Monday, September 29, 2014

Admitting defeat?

I had my first true breakdown last week.  After instant messaging my husband from work and making some comments about my own self consciousness and being a bit hurt by his response, I spent the better part of a day silently crying in my cubicle.  Not a proud moment.  Then I went home, made dinner, watched some tv and cried some more.  Then when my husband got home from class I cried some more.  If I were a normal pregnant person I'd just say "Oh, it's just hormones..." but that seems like a cop out.  I think it was just a flood gate that got opened and I didn't know how to close it.  Lots of stuff I've been holding back for ages and then it all bubbled to the surface and I couldn't make it stop.  My husband asked me why I was upset and all I could manage to mutter is "Sometimes this is just hard".  That sounds like a cop out too, but sometimes that's how it feels.  It just feels hard.  I'm learning that fear is my worst enemy, but it's also hard to keep at bay.  I'm still afraid of things.  It doesn't go away.  Currently I'm afraid of my vagina being torn apart and living in pain and gushing blood for weeks.  Tomorrow it might be something else.  The next day, who knows?  But there are always fears cropping up from all of the unknowns.  Maybe this would be easier if I had done it before, I would know what to expect and I wouldn't have to be so afraid, but as of right now, that's not where we are.  We're in this place where I'm still afraid of the unknown.

Then there are little things.  Little things I don't talk about because I don't want to be a whiner and it's not really a big deal, but day after day they start to get to you.  Things like my ab muscles constantly hurting from being stretched and pulled.  Imagine pulling a muscle during a workout.  Now imagine pulling a bunch of muscles, all the ones in your abs plus the ones in your sides.  Now imagine walking around with those pulled muscles for weeks on end.  That's my life.  It sort of sucks.  I keep trying to keep up with everything I'd normally do, but by the end of the day I just want to fall on the sofa and pass out.  I'm not used to tiring out after normal every day stuff.  On Friday we went to a friend's house after working on painting the exterior of the house all day and by 10 p.m. I was struggling to contribute to conversation because I just wanted to go to sleep.  I just sat there not talking, feeling anti-social, wanting to nap on the table.  That's foreign to me and it makes me frustrated.  There's the fact that now if I have to bend over and pick something up it's kind of a challenge and it leaves me going "Does that really need to be picked up?" which seems so lazy but at the same time, everything is so effing sore that I hate that I have to ask that question.  Getting up off the sofa is hard because I can't use my abs to pull myself forward anymore.  Plus there's the whole body image thing of watching yourself get more huge and unattractive by the day, and while you intellectually know it's a baby and not you, that doesn't help when you look in the mirror and think "Wow.....I look gigantic".  It also makes you frustrated when your clothes stop fitting because you can't pull your shirt over your stupid baby belly, but buying actual maternity clothes feels like admitting defeat and resigning to somehow allowing yourself to get bigger.  Yeah.  Those are things that go through my head.  And having all of that going on is hard.  Especially when you're already mentally and physically exhausted by every day life.

But it sounds so whiny and stupid to mention it, so I just shut up and say nothing and keep on doing the things I always do even if I'm super tired or I can't keep up.  I always find a way to keep up.  I don't feel like it's ok for me to do anything else.  I feel like I have to be super woman but some days I just want to wear my PJs, have someone cook me dinner and do the dishes afterward, and lay on the sofa doing nothing.  It's stupid, but it would be nice.

I don't know.  I have it easy.  I know I have it easy compared to pretty much every pregnant person I've known, but sometimes even having it easy can feel really hard.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Back in January I slipped on some ice and snapped my arm.  Well, snapped my arm, ripped all of my muscles and tendons, and basically made my arm useless.  Then I had surgery, and went through month sand months of really painful physical therapy.  In the end, it didn't do a whole lot for me.  My arm moves a little more than it did post-surgery but not anywhere near what one would consider "normal.  I also have almost no strength in it.  It's difficult to lift heavy things, and when we climbed the mountain I couldn't straighten or bend it or lift myself up onto the rock ledges very easily.  It's pretty inconvenient.

Lately it's been feeling more stiff.  A month or so ago, I was walking the dog in the yard and didn't notice that he had seen a bunny before he started to take off after it.  I tried to tighten up on the leash before he got up too much speed, but I wasn't fast enough so he ended up straightening out my arm more than usual and I felt some of the scar tissue snap.  It hurt, and ever since I have felt like the arm is stiffer than it was before that.  Plus, it's obviously weaker than it was before the injury.  I was helping my husband move boxes in the basement and it was an actual challenge to lift things that weren't really all that heavy.  I was struggling to do normal every day lifting and it sucked.  It's been wearing on me a lot lately to think about it.  On top of all of the regular stuff you're not allowed to do when you're pregnant, I have this.  I have this useless stupid arm that doesn't work properly and is a hindrance to my every day life.

