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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nine weeks and one day

The dreams that I have been having are out of this world -- incredibly detailed and disturbing. I dream them like they are really happening or like they are a movie and if I wake up in the middle, I want to go back to sleep to "see what happens." I wish this was fun, but I think it actually detracts from the quality of sleep that I am getting. 

My nausea has been down this week, which is lovely but it has made room for new symptoms. Besides the continued feeling of claustrophobia in my own skin, I am also feeling incredibly irritated with people and dogs. The dogs have been the worst though. Bark Lee rolled in something over at the baseball diamond and I have been able to smell him ever since. John insists that he doesn't smell, but my olfactory sensors are firing. Poop remains. Moreover, he has so much energy and is in constant need of attention (with annoying behaviors to try to get it if you aren't giving it to him), I just find him beyond aggravating. Besides this, I have been missing the days when I could get my house spic and span and it would stay that way. Dogs make this kind of cleaning impossible. The minute you remove the barrier, they are off and running into that freshly swept and murphy's oil-soaped floor, dropping their hairs as they go. We have finally gotten them off the couch, which is a wonderful blessing. I hated sitting down and getting thoroughly covered in hairs. But it is spring, and they track in dirt and they love to tear everything and anything apart with their teeth. Woe to the person who leaves the bathroom door open, for he will find that Bark Lee has over-turned and dismembered the contents of the trash can.  Worse yet, the recycling is kept in that bathroom and if Bark Lee gets a hold of a plastic container, in this case a cream cheese container, he will shred the thing to pieces underneath the living room table with little help from Tipper. In fact, at this moment, Tipper is simply enjoying laying in the mess.  

Talking to other *mothers* has been a bad idea from the start. I have yet to hear another mother tell me about how they, at least at moments, hated their pregnancy and thought to themselves, gee if I'm not able to bear this pregnancy and do the rest of my life, how am I going to be able to raise a child??? I almost always hear cheery stories about how they got through the first trimester by going to sleep at six every night but by otherwise keeping busy with work or school, or were out getting their hair done and having an early mid-life crisis, or they were constantly doing mother and baby yoga and sipping on vegetable juices, or they didn't realize they were pregnant until the first trimester was over, etc., etc. No one ever tells me about how miserable they were and if they mention illness--morning sickness--it's with that little laugh, like, oh well, it's that thing that everyone goes through. No big deal. My version of that is: I've lost myself, where have I gone? I feel crappy (and crabby or even neurotic) nearly everyday. Getting up in the morning is a pain in the butt and I feel incredibly overwhelmed because I don't know how I am going to get everything done that I need to get done. Food makes me tired, but I'm told not to lie down for two hours after eating because I'll get indigestion (which I've discovered is true), yet once two hours pass I'm hungry again and then I still can't lie down. I wish I could eat vegetables (gross!) because everything I read tells me this is the most important time to be eating well, yet if I want to keep things down, I have to follow my body's directive and it has told me clearly "eat eggs and toast for breakfast, don't drink milk or orange juice, bagels go down well, so do pickles and ice cream, only eat pasta, ramen noodles, lentil soup, chicken soup and whatever else I crave once, because after that I will find that food to be gross (so don't buy in bulk)."  However, I was able to get down two apples and a carrot two days ago.   My whole body just feels sore, and the only place I feel soothed is in the bathtub, which dries my skin out terribly.  

Emotionally I have been feeling, like I said, like I've lost myself. I can't find a comfortable space to be in (besides the bath).  I just feel off all the time.  I never know if I'm going to be goofy or overwhelmed. I never know if I'm going to have patience or be rattled by every little thing that happens. I don't know if I'm going to end up starving or exhausted. These are really unpredictable events. All of this unpredictability makes me feel lonely. I'm not sure what for, I suspect it is security I am wishing that I had. The security of knowing what is likely to happen next. The security of my routine. It's hard for me to relax when everyday is completely different from the last. One thing I've found that is very soothing is cleaning the house and organizing, even though this is NOT what I should be spending my time doing. I should be reading, working and preparing to write my two major papers due in just over a month.  

