So, a few weeks ago, I told a story about my feelings when I am sick and still need to be mom. That is the general experience. What happened a few days prior to that post being published was actually quite dramatic, I do not want to ever go through it again. I say dramatic because I have a penchant to downplay serious situations. Ask anyone. I hate serious conversations, I tend to smile like a goof through them and find jokes where I can- call me socially awkward, I will take it. I just like smiles. And happiness. Anyway.
One Wednesday morning, I woke up feeling really weird. I could feel my tonsils were swelling up, I could feel some pain, my joints were uncharacteristically painful, I had to sit on the bed to compose myself before I went to work. I really thought I would get through the day because I barely ever get sick, I could obviously take this in my stride. So. I go to work, end up getting myself kicked out by my boss and get my feverish behind home. That is a whole other hilarious episode in general. But, I made it home- in one piece. I asked my mom to get me some painkillers and proceeded to get myself comfortable on the couch with my laptop, Lucifer ( the show) playing in the background. Have I ever told you about my love for Netflix? Ok, ok, I digress- as usual.
So. Lucifer did not help. Within 40 minutes of my laying on the couch, I was properly out for the count. Sweat. Fever. Body aches- yes, even my booty! Pounding headache. Full on, man down. Some weird nonsense that had me completely incapacitated. What I am about to take you through is not my physical well-being during the next few hours, it is my mental state, as mommy to Mambo.
Your dad went to pick you up at school at 5:30pm. He had brought some painkillers for me and left them before he went to pick you up, I could not get up to drink them, nor could I drink the water, that is frustrating in itself, but what is at the very least 100 times worse is hearing you walk through the door, expecting that we are going to play like we usually do, and knowing I cannot deliver. I lay on the couch and heard you but could not answer.
Because everyone was home, I had to move to my room, to sleep in silence. I cried my tears in silence because of my inability to run and pick you up and twirl you around and kiss you like we usually do. I also cried my tears in silence because it hurt to even sniffle. My whole body was in pain, and because of it, so was my mind. Your grandmother took you outside to play on the swing so that you would not think about me too much, which got me thinking. I have always been ok, for you. When dad died, I was ok for you, on vacation I wake up early for you, when we go anywhere, it is always you and me, so that I never have to be away from you. I cried a few more tears because I was unable to hold you at that moment, physically unable to hold you, my heart was shattered. I know you will not remember, and I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal now, but girl, I was completely out of it. I wanted to be there for you more than ever- even more than the one time you went for your immunizations with your dad and I wasn’t there to give you milk to ease the pain.
You found your way to our room eventually, and when your dad came to find you he tried to explain that mommy was unwell, you cried and kept calling for mommy. At that moment, I felt like a failure. I was sick. And I couldn’t do anything about it. I also couldn’t hold you, and couldn’t do anything about that either. I was not in control of anything. Nothing. And that meant I could not be ok for you. I am not sure if that made me more sick, or if it was what I needed for the rest of the night, but the result was the same.
Daddy came to take my temperature and my my blood pressure- he took them three times each. I had just spoken to aunty Sindi, who had asked me to see a doctor. Your dad did not need any convincing. My temperature was at 40 degrees and my blood pressure was dropping lower and lower with every reading. We snuck out of the house while granny was bathing you (something I really hate to do) and off to the ER we went. We waited what felt like an eternity. Two and a half hours, to be precise. There is another story here about hospitals in general, multiple gun shot wound victims and babies vomiting… everything was sobering. The only thing I knew for sure is that I was not sleeping in this hospital.
Aunty Kiki came to sit with us and aunty Kuzi came by to say ‘Hi’ because she was there visiting. All I could think was that I was going home. I was not going to allow the doctors to tell me that I would spend the night away from you. I prayed. I knew I needed to go home, but the minutes were passing, and I was still in the hospital. I knew you were with your grandma, and you were well taken care of, I was afraid that I would not be home before you slept. Would you know that I was not intentionally being away from you? Would you know that I was only thinking of coming home? I was literally depressed, but you will know that I am not one to wallow, I literally used those depressing thoughts to decide that if I needed to go home, then I needed to be well. The sooner, the better.
I had never spent a night away from you, and this was not how that would happen. I tried to sleep, but all I could think was you were home, waiting for me. I tried to rest, but was unable, thanks to thoughts of you. I knew you were not sleeping.
While the nurse was putting my drip up, I told her that when the blood test results came back, the doctor would send me home. She smiled at me, something I am sure she does a lot. She later confessed that my God is strong and she wants my faith, because she didn’t think I would be going home when she was drawing blood, and yet here she was, reporting for duty to take the tubes out and send me home; the doctor right behind her with strict instructions that I stay in bed for the next four days- complete with a doctors note, stamped and dated. To be honest, I want more of that faith I had that day: I did not know much, what I did know was I had spoken to God and told Him that I was going home. I was going home to be with my baby.
Daddy and I got home at midnight, and I attempted to eat my food with you breastfeeding from one breast, hand firmly on the other, because that’s what you do these days. I was tired. Exhausted. I had cried A LOT of tears through the evening which did not miraculously heal my headache, of course.
I was struggling to feed you, to hold you, so you had to lie next to me instead. But I was home, with you. Where I was meant to be.
Home is where you are. I am well when I am home.
I love you,