In a previous blog I wrote about how baby #3 tore up my stomach pretty bad. She was so big (my only 8 pounder) that my stomach muscles completely tore apart, which resulted in an abdominal hernia after her birth (or maybe before??). In that previous blog, I also expressed the unknown about how in the world I was going to allow my husband to have a fun two weeks at home in the middle of his year-long deployment but still manage to have a stress-free surgery at some point, either before or after his visit. Well, plans changed, and I finally decided to go ahead and have the surgery while he was home. That way we could enjoy ourselves as a family for the first half of his stay, and then the second half would be dedicated to my surgery and (painful, so I've been told) recovery. My mom bought plane tickets to come help with the kids, I bought plane tickets for a nanny to come and stay with us after my husband and mother are gone (I'll go into detail about her in a moment), and all arrangements were set and ready to go. Well, the universe apparently disagreed with me, and the week before my husband's arrival, I was plagued with a persistent fever, nasal congestion, chest congestion, and fierce cough. Long story short, four days before the date of surgery, I was completely shot down by the nurse at anesthesia and was not cleared for surgery (which was planned for Valentine's Day). I was very disappointed and once again began to question how I was going to pull this off without my husband. It seemed hopeless. But the glass is half full. After a couple days of sulking, I realized that at least now I can enjoy my husband and our family time for the remainder of his visit. And so I did. Turns out everything was not in my control afterall, and it was all decided for me. I remembered being told quite often by a good friend in Germany that things happen for a reason, and that suddenly became so clear.
Johnathan has now been gone (again) for 7 days. He is back in Afghanistan, and the kids and I are back into our routine. My surgery has been rescheduled for March 16, which is just over two weeks away. My mom was able to change her plane tickets for then, and I changed the nanny's. Speaking of this nanny, it's kind of funny how things work out. Her name is Melissa, and she was an intern in Hunter's daycare class in Germany when I was working. Hunter was just a baby then, but they seemed to develop a special bond. We kept in touch (yay Facebook!), and she has spent the past few years working in Child Development Centers in Germany, Italy, Japan, and England. Now she is back home in California and was looking for work right about the time that I was trying to figure out what to do about my surgery. Suddenly the idea struck me that I could have a live-in nanny (I believe the correct term is "au pair" - sounds so fancy, doesn't it?) to help me with the kids. The surgeon told me my recovery will be very painful at first, and I should expect to be somewhat out of commission for a good 4-6 weeks. I can't even drive for the first 2 weeks. So Melissa became my answer. She graciously accepted the offer to come stay with us, and all my problems were solved. My mom will be here the first week and will leave 4 days after my surgery, but I claim her as my own. The kids will have Melissa, and I will have my mom. Then for the following few weeks I will feel very established just saying that I have an "au pair." I can't help but tilt my head back and flip my hair when I say that.