After dinner, a migraine suddenly appeared. This has been happening quite often. Usually more so on rainy days. I did as much as I could to clean up but then started to feel like I was going to vomit, so I went into my bedroom to lie down.
As long as I don't move a muscle, keep my eyes closed, and breath very, very slowly, I should be able to get through this without actually needing to run to the toilet.
Just then, I heard Little Miss Sunshine. "Mama! Mama! Mama? Where are you?"
Please, Mike, please. Hear her calling for me and get her before she comes in here.
Nope. I see her poke her little head in the door. After seeing she found me, a smile lights up her face. "Mama!" And she runs over to me. I smiled back, even though smiling seemed a very big task at the moment. "Hi, (Little Miss Sunshine). Mommy doesn't feel well so let's be very quiet." I realize that talking makes it very hard to keep down the vomit so I add 'do not talk' to my mental list of what to do to get through this. Sunshine climbed onto the bed and tried to get comfortable. She decided in order to do this, she needed to climb on top of me and jump up and down. I moved her off and laid her down next to me. She got right back up and laid on top of me with her head on my face. I hear Mr. Funny in the hallway so I call for him.
Remembering my rule of not speaking, I tried to use sign language. I signaled "Dad" to him. He looked puzzled and asked, "What are you doing?" Oh, yeah. Only Little Miss Chatterbox has memorized most of the signs we've learned. I decide one word would be okay. "Dad".
"Are you looking for Dad?"
I nod my head.
"Oh, he's sleeping on the couch." My sweet boy noticed his little sister jumping all over me and asked, "Are you feeling sick?" I nod my head again. "Is (Little Miss Sunshine) keeping you awake?" I nod again. He runs out of the room.
Is he getting Mike?
Nope. He runs back in with a bottle of milk for Sunshine. He gives it to her and she climbs off me to lie on the bed and drink her milk peacefully. I smile at him because I know how much he loves to see me smile. A mother's smile can move mountains when it comes to her children. I knew a smile was all he needed and he would know how much I appreciated his gesture. He smiled his big beautiful smile back at me. "Can I lay with you too? I'll be really quiet." How could I say no after he saved me from the jumping toddler? I nod. In Mr. Funny fashion, he climbs onto the edge of the mattress and jumps over me and Sunshine, shaking the whole bed.
I should have locked the door.
Just as things start to get quiet again, in walks Mr. Tickle. He sees the three of us in my bed and very softly climbs in with us. I'm guessing he went to lie next to Funny but I'm not really sure because he is so gentle and quiet. I thank God for giving me at least one gentle, quiet child. I hear Mr. funny making light saber noises. I try to block it out and concentrate on my breathing, hoping that will help me. The pounding in my head gets worse and worse but I somehow manage to start drifting off.
In bursts Little Miss Chatterbox. "What's everyone doing in here?"
"Mom's sick", explains Funny.
"Oh. Well, I want to lay with you guys too." She climbs into the bed and plops herself right between the boys.
"Ow! Get off me!" screeches Mr. Funny.
"No. Just move over."
"I was here first!"
"Too bad. I'm older than you. Move."
I began to get impatient. I was wondering towards despair. All of a sudden, I couldn't take this headache and nausea anymore. I had enough! Why does this pregnancy have to be so difficult? I'm so sick of being sick! I wanted to scream and tell them all to get out. All I want is some peace and quiet so I can get rid of this stupid headache. Why do they have to come in here and bother me?
Chatterbox won the argument as usual and Mr. Funny got squished up against the wall. After realizing she couldn't see the doodle pad she was using because the room was dark, she asked Funny to switch spots with her so she could be next to the window. He quickly agreed and they switch. She opens up my curtains, letting in the deadly light from outside. If you've ever had a migraine, you understand what I mean. I manage to muster, "Too much light".
"Oh, sorry." She shuts the curtains but then thinks out loud, "How am I going to see what I'm doing? If only there were batteries in this thing." The doodle pad comes with a built-in light.
"I know!" says Mr. Funny. "It takes the same size batteries as my light saber. I could let you borrow them if you'd like."
"Thanks, (Mr. Funny)! Will you get them for me?"
"Sure". Funny gets off the bed and runs to get a screwdriver and his light saber. He comes back in record time. He goes towards my light switch and is about to turn it on when I hear Mr. Tickle say, "No, (Mr. Funny)! Don't turn on that light. It will hurt Mom's head." God bless that child.
"C'mon, (Funny). Let's fix them in my room." Chatterbox and Funny exit the room. I hear Mike eating cookies in the kitchen. So does Little Miss Sunshine. "Daddy!" She climbs off the bed. Mr. Tickle scoots closer to me, taking Little Miss Sunshine's spot. This is the most sought-after spot and I know he's loving this chance to have me all to himself. I put my arm around him and pull him closer. He kisses me on the cheek and whispers, "I love you, Mom. You're the best Mom ever." I decide this calls for breaking the rules and I decide to speak. "I love you too, buddy." I smile at him and he gives me the loveliest, happiest smile back.
I think about Mr. Funny and how thoughtful it was of him to get a bottle for Sunshine and then sacrifice his light saber batteries for Chatterbox. And then even put them in for her! I thought about how sweet Tickle was to look after me with the lights and to give me his soft little kisses. I remembered the thoughts I had just a few minutes ago and how I wished the kids would stop "bothering" me. My heart quickly filled with guilt. I realized how blessed I am to be their Mother. How blessed I am to be the one whom they always want to be around. What a gift! They aren't trying to annoy me. They just want to be with me, sick or not, because I'm their Mama. Because they love me through and through. Because they look for moments where they can do something to make me smile because to them, my smile means the world to them. I cherished this revelation and finally fell asleep. A few minutes later, I woke up. Tickle was still next to me and Funny and Chatterbox next to him. Chatterbox had the doodle pad with the light on it working and I notice the light making huge shadows on the wall. Chatterbox was putting on a shadow puppet show for the boys and they were greatly enjoying it. I was thankful for the entertainment that allowed me to sleep a few minutes. I didn't let the kids know I was awake and watched a bit of the show. Chatterbox had the boys laughing as she usually does. My heart warmed to watch them. What a blessing each of these children are. I thought about the little one growing inside me, causing me all this sickness and pain. I put my hand on my belly and thought, You are so worth it. They are all so worth it. All the times that they can be a "bother". All the times I might wish to have things my way but can't. All the times I have to sacrifice whatever it is to give to the kids instead. They are worth it and more. They are forming me into the kind of person God wants me to be. With each child, I become less selfish, more loving. Sure, I still have my moments. But I know they are here to teach me. And I am thankful for the grace to notice those moments and see those lessons when they come. And I try to always remember to smile.
(Pictures from our 2012 visit to Emmitsburg, MD.)