After such a busy weekend of taking care of family and being constantly on the go, I am EXHAUSTED. That dull, I-can’t-think, can’t-process, don’t-trust-me-with-sharp-objects-let-alone-young-lives bone weary. This used to be how I always was ALL the time when the kids were younger. Fatigue is a weird thing. When someone speaks to me, I can stare at the mouth, see it move, but the words coming out are foreign.
We convoyed home yesterday, moving Pierce home after graduation, and so I was in the mindset of keeping track of the car behind and not getting too far ahead. So last night, as we drove to the final party of the graduation celebration, Jason and I were in the front seat of the Cadillac, with Charlie and Mariah in the backseat. We came to a traffic light that turned yellow and Jason (he was driving, fortunately!) continued through. My immediate reaction was, “Oh no! Will Charlie and Mariah be able to keep up???”
When my quadruplets were first home from the hospital, I was up a LOT at night. I noticed that my elbows were getting incredibly sore. It hurt to touch them. It'd have hurt to look at them, if I could have. I finally realized why, when I got out of bed AGAIN. i was using my elbows to push out of bed. I didn’t stay in bed more than fifteen minutes at a time that night, and so many push-ups, after so many nights, had bruised my elbows.
The sleep interruptions were constant and guaranteed. On the rare occasions when I got to go to bed for a bit, I’d just be entering (it took about two seconds) that lovely REM stage of sleep—where I could dream I had no obligations, I could fly anytime I had the whim (like Superman, not in an airplane), or that I was on a perpetual vacation on a ship, fantasy island, or some other amazing adventure one forgets to appreciate when one is not yet a parent and one really does those things. It was then, when I was just falling asleep, that an alarm loud enough to wake and set barking the Hounds of Hell would shriek into my slumber and rip me from soaring carefreely through the skies still looking good in spandex. It was a heart monitor in the babies’ room! I’d dash in to them, stumble to the offending deafening monitor, and hit the silence button. Everyone would be awake by then and I’d have to start over getting everyone back to sleep. After too many false alarms, when I decided the monitor was stupid and couldn’t tell the difference between an actual respiration and a baby’s wiggle to save its life, I turned the insufferable thing off. (With that little amount of sleep, you don’t always think very rationally.)
When morning finally arrived, I’d bolt upright in a panic, certain I’d doomed one of my children by my how-in-the-world-could-I-have-done-such-a-thing impulsive action to JUST. GET. SOME. SLEEP! I’d rush into their room, enduring a moment of sheer terror until I could confirm they were all okay. They were fine. I can’t say the same for me.
It takes about 25 years to recover from raising quadruplets. I’m not sure if the 25 years starts at birth, or when they move out, or when I finish parenting (some tell me that never stops). If it’s 25 years from birth, I’m almost there and I hope I can start dreaming of being Superman again. (Though the spandex will never happen again.) If it’s after they move out, considering that three have now moved back home, I guess I’ll still be recovering when they put me in The Home. I’m thinking, whatever happens, I’ve still got a few days of fatigue ahead. Today might be a good day for a nap. I’ll be sure to turn off the phone and silence all alarms.
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