This has been a week of separations for us all.
First of all, the girls started Mother's Morning Out at a local church last Wednesday. When I dropped them off, there were tears, but none of them came from the babies. I've left them with sitters before, and at the church and gym nurseries, but somehow, it's different when they go to "school".
I think I've mentioned that I quit my job after they were born and went back to freelancing. My workload has increased over the last month or so, enough that I now have a sitter who comes for three hours a day after school, and then the two mornings of MMO. Honestly, it's more time than I really want to be working, but when you freelance, it tends to be feast-or-famine. I just wish it didn't come at the expense of time spent with the girls.
The second major separation was the end of nursing. I've been gradually weaning them for about a month, dropping one feeding every week. Monday night, the night before my surgery, was the last night they nursed before bed, and now we're done. They don't seem to have taken it too hard, overall -- they're a little off-kilter, but I think that's because there have been so many changes in their bedtime routine. It's been hard for me, though.
I worked so hard to be able to exclusively nurse them, put so much time and energy and pain into it. I'm delighted I was able to nurse them for a full year, and overall, it was the right time to stop for our family. They are still young enough to adapt to the change easily, we're ready to hope for a third baby, and frankly, there is something appealing about having my body back to myself again, after nearly two years of pregnancy and nursing. Still, it's made me sad, because it's one more milestone of growing-up, and because I loved the closeness of it.
Oh, and speaking of that third baby -- it worked! I got my period! Ten days after ovulation, so still some luteal phase disturbance, but nothing worth throwing stones at. I feel like the Velveteen Rabbit, like I've suddenly become Real after so much desperate longing. It's only the first step in getting pregnant again, but it's more than I have ever been able to do by myself before. As soon as my knee is sufficiently healed, we'll start trying to get pregnant, and I am so very excited about actually being able to try this time!
The final separation of the week was the night I spent in the hospital Tuesday, after my ACL replacement surgery. As it turned out, once they put me to sleep, they were able to test and discover that my partially torn ACL was only hanging on by a thread, and that it was completely useless at holding my knee together. This wasn't exactly a surprise, given the trouble I'd been having with it, and it did come as a relief that they decided to replace the ligament, so I can recover and move on.
However, the surgery has been no joke. I've had two knee surgeries already, but both of those were for cartilage damage, and I really wasn't prepared for how painful this would be. They actually drill small holes in your leg bones to anchor the new ligament, and this hurts just about as much as you'd think. They recommend an overnight hospital stay for pain management; I was hoping to be able to tough it out and go home, but when I woke up from the surgery, that clearly wasn't even an option. I went home yesterday morning, desperate to see my babies, but there have been some points over the last 24 hours where I've thought that perhaps I should have stayed a second night, because the Percocet just wasn't cutting it.
I am finally moving around a bit more this afternoon, and have managed to stretch out my Percocet doses to the recommended 4 hours, rather than popping two of them every 3 hours. I'll start physical therapy in the morning, which will mainly involve managing the swelling and working on getting motion back into the joint. I'm looking at four weeks of no weight bearing, and two weeks of partial weight bearing after that, which is a damned long time when you have small children. I can't pick a baby up and go anywhere with her, so I'll have to have friends and family stay with me all the time.
It's a big hassle, but I'm still glad I went ahead and had the surgery. I'm glad to know I wasn't making a huge fuss about nothing, and that it turned out to be a surgically correctable problem. I'm relieved that I will someday have a normal knee again, and that I won't have to worry about falling and dropping a baby, or damaging it worse in a future pregnancy. I will theoretically be walking again by the advent of the holiday season, and I have high hopes that this will be the first Christmas in several years where G doesn't have to do the shopping while I am sidelined by health issues.
Overall, things are working out the way I've hoped they will, with the childcare and the nursing and the knee. It's just that the process is tough, sometimes!