~ And by Relaxin I Don't Mean Chillin'
This week was a very sad and stressful one. We put my mother-in-law in a nursing home. The previous arrangement was a little two bedroom rental house with three private caregivers that rotated 12 hour shifts, 24 hours a day. Over the past year and three months since we moved her here to live near us, we tried more senior care agencies and personal caregivers than I care to count. But the last three women we hired were at each other's throats constantly and my mother-in-law's condition had deteriorated to the point where it was no longer practical to keep that arrangement going.
I sat cross-legged on the floor of her new room in the nursing home folding all her clothes and taking inventory of her personal belongings as I arranged them in her drawers. I got to thinking about the lives in that room. One, not even begun, has never felt the sun, seen another person, or taken a single breath of air and we're so excited to meet him or her. The other, almost over, a liftetime of memories of family and friends, vacations and holidays all nearly forgotten. I don't know how much longer she'll be here but I want her to see her grandbaby and I want to teach this baby to respect people of all ages, especially when they've lived a good life and did the best they could, regardless of what condition they're in when that life is over. Then there's me, somewhere in the middle. Busy with a husband, a home, work, friends and a new baby on the way. Thinking of which reminded me that I needed to run some more errands before my mother-in-law would be completely settled in for the first night. That's when I stood up.
Picture one of those skeletons you make in the first or second grade where you cut all the bones out of sheets of paper: skull, ribcage, pelvis, femurs, etc. and attached them with metal brads to make a moveable body. Well, that's exactly what my hips felt like. They felt so wide and wobbly I thought my legs would fall off with every step. My knees also felt like they might bend backwards if I didn't step just right. I had read about the hormone relaxin and while it was a very scary sensation, I could see how very helpful this would be when trying to squeeze a relatively large head out of a very small space. Since then I've just been a little more careful about how I sit at work and I try not to over-do the walking or standing for long periods of time. It's also been fun reminding my friends who already have kids about this weird feeling that they had forgotten about but knew exactly what I was talking about.
This week I also registered for my baby shower! I'm so excited! It's always a little strange to ask for gifts but I tried to be careful about choosing practical things that we're really going to use and not knowing whether it's a boy or girl helped me not to go crazy over little outfits or any specific themes. The shower isn't until October 3rd and I can't believe by then I'll only have two months to go!