I'm in a really weird place right now. We had the baby shower yesterday, and it was really great. It was nice to have so many friends show up and I felt really loved.
Today I just feel ... strange. I don't know--maybe it's post-baby-shower letdown. I still need to figure out what to buy, and I still don't want to buy stuff too soon, but I'm getting kind of frantic to have everything in place so that I can stop worrying about it. I've become kind of stuff-obsessed, probably because I still can't envision how this is all going to work out. Not that I think it won't work out, but I just wish I could picture it, you know.
Oh, and my mother in law really upset me yesterday. My sister, my dad, and several of my friends went in together and put together a fund to hire me a night nanny. They’ve gathered enough to pay for seven nights, and they think they might be able to get a few more. This is a really great present. It doesn’t have to be seven nights in a row—I can spread it out over several weeks. But it does make me feel strange, because the night nanny is really most useful if I’m pumping or using formula instead of breastfeeding, and I still don’t know how that’s going to work out, and I have this fantasy that I’m actually going to be able to breastfeed my babies and all will be well. Then again, last night at 4 a.m. when I still wasn’t asleep and was feeling frantic, it occurred to me that having a night nanny come once a week for a couple of months is probably an amazing thing. And once I got over the idea that now I was going to have to buy the expensive items on my registry myself, I realized that this is probably a really fabulous present, because I will buy the stroller and car seats myself, but I would never splurge on a night nanny myself.
So what does my MIL have to do with it? I ended up arriving ½ hour late to the party (which annoyed me, but I couldn’t rush my friends who were driving with us, because they had traveled down from B’more to come to the shower). Apparently, before I got there—but while a lot of my friends were there—my sister asked my MIL whether she wanted to contribute to the night-nanny gift. And not only did she refuse, she gave my sister a dressing down in front of everyone, lecturing about how she would NEVER contribute to something like that because SHE had twins and SHE didn’t have any nighttime help and so on. (I didn’t get the exact quote.) So she really upset my sister, which just pisses me off. Because my sister has been WAY more supportive than anyone else in my family about all this.
And speaking of my sister, she took me out to dinner last week and told me that she might be splitting up with her husband. She’s already moved out into the guest bedroom, and I think it’s just a matter of months before they separate. The reasons are hard to explain (and when I tried to explain them to J he got really frustrated with me). The short version sounds like a cliché—she’s spent her whole life trying to make other people happy, and as part of that has pretended that she’s fine and not “damaged” (her word, not mine, because I think we learn and grow from our scars) by our rocky childhood (hers much worse than mine), and basically has been faking a happy family/happy marriage for years. But the thing is, it’s hard to explain why the marriage isn’t working. Her husband is a great guy, and she loves him. So there’s no villain here. She just wants out, and it sounds to me like it’s really going to happen. And it even sounds to me like this might be really good for her. I’m so glad that, after all these years, she’s taking a stand for herself and being a bit selfish.
But—to be a bit selfish myself—this really sucks. She and her husband and my nephew have been a HUGE source of stability for me. I mean, for god’s sake, J and I have been planning on executing a will naming them as the guardians of our kids if something happens to us. We love them as a couple, and I don’t know what happens to our tiny little family unit we’ve created here in DC if they split up. The truth is, this family unit right now consists of me, my husband, and my sister and her family. After all my broken/fucked up family problems, I've settled on creating a new family for our children. So it's hard to see that fantasy dissolve.
And it also just makes me sad. Because I want her to be happy, but I’m not sure this will make her happy, and I know it’s going to devastate her husband and hurt her child and I love them, too. And there’s NO ONE I can talk to about this. It’s not like I can talk to J’s mom about it, and I don’t think most of my friends would understand. (Though at least now that the shower’s over I can talk to them about it. I didn’t want anyone to feel awkward at the shower.) The truth is, the person I talk to about stuff like this is my sister, and the last thing I want to do is lay a guilt trip on her when she’s finally finding herself.
Okay, now I’m sitting in my chair bawling. I think I hadn’t realized how upset I was about this before now. It’s just that everything seems to be going topsy turvy right when I need stability more than anything.
And it doesn't help that my body's frequent temper tantrums have me completely disoriented. I ended up staying up too late last night, then was awake most of the night with back pain and burning, screaming, excrutiating heartburn that no drug seemed able to touch. I'm having trouble even finding foods I can eat. Had macaroni with butter and parmesean for lunch today--how sad is that. So then I ended up sleeping all afternoon today, and now it's dark outside and I'm just disoriented and fussy.
I’m worried that I’m going to end up freaking out when I’m stuck at home with the babies. I think I need my job more for structure than for stimulation. When I'm home for several days in a row, especially alone, I get into this funk where I don't know what I should be doing or feeling.
So I’m kind of a mess today.
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Wanted to note that I realized there IS someone I can talk to. Called my BFF in Boston who I sometimes forget I can hit with this stuff, even though her life is very different from mine. It was really nice, and I'm feeling a bit better.