Womb-Mate, Two Years Late

Well now this post can't come as a surprise. There is simply NO WAY I could ever reflect on things that have shaped my life and not include the one human that has been influencing me since I was two years and twenty-seven days old. From the moment I met her I was taken. My whole world revolved around the tiny new human in my life, from cutting her hair to cuddling with her, Kate was the living doll I had always wanted. 

I don't know how old we were when things shifted, when I stopped calling the shots and leading our activities - considering I can't remember it must've been when we were fairly young.

It's things like constantly making me laugh while still having me terrified to tick her off - she's been able to beat me up since, well, always. I never wanted for many friends because I had her - much to her dismay for basically all of our years in school. I never had to worry about what to wear because I knew I could always wear what Kate had worn the day before - also to her strong disapproval and horror. While I honed my nerdy side she pleased the crowds, she was friends with everyone - even voted most popular.

Last week I was picking my boys up from my sister's place after they'd played the day away while I worked. "They didn't nap but I figured by the time you leave they might stay awake or if they fall asleep it'll be late enough that you can just put then straight to bed." 
I stopped what I was doing when Kate said this. I feel better these days, I'm not so concerned about napping or bedtime and my anxiety is mostly gone. Sometimes I forget how bad I was, how one missed or short nap could spin me into an anxious mess in no time.
I wasn't offended by the comment - I was taken back. Taken back to one of the hardest times.

She was there from labour to delivery and onward. She honestly must function without sleep because I could text her at any hour of the day - including 2am when Stetson was still crying - and she would reply. Not only would she reply but she always had a suggestion of something to try, encouraging words or an offer of help.

A few days in to parenting, Kate swept in and took Stetson off our hands so we could nap. She brought us all kinds of baby-helping remedies, meals and company. And let's not forget she had a three year old and six month old baby of her own while selflessly saving us constantly.

Kate was there for me on my hardest day. Stetson was about three weeks old, he was a rotten sleeper, he was fussy and unsettled. My preconceived notions of what having a baby would be like had dissolved to an untraceable dust. I was laying in bed, just having nursed Stetson he was actually asleep and I was trying to nap beside him. Except napping was not happening for me, my whole body was buzzing, my mind was racing and when I think back to it, I picture my eyes wide open. Kate happened to come over - I believe a planned visit because my husband was working a night shift and being alone with Stetson essentially sent me into an anxious spiral. She came into the room and I remember telling her I couldn't sleep and that I felt insane. "So don't sleep, get up, I brought you a Teen Burger and a milkshake." 

And that's how we handled it - every day that my husband was working I would wake up and drive to her house. I can remember being there before her kids were even awake. You've got to really love a person to let them wake you up before your children do! But there she was, with breakfast made for me. I can say, without a doubt, that I wouldn't have made it through that first year without her. 

When I look back I can see that Kate didn't just take care of me that year, she has been taking care of me my whole life. Somehow she's my younger sister who has just always played the role of my older sister. When I was scared at night I would wake her up to go to the bathroom with me, or nudge her over until she let me sleep in her bed. When math was tough - which was always for me - Kate was able to help. Without even having taken the classes she could teach me how to figure out fractions, exponents, integers and other math words that I have conveniently forgotten. Whenever someone poked fun at me or literally, with a lacrosse stick, she'd tackle them, also literally. 

But if you know Kate you know that's what she does. Not tackle people, take care of people. Her soul is a serving one and without even noticing it she is constantly serving others. From friends and family to perfect strangers - Kate never thinks twice about helping someone out. Even in her professional life she serves. Nursing has never been so lucky. Kate has never lost sight of the humans she works with, they aren't just charts, medicine or rounds, they are living, breathing humans. She paints their nails, cuts their hair, listens to their stories and holds their hands while they say goodbye.

My gratitude is clear - but it isn't just me - this world is a better place because of my sister - because of Kate. I couldn't have ever asked for a better womb-mate two years late.

- lovefrommaria


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