I’m giving a presentation tonight to a group of couples who are expecting twins. I want to tell them there are a few things they won’t be able to do much of once their babies are born, things that are sort of important, things like eating and sleeping and bathing.
I’ve been feeling a bit dizzy and lightheaded the past few days. Being me, I of course immediately came to the only logical conclusion: I have a brain tumor.
When I told my mother-in-law, she gently suggested that maybe I wasn’t drinking enough water. Might I be a little undernourished? Perhaps a little anemic?
I thought about this. I am still feeding three people after all, and I haven’t been nearly as diligent about eating well postpartum as I was during my pregnancy. I haven’t been drinking even close to the gallon of water a day that I’m supposed to. I haven’t had more than a couple ounces of beef in the whole last week. And on Saturday when my symptoms started, I had biscuits with Nutella for lunch. Hm. Maybe she’s on to something.
But I should still go in for a brain scan, just in case.
In the past few days, the boys have begun sleeping five hours at a stretch. This is more uninterrupted sleep than I’ve gotten since June when I couldn’t sleep for the itching.
So I’m not sure why I’m so tired all of a sudden. Shouldn’t I feel less tired since I’m getting more sleep?
Maybe it’s the weather. And the shortening days.
Or maybe, as my mother-in-law suggested, five months of poor sleep are bound to catch up with you sooner or later.
Or it might be that I really do have a brain tumor.
The thing about taking showers is, your kids won’t remind you to, whereas every couple of hours they tell you that they’re hungry and you have to make them food, so you may as well eat a handful of crackers with cheese or a peanut butter sandwich yourself. This keeps you from completely starving.
But those same kids aren’t going to tell you to shower. They’d rather you didn’t, since it often cuts in on their time with you, which is already pretty limited because of the babies. So sometimes, days will pass, and you will not get a chance to shower or you will take a nap instead of a shower or you will eat instead of showering.
A few weeks ago, I woke in the middle of the night. After registering the sound of a wailing infant, my next sensory awareness was of being cold. And clammy. This is one of the things I hate most about postpartum hormones: they make you sweat at night. In addition to the cold clamminess, I felt a puddle of sweat between my breasts, sitting like a little lake there on my breastbone. Totally gross.
But the worst of it was the smell. I reeked. When had I showered last? I couldn’t remember. (See? The brain tumor is affecting my memory.)
I got up and started feeding the wailing baby. Doug rolled out of bed and got the other baby to feed him. After a few moments he said, “Would you mind taking a shower when you’re done?”
Clearly this was not a case of hormones sharpening my sense of smell.
So at three in the morning, when I should have been sleeping – everyone else in the house was asleep – I was awake, in the shower.
Ah the joy of being the mother of twins.