The update is that everyone survived, grandparents, HL, hubbs and I, we made it through our first separation. End. of. post.
Ok ok, I’ll elaborate. I had a horrible time leaving my sweet baby behind for the first time, it was all the strength that I had to walk out that door and not look back. It was quite possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. For a few days prior I would tear up at random times. Once the day came, we loaded all of his luggage and gear into the grandparent’s house and the floodgates opened. I lost it when I hugged him goodbye and left him in grandpa’s arms. I had thoughts darting in an out of my mind thinking “what if this is the last time I see him” it was awful! I cried and hubbs told me that I had to stop because I was going to make him start crying. It was not at all fun. It took me a good hour driving down the road for the lump in my throat to go away. I’d finally gain my composure and then I’d look down at my phone and see his picutre on my background and lose it again. The whole drive was an emotional rollercoaster.
I had to keep flipping my thinking from how much I missed him and how horrible it was going to be to not have him with us to thoughts of how much fun we were going to have. I tried very hard to use every coping mechanism possible, the best being distraction. I was going to fully enjoy my kidless weekend. I looked over at hubbs and said “I’m going to get drunk. Every night. Yep that’s what I’m gonna do.” I knew I was going to struggle with this so my mission for the weekend was to be as carefree as possible to distract myself.
I managed to do a really good job of that. I had a handful of moments during our trip where I reverted back to missing my baby but for the most part I really embraced the ability to be “off duty.” I laughed, I relaxed, and yes, I drank too much, but we had a blast.
I called in to check on HL twice a day, once in the morning, once at night. I was really aprehensive about the first night, I had no idea how it was going to go. Was he going to sleep, was he going to be alright? Were the grandparents going to survive staying up late and waking up throughout the night? Much to my surprise I learned the next morning that he did fabulous, and actually for the entire trip everyone seemed to do really well.
I had a smile on my face every time that I would call because I could hear my little Pterodactyl in the background screeching and yelling about something, it was reassuring to know that he was doing ok. But of course I knew the whole trip couldn’t go perfectly and the last night I called in made my stomach churn. I called only to hear my poor baby screaming in the background, wailing to the point that he was choking himself, and the response that I got was that he was fighting his nap. I wanted to jump through the phone and snatch him up and rock him to sleep and snuggle his little face. I frantically asked what was going on and told grandma to pick him up, anything to stop the crying…. and he stopped. I don’t really remember the rest of the conversation all I know is that I hung up on the verge of tears. My baby was distraught and crying and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it, I was helpless and it was the worst feeling I could imagine.
My stomach was in knots and I just kept thinking that I had almost reached the finish line, we were heading home tomorrow, we had all almost survived our first separation. It’s like a right of passage and a necessary milestone and I wanted to make it through easily with no melt downs but looking back now I’m glad that it didn’t go 100% roses and ponies. It made me learn to dig deep, to rely on the trust I had in his caregivers, and to once again learn to let go even more.
When we finally had the car packed up to go home all I could do was smile, I was soooo excited to get home to my little man to spend his first Easter with him. I couldn’t wait to scoop him up and soak in all his baby goodness!! We walked in the door to a sleeping child that could barely open his eyes to say hello. The grandparents did a number on him and he was WORN out from all of the fun. 4 days later and he’s still catching up on sleep! But that was such an amazing feeling to have him back in my arms. Hubbs had to wrestle him away from me just to give him a hug because I didn’t want to let him go. I had braced myself thinking that I would walk in and he’d look like he had gained 10 lbs and was 6 months older and I was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t seem to grow up on me while we were gone. But he did “look” different to me, he seemed so much blonder, and so much “prettier” for lack of a better word, than I remembered. He looked like a little doll, absolutely precious! Not that I didn’t think he was beautiful before but he almost looked angelic when I saw him again and that snapshot will be burned into my mind forever.
So now we’re back and getting back into our routine, as I said, he’s still catching up on sleep! But we survived… we did it… no major battle wounds or emotional scars, so all in all a major SUCCESS. And I know that each time it will get easier, I guess it really proved to me how much of a “mother” I have become and that is something that I am very proud of.