Q: What does a pregnant daughter have in common with her mother who is getting a hip replacement?
A: Physical limitations, lack of sleep, pathetic body image, and an overwhelming desire to go through torturous pain in order to be done with this!
Monday morning, bright and early, I head to the hospital to get a new hip. Sunday, I stopped by Pregnant Daughter #1’s house to hoist the two year old grandson up in my arms for a big hug. After surgery I’ll be on weight restrictions and will have to limit my hoisting to grandson’s baby sister. Ah, but when Baby comes, Daughter #1 will be able to resume lifting the two year old because her belly won’t be in the way. Trade-off.
Saturday I visited Pregnant Daughter #3 for the same reason. She and I have been grunting our way to the finish line of the school year together. Both of us have been tackling to-do lists with Time as our enemy. I felt a little bad sitting around her new house on Saturday while boxes still needed unpacking, but it’s not like I could do much to help. Still, maybe I was keeping her from doing things. “It’s ok,” she said. “I can only work for 15 minutes before needing to sit down.” Just like me, she’s trying to get things done in short spurts followed by longer bouts of recovery time.
Friday I tried to visit Pregnant Daughter #2, but she needed a nap. I was certainly not going to keep her from a nap. I’ve been into serious napping myself lately. By the end of the school year, I was needing an hour nap just to generate energy to cook dinner. That’s when Long-Suffering Hubby took over the cooking chores. (He was too hungry to wait for me to wake up!) Fortunately for me, he’s good in the kitchen.
Last month the family went to Cape May for a celebratory weekend. I was afraid that I was going to be the wet blanket in the group, but when all three daughters announced that they needed naps before dinner, I didn’t feel so bad. And my hobbling on a cane wasn’t much different than Daughter #3 moaning about groin pain from walking too much. I knew exactly how she felt. The pain of a bad hip feels just like the pain of walking too much in your third trimester.
Last week Pregnant Daughters 1 and 3 were complaining about difficulty sleeping. I was right there with them. Rolling over? Oh my gosh. It’s hardly worth the effort. Daughter #1 decided one night that it wasn’t, so she didn’t. But sleeping on one side all night left her with a pain in her shoulder that did not want to go away.
Friday, as part of my get-ready for surgery, I had a massage. The masseuse asked me to roll over. Groan. “It’s ok,” she said, “Take your time.” She was really nice, but there is just no way that “take your time rolling from your back to your tummy” doesn’t make one sound like a totally pathetic loser. This is a skill that I mastered when I was about four months old. The only other time in my life when I couldn’t roll over was…when I was pregnant.
Pregnancy is one of those times when catching a glance at one’s reflection can be demoralizing. Watching oneself do the old lady hobble toward the reflection in a store window is just as hideous as watching oneself do the pregnant waddle toward the window. Of course, my daughters all look really good when they are pregnant. Daughter #1 is still really tiny except for the huge basketball she’s carrying in front. However, watching her from behind last week while she sat in a swing with her little guy, well…she still sat like a pregnant woman.
So Monday, after months and months and months of waiting for the school year to end, I look forward to the surgeon taking a power saw to my hip. Yank this thing out and let’s be done with it. It’s bad when you would rather do that than pretty much anything else you’re doing. It’s not unlike reaching the end of a pregnancy. Why would anyone look forward to going into labor? It’s because it’s a lot better than staying pregnant.
Q: So what’s the difference between having hip replacement and having a baby?
A: When it ‘s over my life will be easier than it was before. And I will get to sleep through the night.
Sorry, girls. ; )