Plus, every time I'd lift a box I'd think "How much does this weigh?  10 lbs?  15?  At what point am I going to be unable to lift my kid out of her crib, or carry her around, or pick her up when she's crying?  At what point do I have to say 'Mommy can't, I'm sorry' because my stupid fucking arm won't work?" and that weighs on me too.  It stresses me out.  It's just one of those additional things at the back of my mind to make me wonder at what point I'll start to fail because I'm physically incapable of something.  I want to be able to carry my kid around or pick her up.  I hate my stupid arm sometimes, and I hate myself for falling on that ice.

I had been coping with it.  I really had.  I had accepted it all.  I had a total meltdown the day the surgeon told me there was no hope of it getting better, but afterward I picked myself up and I moved on.  Now it's starting to become a weight that crushes me a little bit.  It makes me angry and afraid.  And there's nothing I can do about it.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Made the bed you lie in

I brought up the issue of being frustrated about some of the stuff I wrote up yesterday to my husband and he was basically like "Well, you can't have it both ways.  You say you don't want to talk about it all the time, so don't be surprised when people don't talk about it".

So I guess this is all my fault.

He's right, I don't want to talk about it all the time.  I do sometimes want someone to give a fuck.  I also wouldn't mind if it felt safe to talk about anything with my social circle.  I honestly think the only reason any of them have been cool with this stuff is because I'm not talking about it.  Plus, I've made such a huge deal about how I would not become a mommy and talk about nothing more than my kid that I don't feel it's ok to bring up the subject at all.  I feel like, with most of my social circle, I'm half a step from an eye roll and the "Oh great, here it is, she's becoming a mommy" statement.  I don't think anyone gives a shit, so I don't bring it up to avoid being the person who has to bring up their baby and their pregnancy.  Despite the fact that it's not on Facebook, I don't talk about it on social media at all, so basically unless I personally told you, you have no idea.  I have done an excellent job at not making it a big deal, not just because I didn't want to be one of those people who makes the whole thing a big deal, but also because everyone around me seems to hate those people.  I've kept this as under the radar as possible because I sort of feel like I have to.  I don't want it to be a huge goddamn deal, but I guess the problem with being under the radar is that no one picks up on anything going on.  Not that I think they want to know, since everyone is wrapped up in their own bullshit all the time anyway.

I don't know where I'm going with this.

I'm just cranky.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Back to the lonely island

At the risk of sounding like a total whiner, I didn't expect this process to feel so isolating.  Maybe part of that is my fault.  I'm not really embracing the whole "sisterhood" of having a baby.  I specifically avoid talking to people who want to talk about nothing but growing a fetus.  The thing is, the people who want to talk about those things are not people who are close to me.  They're people who want to find some sort of kinship with me through this subject, sometimes people I've drifted from and don't really feel the need to be pulled back to for any reason.  The people around me who do have kids are the sort of parents I want to be, the ones who don't constantly talk about their kids or the process of growing them.  The ones who don't have kids well....why bother them with details they don't care about?  So who does that really leave?  And the thing is, I don't want to talk about it all the time but sometimes I wish someone would ask me in genuine earnestness how I'm doing.  Not that "How are you feeling?" crap you get from co-workers where it's not really appropriate to say anything other than "Fine, thanks!" but a genuine "Hey, how are you?" where it's safe to say how you really are is sometimes welcome.  I don't even have anything to complain about.  This has been a piece of cake for me so far in the sense of physical change and all of that.  I'm not crazy hormonal and emotional.  But sometimes the fears creep in and it'd be nice if someone asked if I was ok.  Sometimes I just feel more tired than usual and it'd be really nice to have someone else offer to make dinner or at least help with it.  Some days I just wish that I wasn't sitting around feeling like it's just me, all alone, while the rest of the world goes about their business.

