I find myself lingering longer and longer in the nursery at bedtime. Our dinner ate, bottles drank, bath taken, It’s already after seven. I could put Jack and Fiona’s sleep sacks on. They would give me no resistance. Instead, I lay on the futon for just a few more cuddles, so I can watch as they experiment, babble, and learn. They put hats, socks and PJ’s on their heads, look at me and smile. They go from movement, trying to topple over the toy chest, to quiet stillness as they look at baby books, their back curved, heavy head hanging down. I start to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “All the Pretty Horses” and they come over and lay next to me. I know they remember these songs, the night they were born I had Jack on my chest, Alan had Fiona on his chest. We did skin to skin with the babies for three whole days, barely separating, only when we were so tired that we asked the nurse if we could take a nap. I sang “All the pretty horses” to Jack all night long. I learned the song before he was born. My mom sang that song to me when I was a little girl.
I just put Jack and Fiona down for their morning nap, its 8:36 on Saturday morning. It seems like they will fall asleep, but I never can tell. We’re going to try the gym and Play center again today. I’m sore and need the stretch. Yesterday I went to the gym early so I could have the rest of the day to paint. I take a class called “More Hard Core.” I’m nervous and I rarely feel this way before a gym class. There is a sub today, I’ve never taken the class before so it doesn’t make a difference to me. We grab a BOSU ball, which I’ve never used. A fit guy with an Australian accent starts telling us, “This is going to be a work out like you’ve never had before, you’re going to work out hard but using correct form.” He makes some jokes regarding his accent, he puts on an American accent, trying to get laughs. He’s all revved up, he makes a list of our workout on the mirror. The music gets turned on, we start warming up, Jumping Jacks (Which I hate because they make me pee) running in place, squats using the BOSU ball, we move into the workout, it’s H.I.I.T., high intensity interval training. Not quite intense as Cross Fit, but close. I am DYING, but it feels good. It’s been years since I worked out like that. It was before the first attempt at IVF. Once I got into the whole “Baby Thing” my workouts became mostly walking and hiking. “No strenuous activity” the doctor told me. I questioned what exactly that meant every time I had a transfer, especially the time it worked. No twisting. I just wanted to have a healthy pregnancy and do yoga and glow like the women I had seen who were pregnant and looked like goddesses.
I didn’t make it to my studio yesterday, I didn’t make it out of my bedroom until it was time for Ramona to leave. My legs were weak and already feeling sore. I felt guilty, like I should use my time in the studio or doing chores. I stopped that train of thought, took a hot Epsom salt bath with lavender, and rented a really strange movie, “Martha Marcy May Marlene” on iTunes. It was the first time I ever watched a movie on my computer in bed. It was the right choice. I was fully relaxed and had no regrets for taking a lazy afternoon. I think the most important thing I’ve learned lately in to “SHUT HER DOWN” (“her” is me) I can feel myself unravelling, consumed with doing, getting a twitching eyelid, dehydration, back pain, a fluttering heart, I can see this now. This is when all the mindfulness training and therapy really come into play. I have the tools to STOP. I have the tools to change and to let go of that anxiety and the guilt. To be present in this life, my only life which is really short and goes by really fast.