I'm trying to focus on acceptance. God and faith. The solution. Letting God's will and not mine be done. I am also trying to be gentle with myself.  

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Eight weeks and one day

The fourth meal of the day is on the stove boiling and I'm listening to the sound of my lunatic dogs running in the yard. After a conversation with my mother and my sister, where I unleashed all the *crazy* thoughts I have been having about my experience of pregnancy I decided it was time to write them down. First of all, I don't want to hear another person tell me that I ONLY have to wait another seven months to feel better and that I should keep my eyes on the PRIZE -- the baby -- because trust me, this does NOT help. Imagine being told that you are only going to have that cold for, say, at a minimum four to six more weeks and at a maximum, seven more months. Would you find this comforting? [This is a question for all those not yet pregnant and the men out there who never will be].  I have the particular problem of being nauseated ninety percent of the time (I've only thrown up three times, in a row since the first day of my nausea -- about twenty days ago). Since then I've just felt low grade nausea as a constant, with indigestion and constipation. And I'm talking, burping and farting regularly for relief. My poor dear husband, he doesn't know what has happened to his normally more presentable wife! As for fatigue, this I have heard others talk a lot about -- for a none, napping person though, three hour naps in the afternoon are really a shock. Pleasant at first, they have since become rather scary. Am I going to sleep away my productivity over the next nine months? Will I accomplish anything? Are all my career plans shot to hell? Will we be able to pay the bills? How obese am I going to get if all I want to do is sleep? Suddenly the baby seems like more of a problem--a crisis--then a pleasure or, just that, a baby. Just a baby. A sweet little innocent baby. This is not of course the best time to be reading about the fatigue one will surely feel in the early months after the baby emerges, it only makes the current experience feel more overwhelming, but of course I learned this the hard way, picturing myself with post-partum depression, healing from a forced c-section and episiotomy while holding a colicky, screaming baby.  Yeah, not a good series of thoughts to help me get through the day in front of me. Let's get onto the next topic. Dreaming. I've also discovered that every night I dream vividly. So vividly, that I wish I would not wake up (to experience nausea and having to eat saltine crackers on the side of the bed first thing) and could continue on in the dream world, visiting friends new and old. Experiencing things not as a pregnant woman. 

Husbands--mine is fantabuloso except for the part where he is NOT pregnant and as such can only comfort me by proxy and it is EMBARRASSING complaining, burping and farting all day long. And sleeping. Especially for someone who is a major go getter who hates resting. This is to say, I honestly hate naps. I'd rather just sleep at night. Suddenly I'm a whole new person. He finds me more attractive at the same moment that I am finding myself the least attractive, trying to hide in my over-sized overalls. This is when I want to hide away from the world and come out some other day. And smells, his are the most pressing as he is the nearest to me. I have found that I cannot stand intense smells in general (they were not kidding about this issue) but his are especially bothering. Or maybe I am most irritated with his smells because I normally like them so much and I can't imagine why they are turning my stomach. It all started when he opened a tin of peanuts in bed one evening for a snack. As soon as his teeth cut through several of the peanuts, the smell became so strong I actually had to comment and ask him to hurry up and finish because the smell was making me feel like throwing up. But the worst is that I can't bear to kiss him right now. Any smell on his breath puts me over the edge! This from a man whose breath normally drives me up the wall because it is so sweet. The irritation is not only around smells but it is also around touch. I am finding touch to be really irritating. Touch creates the kind of frustration in me that I get when someone is scratching an itchy spot too lightly. I know anyone not pregnant out there is probably thinking -- that poor husband. But I swear, for once I am not looking for things to be irritated about (that's my usual modus operandi). I really don't have the energy to do that. These are just spontaneous, visceral responses ... anyway, this is all for now. Now that I have somewhere to share these thoughts and fears, I'll be doing it a lot more often.