I look at myself in the mirror and sigh outloud. I blow-dry my bangs out and put styling creme in my hair. I put lotion on my face and then put makeup on. I try to remember the last time I wore makeup, or took the time to get ready.
I keep glancing at the clock, knowing I need to hurry to get ready while she's still asleep. I pick out a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and a shirt. I squeeze into the jeans (barely) and decide I need a looser shirt to cover my belly which still looks as if I'm about 5 months pregnant.
I look at all of my shoes and decide to wear something other than my stand-by sneakers. Heels. Although, my feet aren't used to them and I remember I may have to walk further.
I throw on some flats instead and take one last glance in the mirror. I remember what it was like to have the time to take care of myself, to care about the way I look, on a daily basis. I had the time to change outfits countless times.
But now, I move from the mirror downstairs to prep things. Meds. Formula. Everything sterilized. I pump one last time.
Then she's awake. I entertain her, knowing Ian will be home any minute. I realize after she's drooled on my shoulder that I'm heading out in this outfit. Oh well. As he walks through the door, I quickly tell him what has been done for the night, and what he'll need to do.
And then, I give my two loves a kiss, hesitate at the door, and step foot outside. As I walk to my car, my heart instantly clenches. Sure, I've been away from them to grocery shop, or run an errand. But never for something as normal as having dinner with friends. It's something social, normal, something we'd be doing all the time if this wasn't our life. But this is our life, and my heart aches to be back home comfortable with life as I know it, as crazy as that life is.
I also know I need some normalcy. "Normal" - I almost laugh - that word has taken on a whole new meaning. I need to get away.
So I drive myself. I park. I am nervous. Nervous for simple old dinner with girlfriends. Nervous because life is so different since I last saw them - when I was high from excitement of expecting our first baby girl. My perspective on life is so different.
I make it through dinner and a glass (or two) of wine. They listen to me talk about life and death situations. About watching my baby be on life support. About my fears. I listen to them talk about gossip, love, work. Our perspectives are surely different. Our lives are worlds apart. But somehow, it works.
And as I drive home, I smile. Life is not what others would consider "normal", but it's our normal. A little crazy mixed in with sprinkles of our old life.