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10 things about my pregnancy

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Written on April 2, 2011

1.I enjoy least the feeling of being an incubator, feeling like my self has been submerged to make room for the needs of a person who I haven’t even met yet. Every aspect of my life is impacted by pregnancy, leaving me with very limited choices and feeling washed out and surreal. You know how they say that you can learn things about a person’s personality based off of the positions they tend to sleep in? You can forget about luxuriating in things like individual personalities when you’re pregnant, because when you’re pregnant, you sleep on your left side surrounded by a sea of pillows. Period. Because that is best for baby. EVERY thing is about what is best for baby. And maybe it’s selfish and horrible to feel defiant and to struggle against the needs of an unborn infant, but I secretly kind of treasure those moments of “f**k this, I’m having sushi for lunch today” because those are the only tiny, distinct glimmers of My Self that I can make out through the 10 month long haze of hormonal fluctuations and sleep deprivation.

When the disruption of autonomy is really getting me down, I like to imagine Dr. Sheldon Cooper from “The Big Bang Theory” trying to adjust his bathroom schedule to the unpredictability of pregnancy. I know he’s a fictional character, but it brightens my mood to think that he at least would understand exactly how HUGE OF A DEAL THIS IS.

2. I enjoy least the hours from 11pm through 7am. I toss. I turn. I pop a few extra-strength Tums. I get up to use the bathroom for the millionth time. I finally, finally get comfortable…and the baby punches me directly in the kidney hard enough that I swear I’m bleeding a little internally. It’s a routine that could stand some tweaking.

3. I enjoy least the hormone-crazed dreams. Last night I had a horrible dream about Darren drowning. It definitely would have qualified as an awful nightmare under normal circumstances, but this was so vivid and REAL that I actually had the “9” and the first “1” dialed into my phone before I woke up enough to realize that a) Darren was safely snoozing away on my pillow right next to me, and b) the really great part of the dream about living in Pensacola wasn’t real, either. It took hours to calm down enough to fall back to sleep. See #2.

4. I enjoy least my new-found fearfulness. I had a hellish experience during Darren’s pregnancy and labor that resulted in a development of PTSD, and one of the many joys this disorder has introduced to my life is the inability for my body to really believe that I’m safe. Being pregnant again has triggered a whole new slew of nervous tics, twitches and straight up freak-outs, often over little things that wouldn’t have phased me four years ago, like a dog growling at me or having a car zip past me on the freeway. It’s hard to reconcile what I know of my independent, capable self with these fearful feelings. See #1.

5. I enjoy least having to wear maternity clothes. I have found that there are two things that are true of all maternity outfits: they are invariably ill-fitting and hyper-feminine. I normally pick my outfits based on how comfortable and practical they are (ie, I generally look like a complete slob…), and the lack of super super big cozy sweaters and soft, slouchy pants really irritates me. At least my super-huge wool socks still fit. For now.

6. I enjoy most seeing the ecstatic looks on Jon and Darren’s faces when they get a chance to feel Teeny move. They are both so in love with this little person. Darren has actually started having his own version of pregnancy dreams, and often wakes up looking for his baby sister in the middle of the night. It is completely precious to watch these bonds develop, and I am so glad that this little girl is being born into a family where she will experience so much love.

7. I enjoy most daydreaming about Teeny’s future. I research schools, pick out furniture for future bedrooms that she’ll have someday in future houses, read hosts of fear-mongering books and articles about raising little girls. This aspect of the emotional roller coaster that is my experience of pregnancy is completely exhilarating. I really love how I can feel suddenly sick to my stomach as I feel the weight of my responsibility to introduce her to all the different kinds of animals, colors, musical instruments, desserts, shoes, books, types of weather…she has so much to learn! And then the weight lifts and the clouds clear as I remember that ultimately, I am only responsible to love her, deeply and permanently, and  really, my only desire for her is that healthy decisions will spring out of that love. I hope lots of wonderful things for my kids, and being able to experience those hopes so vividly on an emotional level is a delicious experience.

8. I enjoy most the BABY CLOTHES. We were literally penniless when Darren was born, so I never got a chance to decide how I wanted to dress my son. And, to be honest, there aren’t that many appealing choices in the boy’s clothing department. I’ve spent almost three years just trying to avoid camo, skulls and rude slogans. It is so much fun to get the chance to pick out little sweaters with pearly buttons and tiny little red shoes! 🙂

9. I enjoy most the ultrasounds. I love seeing little glimpses of the baby that will be living with us in just a few short months. I always feel a tiny catch in my throat when it’s time to turn the screen off and lose that visual connection again. I feel more and more like this is meant to be every time I see one of those shadowy blue-white images. It is so special to have already seen that she has that same perfectly pouty little mouth that her brother has, and to know that she has ten lovely, long baby baby fingers. I am so excited to finally meet her in person!

10. I enjoy most the knowledge that this too shall pass. It won’t be long before I am holding my baby in my arms, sending my kid off to preschool, high school, college. All of the things that feel so definitive and permanent right now, from the late night cheek smooches and giggly afternoons at the park to the weight gain and food aversions will all be memories soon, and the I that was me before I became a parent will continue on after my children outgrow the constant need for my caregiving abilities. The memories I’m creating now will be well worth the cost of acquiring them down the road.

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Written by GRSeim

September 6, 2011 at 5:07 am

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