blind mice
Three's Company (which my parents wouldn't let me watch as a kid. Cohabitation.)
Three french hens
Three little pigs
Three billy goats Gruff
Three strikes, you're out
Why this preoccupation with three's?
Well, it started by asking myself WHY I had to get mastitis for the THIRD time?
Yes, you read that right. Third time.
It was so late that thinking of "three's" was about all I could handle at that point. AND, there's not much else you can do but THINK, when you have a heating pad in one hand and a breast pump in the other.
This time has been the most difficult. The pain and recovery are both extremely slow-going. For the life of me, I can't figure out where this bacteria is coming from, how it's getting in Sam's mouth? I'm around him all day long, he doesn't suck on a pacifier, the kids don't stick their fingers in his mouth, I'm a clean, tidy person with a clean, tidy house. So where? How? I just don't know.
Add to the mastitis: battling a yeast infection, a nasty cold sore that spread towards my cheek, and fever blisters in my mouth from the physical strain of the first day. I felt like my body was falling apart. I was unsightly. I joked with my friends that I had leprosy. Grotesquely funny:).
("My favorite place in the world." He drew OUR home. Good for my heart.)
Lincoln had a hard time, too. The worst of my symptoms came on the evening of the first day. I was balled up on the couch, crying, moaning, burning with fever, and Lincoln started to cry. I vaguely remember him walking over to Ben, burying his head in his chest, mumbling, "I'm scared. Mommy's going to die." I called for Lincoln. (It's amazing what you can muster for children you love.) He came over, the saddest little face ever, and I reached for him. He crumbled into me. I snuggled him up and whispered all my love to him. I told him what was happening to me and why. I told him not to worry, that I'd be back to my mommy-self tommorow. He stayed close until it was time for bed. My little Tender Heart. He cried at the hospital when I had Sam, too. His HEART is as big as his ANTICS.
Nothing has been more emotionaly taxing on me than the feeling that I didn't have the strength to take care of my kids. Getting them on their way to school with full tummies and smiles. Finding the strength to feed Sam. Meeting those basic needs. They may seem like physical needs, but to me they were emotional. This may sound extreme, but it was like my soul was at war with my body. Mama Bear syndrome against myself.
As in all things in life, there's ALWAYS something to learn. My empathy for people who are in pain has grown exponentially. I hope to never take my good health for granted again. A GOOD night's sleep is a precious commodity. Long, hot showers are WONDERFUL. Once again, the value of good parents is priceless (especially when you have a husband that works an hour away and leaves before you wake up in the morning). And, our bodies are truly amazing.