Two weeks ago I gave birth. Not to a novel, but to an 8lb bouncing baby boy. Incidentally, it was less than 24hrs after my scheduled time to blog on novel spaces. Of course anticipating the birth of my son, I was prepared. I tied up all my loose ends at work, cleaned my house and prepared the nursery. I even cooked sufficient food to provide for my older kids for my two days hospital stay. And knowing the baby could come at any time, I wrote and scheduled my blog over a week before it was due. I couldn’t help but pat myself on the back for optimizing my new found organizational skills.
Of course life always throws curve balls. What I couldn’t anticipate was being released from the hospital with a newborn into a house full of sick, contagious people. My six year old daughter and my nephew had the flu. My husband had a nasty cold, and my eighteen month old daughter had a runny nose. Now not only do I have to take care of sick folks, but I had to find a way to avoid spreading the viruses to my newborn son.
So how did I do this? Everyone was required to wear surgical mask (except of course my eighteen month old who protested anything going near her face). Constant hand washing became mandatory and hand sanitizers were kept in every room of the house. Immune building herbal brews (a.k.a. bush tea) and vitamin C rich juices were shoved down everyone's throats. Since I couldn’t quarantine everyone, I quarantined the baby, restricting his access to only two rooms of the house that the others were forbidden to enter. And I wiped everything with disinfecting wipes constantly. Most importantly, I perpetually prayed that neither me nor the baby would get sick. So far, God answered our prayers because my flu ridden family members have recuperated without spreading it further -- or so I thought.
So where did I find the time to write in all this? I didn’t. For those first ten days since leaving the hospital, I considered myself as being on maternity leave not only from my day job but from writing. I didn’t work on my WIP, check my email, read any blogs, or update my facebook profile. I didn't have the time.
A few other things had to give. Making myself presentable to the world was definitely not a priority (not that any one would visit when they hear the words H1N1). Keeping a pristine home took a back burner. As for cooking, prepackaged food and take out had to do for those first couple of days.
And just when I finally thought I was through the worst, life threw another curve ball: I got the H1N1 flu. And this happened when my husband had to return to work.
I guess no matter how prepared we are, no matter whether we have plan A to Z, we can’t be prepared for those curve balls life throws at us. We just have to wing it as we go.
Pray for me for a full recovery and that I don't spread the H1N1 to my vulnerable kids.