I generally wait a day before sharing some of our darker highlights to avoid any risk of melodrama.
This isn’t so much one coherent narrative as it as a Nutri-Bullet blend of ups, downs, stress. What feels like four weeks of life squashed and puréed into about six days.
At about 6 am on Wednesday morning, I achieved a dubious parental milestone: I crossed the line from frazzled to broke.
Jayce was crying and inconsolable, the night was long, and when one twin finally stopped the other started. There is no way to let you feel what that is like for five hours at a time, so I will just say it is a special kind of stress that grinds you down into nothing until you don’t recognize yourself anymore. At least, that’s what happened to me when I realized I was a moment away from throwing him across the room to make him stop crying.
For everyone’s safety, I had to pass him off to Josiah. I felt terrible for interrupting his turn to sleep, but it had to be done. Josiah fed him while I had a hard cry on the bed. It could have won an award.
Everybody tells you it’s normal reach your wits end with an infant. Maybe you’ve felt this too. I felt raw, unhinged. Like my fingers and toes were vibrating, or like I would break into pieces if someone turned on a bright light or made a loud noise. You are filled with 100% frustration, 100% anger, 100% guilt at the same time.
Two days of naps and some nighttime sleep helped me feel human. But I have to tell you: my morale is trending downward.
On Thursday night, my chest felt like I had a clenched fist where my heart should be. Josiah and I both started anti-anxiety meds to keep us from living in critical mode.
I try not to, but sometimes I cry and have a hard time stopping. I feel a little crazy, like I’m making it all up….parents of singletons live in the critical zone less frequently by the time their kid is 2 1/2 months. Maybe it’s all in my head? But then anyone who lives with us for a weekend assures me, no, this is in fact that hard.
We have bright spots. My best friend drove an hour and a half when no one local was free to help Mom T give us a nap Wednesday afternoon. We got four consecutive hours of sleep last night. My mom has lived with us for a week. My parents offered to swap lives/houses on the weekends so we can breathe a little.
Friday morning had its own insanity. Our leisurely trip north was rapidly accelerated when our smallest cat showed signs of being distressed.
Inside our three hour cycle of bottle-sleep-bottle, we: fed the kids; scarfed breakfast; packed the cat; packed the adults; packed the kids for their first weekend away; drove two hours; made it to the condo with MINUTES to spare until hangry twins let us know exactly what they think of an hour feeding delay; and bundled the cat to the vet.
Editorial revision: Literally while writing this, I was informed my beloved small cat is 1) dehydrated, 2) missing most of her teeth, which is news to me, and 3) in liver failure.
Now Josiah and I are on the way to say goodbye to her while my dad handles the twins, who are both crying, naturally. Jayce’s diaper looked a little like diarrhea as we left so we will have to figure that out when we get back.
I’m so tired. I need chocolate. I want to hug my cat. She’s gone and I didn’t even know she was sick.