Talking With My Toddler #9: Cuddle Withdrawl

It has been over 72 since I last picked up my toddler. Three whole days since I have really felt her in my arms. This has been incredibly difficult because I have a very cuddly kid.

Back story – I started feeling a lump in my abdomen early last spring. Numerous visits to the doctor and one ultrasound later and they finally thought they had figured it out. There was a tug of war between whether it was a hernia or a lipoma. Either way it was minor and fixable. I just wanted to know. I finally got referred to a surgeon, who decided she was sure it was a lipoma.

So we scheduled the outpatient procedure to have it removed this past Tuesday. All was going well…until she couldn’t really find it. She had to explore more area and go deeper (multiple freezing needles later) only to realize, it is in fact, a hernia. Awesome.

Normally a full hernia surgery would be a bigger deal. Maybe some time in the hospital and definitely some time off work. However, this hernia was small, having only affected one layer of my abdominal wall. So since I was already laying there, open and frozen, the surgeon decided she could do a small repair that should take care of it.

Post-surgery selfie. That little wound is deeper than it looks!

On one hand, I am grateful it wasn’t a bigger deal. She did a great job and I have absolute confidence in her decision. On the other hand, I am a planner and I really wish I had been better prepared for a more invasive surgery.

One of the saddest parts of having this be full blown hernia repair is that I am not allowed to lift anything or have anything heavy on my stomach for at least a week or two. This is a tough one to explain to my 2.5 year old daughter…

Lilly: “I get you baba Mommy” (referring to the glass of water I left on the counter)

Mommy: “That’s ok sweetie. I’m good right now

Lilly: “You no need it? You no need your water?”

Mommy: “Not right now honey. But thank you. You know what I do need?!” (grabbing her hand to pull her towards the couch) “You!

Lilly:  “You need me?!

Daddy: “Hugs are the best medicine!

Lilly: (stepping beside the couch, frowning and dropping her head on my shoulder) “I miss you Mommy. I miss cuddling wit you.

*And right there my freaking heart breaks. I look over at my husband and feel a tear fall down my face.*

Mommy: “I know baby. I’m really sorry. I miss cuddling with you too. So much.

Lilly: (looking hopeful, as if her plea magically healed my incision…) “I lay on your belly now Mommy?

Mommy: “No honey, you still can’t lay on my belly. But we can still cuddle and watch a movie.

And so we found a compromise.

Comfortably nestled in the crooks of my knees, using my legs as the perfect arm rest.
She was very careful of Mommy’s “bobo”
Ideally speaking, I will be able to swoop my little monkey up into my arms again very soon.  Until then, I think she has found a decent runner up spot.

Note – As emotional as this has been, I can’t help feeling that some good will come of it. Lilly tends to be very dependent on me over Daddy. From talking to other mamas, I know this is pretty common. If I am not home, she is perfectly fine to have Daddy do everything. But when Mama is an option, Mama is the choice. This week, with a reluctance and a few tears, Daddy got her dressed and put her to bed. He sang all the right songs and said all the right things. It helped her to see that Daddy and Mommy love her equally and can equally take care of her.

*Read more of my little musings with my monkey with the rest of my Talking With My Toddler posts.

Leave a Reply