We're having a quiet day at home today. We're trying to settle into some kind of familiar routine, despite having a battery of childcare helpers coming while I recover from Henry's c-section. Our kitchen is still torn up (and thus the whole house) from the remodel and nothing is where is should be, including the plumbing, and this is contributing to a sense of disruption. A quiet day at home together is just what we need.
Any surface appearance of normality is purely an illusion for me, though. Most of my family is here with me, but it's not the same as it was. It's strange how Henry has changed our family even though he's never been here with us. I don't think our family will be the same while he's still in the hospital.
I don't feel as torn and guilty about Henry's hospital stay as I did when it was Thomas spending his weeks in the NICU. But days like today when I could go to the hospital and spend time with Henry, but instead choose to stay home with the rest of my family are a terrible balancing act. I need to weigh Thomas and Anna's need for time with me against Henry's need to have me there with him, bringing him pumped milk, holding him skin-to-skin, and hearing my voice. I can't be at the hospital every day, especially not while I am depending on someone else to drive me there and pick me up. But today I am choosing to stay home. Peter could load the kids into the car, make the 25 minute drive to the hospital, bring everyone home and then reverse the process to pick me up in a few hours. But instead we are here, just hanging out.
We'll go tomorrow and I won't be able to go Tuesday. Wednesday I'll go, but I don't know what is happening on Thursday and Friday. And I don't know what will happen when my Helpers go back to their work and I'm home caring for Thomas and Anna again during the day. I'll most likely drive to the hospital in the evenings.
This will only last a few more weeks (Five more? Maybe?) before we are all able to be home together. I'm so glad I won't always have to make decisions about who needs me most. At least not every day.