Lima bean blues, or I think I'll leave this one out of the virtual baby book

So I guess I should just admit that this 11 week old pregnancy has sucked donkey balls. There. I said it. I haven't been enjoying myself on any level and I even think every once in a while that maybe this whole thing was just a big mistake. Looking back, it feels like we were coasting along with a polite, charming, almost potty trained two year old, my body was back to something approximating normal, my clothing was somewhat cool and well fitting, my dinners were often home cooked and organic, my relationship with my husband included things like DATES! and, sorry relatives, S E X! and CONVERSATIONS! And not necessarily in that order! I often feel like we were in the home stretch, everything was getting easier and more manageable and then we had to go and eff it all up. We are just past that lovely cresting moment at the top of the hill (with the expansive views and placid family life), now we're adding speed and plunging back down into the land of poochy-stomachs, ill-fitting-knitwear, no makeup wearing (except for gobs of cover up), sleepless nights, harried days, exhaustion, DOWNWARD SPIRAL ABYSS.

(Yes, I know this is clearly the effect of the hormones and the nausea and the dog who sleeps on top of me with breath that smells like she's been assiduously licking her own ass [because SHE HAS] and the whining, poop-withholding, non-napping toddler. No need to call me a shrink.) (But perhaps you could send me a housecleaner/chef/dogwalker/babysitter?) (and also an editor to reign in my use of parentheses?)

I'm beginning to think that I just don't deal well, mentally speaking, with pregnancy. (You: "YA THINK?") Last time I was pregnant, I was a pretty miserable stress case and I just chalked it up to the general level of stress in our lives at the time (multiplied by Googling "stress and pregnancy" one night. Woo Hoo! That was a fun time!). Like this time, I got pregnant a little too easily with Zoe. A few months before we were really, really ready. Before the time was "right". (Does anyone ever feel ready? Is the time ever right? All I know is that with Zoe we didn't and it wasn't.) It was an unusually stressful time in our lives. We were moving, bought a new house, got a puppy, I started a new job, and CG was finishing his dissertation under extreme time constraints while concurrently starting a new position as a post doctoral researcher. In short, it was hellish. This was not how I wanted to be pregnant. I expected pregnancy to be a time of glowing expectation, lots of loving foot rubs, time to relax and plan and nest. Instead, when I was pregnant with Zoe, I lived in chaos, surrounded by boxes, an unhousetrained, chewy, spazzy puppy, a stressed out husband and on top of it all, I was alone and lonely in a new town where I knew no one. I promised myself that we would carefully choose the next time we got pregnant to make sure I got that easy, fun, glorious pregnancy experience that I assumed was available to those who chose a decent time to get knocked up.

As it happens, this is actually a reasonable time in my life to be pregnant but it sure feels stressful just the same. We are well established in our home and community, we are not changing jobs right now, our dog knows to pee in the back left corner of our yard. But CG is -ssshhhh- sort of on the job market; his funding runs out in August next year and he has to figure out what he wants to do pretty soon. Hence the traveling he's been doing and will continue to do (Lord help me). He's super busy finishing up his research at his full time job while resume writing, job hunting, and connection schmoozing on the side. Our house has dropped in value so much that we don't talk about what will happen when we move. We are just praying the market changes for the better before that happens. We are luckier than most young families financially but it sure gives me pause when I can't turn on NPR or open the paper or turn on the TV without hearing about the "global financial crisis". I don't know about you but expecting a new baby in the middle of a neverending sh!tstorm of a war (excuse me, TWO wars) as well as our brand spanking new "global financial crisis" isn't exactly compatible with predicting a glorious future for my unborn child. Or, you know, looking for a great new JOB for CG and home for us.

But all this war/election/global financial maelstrom aside, this is really all about Zoe. I'm smacked in the face EVERY day with how Zoe suffers at the expense of my having another little life to attend to, even if that little life is still an internal lima bean who asks only that I lie prostrate for hours a day and eat full fat cottage cheese, pretzels and chicken nuggets. I hate that she's getting short changed, getting less than she deserves. I had vaguely thought it would be good for her to not have all my attention but now I realize that's like saying "I'm going to ignore all but your basic needs. It will build your character! Buck up!". I already feel a loss in my relationship with her. I miss having energy and running around with her. I miss feeling like she was the center of the universe. Mostly though, I miss her napping.

(Okay, it's only been two days and the girl still CLEARLY needs her nap. It's a defiance thing. It's a testing boundaries thing. Perhaps, it's a "let's make mom crazier and MORE TIRED" thing. It better be a "HA HA, just kidding, back to normal thing!" very soon.)

Just to be clear, I was, I AM, grateful to have been able to get pregnant so easily after years of fearing it would be difficult (News Report: My poor gynecological history aside, I'm apparently quite FERTILE. And yes, I wish I could bottle that fertility up and give it away. It's beyond unfair that so many who want desparately to be parents cannot get there easily and unassisted. I do realize how lucky I am.)

Things that are helping: (Yay! Bullet points!)
*CG is home! And sweet and supportive!
*My mom is coming to help out during CG's next trip! Yay!
*I just reread "Waiting for Birdy" by Catherine Newman. It reminded me that I am not alone in feeling that the first trimester, especially in a second pregnancy with a needy first child at your feet, can really suck. But it also reminded me that, one day, I may be lucky enough to be holding a healthy happy new baby, one that I will love with the same heart-exploding fervor that I love Zoe. I knew this intellectually but "Waiting for Birdy" brought it home to me emotionally.
*I'm at 11 weeks now, almost 12. Getting closer and closer to, hopefully, feeling better.


My Buddy Mimi said...

Not that it is much consolation right now, but you will appreciate your energy so much more once it comes back.

Mommy Daisy said...

I only have one child now and am not pregnant, but I'm sure this is normal. There are so many things going on all the time in our lives. We do that to ourselves. Then through kids, pregnancy, hormones on the mix and it's just a recipe for disaster. But it will settle down. You'll feel better about it later. It's good to talk about it, and we'll keep coming back to listen. **hugs**

Astarte said...

We are the poster children for Unplanned Parenthood, I swear. Neither of our two was planned, and I wasn't happy about being pregnant the second time until a few months into it, ie when I started feeling better.

Thank heavens the puppy is potty trained. That would be the WORST.

Stephanie Velegol said...

I remember being in the same boat and feeling so guilty about sitting on the couch and, even sleeping on the couch! But then a dear friend reminded me that Lauren wouldn't remember any of it! She doesn't remember life without Sabrina and certainly doesn't remember those 3 months that I didn't cook (we had a lot of Darrell's beef stew) or food shop.

When they are 3 and 6 they will play with each other (when they are not fighting) and teach each other so much.

That being said, I wouldn't be back in your place for anything in the world :) It is tough...

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