Sixteen more days until Conor is discharged from the NBU. The clock is ticking.
I feel like most women do in their ninth month of pregnancy. You know what I mean. That point where you’re over the fun, relaxing, don’t-care-how-much-you-eat-or-weigh part and have moved on to the I-don’t-care-if–I-do-have-to–push-a-10lb-watermelon-sized-object-through-my-vagina, just-get-this-thing-out-of-me-already part.
I have grown weary of life on the unit. I’ve wearied of the near constant din, the dizzying array of smelly smells, the constant small talk with the Clinical Assistants. Don’t get me wrong, the overwhelming majority of them are quite nice. It’s just, well, I’m a bit of an introvert, so trying to make nice conversation for two hours a day with someone I don’t know very well (and is probably twenty years my junior) is exhausting for me.
I’m weary of packing up the lunches, the dinners, to drive down to the unit for my picky eater. At least he’s eating more fruits and vegetables, more protein, I tell myself as I pack and unpack the dirty Tupperware again and again and again. Even if I do have to make sure Arikawe doesn’t grab for it, since he hates whatever is on his tray.
I’m sick of the fluorescent lights, the plastic chairs, and the bins of baby toys that try to occupy the kids. Of course, everything on the unit has to be indestructible, but it doesn’t make for a homey atmosphere. It’s not like visiting a nice school or an inviting group home with comfy couches. Even the comfy chairs on the ward are covered with vomit- and urine-proof fabric, out of necessity.
I’m exhausted by the nightly phone calls from Conor, repeating his litany of wishes and desires and obsessions. What do you want to talk about tonight, Conor? I ask him. On Sunday, Conor will download a video from Kelly Clarkson called Already Gone on Conor’s computer? On Sunday, Conor will download a song from Dire Straits called So Far Away on Conor’s computer? On Sunday, Conor will buy the Alicia Keys CD on the Amazon? On Sunday, Conor will listen to Mommy’s iPhone on Treasure Chest time? Ok, bye.
“Sleep tight. I love you, Conor… I love you, Conor… I love you, Conor…”
“I love you Mommy, bye.”
Sixteen more days. I hope I’m ready. I’m almost ready. I think I am, anyway.