Sometimes it's hard because my husband is in the type who doesn't talk about anything.  Like.....anything.  I find out more from reading his blog than I do from him actually telling me anything about himself.  I struggle with that, but I'm trying to just accept it and find a way to make it fit with my own needs, though there are days when that's hard.  This whole process has been a non-thing for him.  He's actually said, several times, that he doesn't make a big deal about it because it's not a big deal.  I suppose for him, it's really not at this point.  Nothing changes for him until this kid shows up and starts needing things.  He can go days or weeks without ever thinking about it at all.  He doesn't have to.  It's not happening to him.  Me?  I can't go more than 4 hours because at some point something's going to happen and my bladder is going to get kicked, and there it is.  A reminder of everything that's going on and sometimes a reminder of how afraid I still am.  Not so much of being a total screw up anymore, but just afraid of how things are going to change, or afraid of what the end game for this looks like for me, in that whole "Sort of afraid of being ripped apart" way.  It's also a bit of a reminder that, although she's in there rolling around and doing her thing, I'm still sitting here feeling like that's somehow separate from me.  A friend of mine said something about how she was "already in love" by 20 weeks and I'm like "I'm not even sure if I'm in love now" because....there's still an element of it that doesn't seem entirely real.  I'm struggling with this lack of feeling "super connected" that all of these other women seem to have.  It's not that I'm unhappy or not excited, I just sometimes feel like all of this is happening to someone else.  Like, I still feel too much like me for it to be happening to me.  I half expected something to trigger in my brain and turn on and make me suddenly feel like a mom, but I just feel like myself, and the me I know is certainly not a mom.  The problem is that I don't know how to express that to people.  I also don't think it's actually ok to express that to people.  Especially when people don't ever ask how I'm doing in the first place.  Even my husband doesn't ask how I'm doing.  Probably because it doesn't cross his mind because again, he could go days without thinking about it.  I don't expect it to occur to him that, because I'm not walking around with a list of pregnancy related ailments and I was never puking every day, and I was never so exhausted I couldn't function, that it's exactly the same for me as it is for him.  But it's not.  It's different, and I don't know how to express that either.

I keep latching onto things that are easy to get excited about.  I'm actually excited to put together a nursery.  I like decorating.  I like picking paint and fabric and all of that stuff.  The problem is, that's on hold.  Just like everything is on hold.  So it's just me surfing the internet looking up ideas and doing nothing with them.  I like picking out tiny baby clothes and for some reason having those makes me feel like maybe this is happening to us.  Something, in the not-so-distant future, is going to fit into those clothes.  I think about names a lot, despite the fact that he refuses to talk about it.  I keep latching on to all of these things that do make me excited, but there's always resistance.  There's always a reluctance to move from one milestone to the next and to get things done that might help me feel like a mom.  Moms buy their kids clothes.  Moms decorate bedrooms.  Moms take care of necessities.  This probably doesn't make any sense to anyone.  I'm not sure I'm articulating it properly.  I don't know how to explain myself, and when I try, I feel like I just make everything more complicated.

Basically, I'm just lonely right now.

And I wish I wasn't.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Running out the clock?

So a few things have happened over the last couple of weeks.  One, our house project list has been getting some major items checked off of it.  This wasn't just a list of things that existed because we were like "OMG there's going to be a baby here" but a pre-existing list of crap that you always mean to get around to and just never manage to do.  Lost of maintenance stuff like touching up paint on baseboards, cleaning out the basement, finding better storage solutions for some stuff.  You get the general idea.  Then we added baby related things to the list, like finding a place to like....put the baby once she gets here.  As of right now the plan is to move my husband's office to the basement and use that room for a nursery.  Knowing the basement was going to become an office meant doing some additional prep work to the basement to make it office-ready as opposed to "crappy ugly carpeted room we don't do anything with".  That meant new flooring, a fresh coat of paint, touched up baseboards.  It's been a process.

During this process, the weather also changed.  We got what I thought was a cold snap, but it seems to be persisting, which makes me realize it's already fucking fall.  Where the hell did that come from?  Plus, colder weather has me going "Crap, we're almost to Halloween, which is almost Thanksgiving, which is almost Christmas and almost baby time.  I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING NOW!" which is, of course, totally irrational, but I'm a planner and now I feel like I've hit crunch time.  Now I've got this irrational stupid list of crap that I feel like has to get done ASAP to not leave me in panic mode.  At the moment I'm like:

  • Pick a name (which my husband doesn't want to do in case we change our minds at the last minute)
  • Prime nursery
  • Paint nursery
  • Paint dresser/changing table
  • Poly dresser/changing table
  • Buy a stupid crib
  • Buy some clothes, since we have like 3 outfits right now
  • Figure out a baby shower, which is more stressful than anticipated
  • Set up nursery once it's primed/painted
  • Figure out artwork for nursery
  • Finish the two quilts I've been working on
  • Move husband's office to basement so we can do things in nursery
  • Pick curtains for nursery
  • Clear out other parts of basement so that husband isn't working in a disaster zone and we can store more stupid theater stuff that we have no room for.
  • Figure out how I'm going to get my car into garage since it's filled with theater stuff we have no room for.
  • Do that whole hospital maternity ward touring thing
  • Get essential baby gear (though, I guess some of that might be covered if we figure out the shower?)
  • De-junk the guest room and other areas of the house so if there's baby item overflow it can go in the guest closet or something.
  • Figure out Christmas shopping way in advance in case I can't actually go shopping closer to Christmas due to spitting out a baby.'s not a super short list.  And it's giving me anxiety.  I know I've got time still.  Intellectually, I know that, but time seems to be going fast lately and now I'm afraid I'm going to blink and it'll be November and I'll still have nothing done.