08 April 2013

the blues

Tea and knitting--they still seem normal
Recently, I re-read a story where a character mentions some of the miserable aspects of pregnancy. One of her friends protests, "But I thought the books said it was wonderful and magical!"
"The books lied," she replies.

I feel like that some days. There is something incredibly miraculous and humbling about feeling the baby move around inside me, but that feeling is often overwhelmed when the baby decides to kick my bladder yet again. Or like today, when, a day and a half after running out of my anti-nausea medication, I'm back to throwing up most of what I ingest. I have another doctor's appointment in a few days, so I'll just tough it out until then. It's been a relief to keep food down, for the most part (the medication annoyingly works about 4-5 days out of 7, and it doesn't actually stop the nausea, just the vomiting), but since I don't own a bathroom scale, I have no idea whether or not I've lost or gained weight in the last month, and I know what the doctor's reaction will be if I've lost more weight. I've flippantly remarked to a couple people that if things continue as they are, I'll be at what my goal weight was prior to pregnancy by the time I'm seven months pregnant. I realize this is not a good thing, but in a society that frowns on weight gain, it's a tad confusing to be both shrinking and expanding at the same time.

It's bewildering in some ways--the way my face is thinner and how my tailbone hurts if I sit still too long in a hard chair (not to mention my lower back) combined with the growing waistline. I hadn't exactly romanticized pregnancy, but I hadn't really thought about the achiness that would need to accompany the necessary physical changes. I never realized that my hip joints would be so sore that some days I would have to hobble around, or that by the time I was in the middle of the second trimester, I'd only be able to sleep for about two hours at a time because the baby likes to settle on top of my bladder (I seem to be getting used to it, so I figure it's helpful preparation for when the baby's here and waking up every couple of hours). It didn't occur to me that I might be in the category of women who have prolonged morning sickness. I remember falling apart around ten weeks, when I'd been experiencing morning sickness for about six weeks, and saying that I didn't think I could keep doing it. I fell apart again last Saturday over the same thing, plus sleep deprivation and back aches that required me to curl up in bed with a hot water bottle. Actual sleep and food that stays down make a drastic difference in my mood.

I know that my experience of pregnancy is mine, and not everyone's. For this I am grateful. I doubt our species would have lasted this long if every woman had a miserable pregnancy. I am grateful that my pregnancy is, thus far, merely uncomfortable and fraught with nausea, rather than anything worse. And I do know that it could be much worse. Nothing worse than the constant sickness and the need for a shot to counter my Rh-negative blood type has shown up. But I am tired. We're half-way there and I'm tired of this. Yet I'm not really ready for the baby to arrive (supposing I magically went from 21 weeks to full-term overnight, as I would not wish a premature birth on my child for pretty much anything), because we're not ready yet.

But I'm still tired. Tired of people telling me that this is probably the best time of my pregnancy (great, so much to look forward to), or recommending stuff to counter the nausea that doesn't work, or asking me what the gender is (especially when I've told that person several times over the course of the last month that we aren't finding out until mid-April, and then only if the baby cooperates with the ultrasound). I'm tired of how being pregnant takes over my brain, and how it isolates me a bit from my single and/or childless friends. I'm tired of how the books say, in an obnoxiously chipper manner, that I'll be experiencing extra energy and an improved appetite, and how that hasn't happened.

This angsty essay was inspired by a friend's link on Facebook to an article that claims social media makes everyone's lives look shinier and inspires discontent. In general, I think they're right. Every time I use social media, though, I'm pretty sure my life looks less and less glamorous. Or at least it feels that way. Maybe to someone else, my life is pretty damn exciting. There's a lot going on, in some senses, but most of the time, I find it hard to see that, since I'm living through the day-to-day plodding. But there's something to be said for that, I suppose. I'll stop writing this now, and continue with the plodding. There's laundry and dishes and more comments on the thesis to work through, and J. will be home soon. And there's knitting tonight. Knitting makes most things happier.

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