Saturday, April 9, 2011

16 second reality check

Whew.  What a week I've had...

Weekends are always a welcome sight, and this one is no exception.  My drama club performed Cinderella, KIDS for the school and then again for their parents.  The show was a huge success, serving as the culmination of months of work and preparations.  Aside from the fact that I spend many nights laying awake for hours worrying about all that's left to do before the show begins, 'performance day' is on my top three when listing my favorite days of the school year.  Not so much because of the insane, non-stop pace of pulling off a production with over 50 students, but because the energy before they take the stage is amazing...topped only by the energy that fills the stage as they take their final bows.  The pride they feel, the smiles they wear, and the hugs make the whole experience 100% worthwhile.

I think (or, rather...I know) Randy dreads the words 'drama club' every time I utter them; and as 'play day' approaches, his disdain grows even more.  It's not that he doesn't support me, it's that I have a tendency to...well...overdo it.  I like things to be perfect.  I have a hard time saying 'no'.  I like to make people happy.  And it drives him bananas.

This is the 5th year that I've directed drama club, and over that time, we've both grown.  I've learned how to be a more calming presence and less of an overstressed basketcase as the performance approaches.  He's learned to accept the fact that I am passionate about drama club, and I'll be a part of it as long as I'm able to.  His level of support has grown throughout the years as my level of stress about the entire thing has declined.  While I'm sure he'd much rather be spending time watching a basketball game, he brings the kids to the show each year, and watches as other people's children act and sing and parade around on stage.  And he's proud of me when it's all said and done.

This year, the timing of the play isn't what we'd call 'ideal'.  With just about two weeks until my due date, I probably shouldn't be spending the extra time on my feet, moving scenery, adjusting lights, checking sound, and organizing costumes and props.  Don't get me wrong...I have amazing help from my co-directors.  I also have a group of stage crew boys and some of the most phenominal parent volunteers who go above and beyond to help make the magic happen.  It's an exhausting group effort...and at 38 weeks pregnant, it's definitely more exhausting.  I think I was snoring on the couch last night about 10 minutes after sitting down to spend time watching House Hunters with Randy.

Everyone was keeping their fingers crossed that while we'd 'break a leg' for the show; I was praying that I wouldn't 'break my water' before the curtain closed.  Thankfully, baby giraffe heard my request and has stayed put.  So when I showed up at work today, I heard quite a few people say, 'you haven't had that baby yet?' and 'we thought for sure once you were able to relax, you'd go into labor'. 

Ha.  Relax.  What's that?  Today brought its own new set of challenges, its own new 'to do' list.  Starting with the 'impromptu observation' that my assistant principal wanted to fit in before I left on maternity leave.  Thankfully I maintained my confidence and my lesson went well.  Ok.  Now I can go into labor, right? 

Wrong.  With the preparations necessary for the performance, I had to put some things on the back burner (cooking, cleaning...).  One of those things was working on my sub plans for my maternity leave.  I have a fantatstic long-term sub for my class, and am confident that she'll close out the year with my students wonderfully.  However, I need to have some things in order for her, so that her transition is smooth and she's able to find the things she needs to make her job easier.  And right now, my plans are 'skeleton' at best.

In addition to the sub plans, I sat down tonight to make my 'to do' list of things that I need to accomplish this weekend (note: none of the things on said list include the word 'clean').  I have convinced myself that as soon as my list is checked off, my mind will be more at ease, I will feel more relaxed, and baby giraffe will feel as though it's 'safe' to make his/her appearance. 

Today at my doctor's visit, baby giraffe gave me a little bit of a fright--or really, a reality check of sorts.  I had just finished telling the nurse how I had a really odd day on Tuesday (nausea, total discomfort, Braxton Hicks, etc.).  I told the nurse how I kind of just chalked it up to the way the baby had shifted, and the organs that were being squished by tiny little feet and legs.  Afterall, Tuesday was the day we filmed our rehearsal so the cast could get a DVD copy of their performance.  I had to be there for that.  Right after telling here that, she put the doppler on my belly to listen to the heartbeat. 

The right side of my belly didn't result in hearing the comforting 'thump thump' that I look forward to each visit.  Move to the left side.  Nothing.  Right side, just a bit lower.  Same thing.  Left side.  Again, no dice.  Back to the right with a little prompting from the nurse ('come on baby giraffe...come out to play').  No luck.  Panic can't even really describe what I was feeling.  Finally, finally...after about 16 seconds of torture that felt like 16 minutes...we heard that reassuring sound at a healthy 144 bpm.  I let out a huge sigh (as did my nurse), and wiped the tear from the corner of my eye that found its way there in the brief time I was experincing a glimpse of hell. 

While I waited for the doctor to come in for my appointment, I lay back on the table with my hands on my belly, in silence.  The kids were at daycare still, Randy was on a rig.  It was just me and baby giraffe.  I felt the tiny flutters and movements that were a HUGE reassurance, and couldn't help but cry a little.  I was overwhelmed with guilt.  With all that I have going on in my world 'outside', I'm taking for granted that the most important thing I need to be focusing on is what is going on in my world 'inside'.

It's easy to feel that this little one is relatively 'easy' to care for now, compared to a few weeks from now.  But that doesn't mean that I should neglect the job I have as a mom to making sure I'm doing my very best to keep myself healthy (physically, mentally, emotionally...) so that we can both have an easy and stress-free delivery. 

I know this.  I'm not naive to these things.  I'm just a mom who is trying to do the best job I can in every capacity.  But I need to remember the heirarchy of importance--especially right now.  That brief 16 second reality check gave me a huge reminder to slow down, to relax, to say no, to do all those things that I know I need to do, and to enjoy the last few days where it's just me and baby giraffe. 

(After I finish my sub plans.)

1 comment :

  1. Erin, so glad everything is OK! Isn't that a part of motherhood...trying to do it all? Most of the time it doesn't feel like we have much of a choice. You did an amazing job with Drama club. Hunter has been blessed because of your committment! Both of my kids can't wait until next year...until then, we are praying for baby giraffe to come safetly into this world! :)