Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making it work

A couple of months ago, my momma made reference to when she and my daddy would be here for the birth of Little Bird. Inside my head rang, "Um. What? Seriously? Okay, no." and out of my mouth came, "So you guys are planning on coming in January?"

Momma replied, "Of course. Your daddy wouldn't miss it for the world."

I chose not to comment at that time. I wanted to think about it. Which is rare for me, but I'm glad I did.

Since then, I have thought a lot about this. I have read a lot of other people's words about how family created more work for the new mom. Extended family intruded and was in the way more than they were helpful.

Even though there is some truth to that in our situation, I'm rethinking how I feel about it. Putting my own spin on it, if you will.

There are many reasons why having my parents be here would be more work for me and Guy.
My daddy is no easy dude these days. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's have left him needing constant care and an unending supply of compassion.

However, my mother has that. She doubts it some days I imagine, but she would be wrong. She has it, and she will be here with him.

Simple things about being here will be difficult for Daddy. Or at least I think they will. Just being away from his own home will be hard. After 30 years of living in a two story home, he still tells Momma that he is "going up to bed." What some people consider habits are necessary routine for Daddy. Break that routine, and you get crippling anxiety. Some days, you just get the crippling anxiety for no apparent reason.

Stairs will be hard. Sleeping in a different bed will be hard. Finding a bathroom at night in a new house will be hard. Not knowing where to find a few snacks throughout the night will be hard.

Being at the hospital will be hard. Daddy does not do well in hospitals. When Momma was in the hospital last October, my biggest challenge was keeping Daddy corralled and calm. He would want to wander the halls by himself. He would introduce me as his sister and become confused when people would try to lead him back to his wife's room. Because it was his mother that was in the hospital in his mind. The stress of the situation had him completely rattled and confused.

Planning a natural childbirth, the most important thing in the world to me is getting Bird here safely and without interruption. I don't want to worry about where Daddy is and if he is doing alright. I don't want for him to become anxious if labor continues on and I am struggling. I don't want for him to be uncomfortable at the hospital.

And I don't want them to miss a minute with Little Bird.

And that is where the spin comes in.

Their health is not reliable. Everyday that we have with them is really and truly a gift. They have been waiting a long time for this grandchild and have stood by my side through my incredibly rocky ride through adulthood. I want them to be here with me, Guy, Lovely, and Bird.

So what if it is more work? So what if I might be a more tired and stressed with a newborn? So what if I feel like I have to clean the house a little bit better, have the kitchen a little more stocked, and make a few more detailed plans to ensure that Daddy is comfortable and safe? He is so excited about it, and I want for him to be happy.

That is my choice.

When I look back at the birth of Little Bird, I want to know that my family was included. I want my mom and dad to be able to share in the excitement. Well, whatever excitement occurs in the waiting room, but still. I want them to be there to meet Little Bird as soon as possible.

Whatever it takes from me and Guy to have that happen is okay with me.