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Monday, June 30, 2008

Diary of a Mad Pregnant Lady

Thank you all for the kind wishes for our first baby! As mentioned, we are beyond excited. Oh, and thank you for indulging me one week of baby mania. Promise this blog won’t become the online version of A Baby Story – entirely.

This is a long one, but bear with me - I’ll start posting the fun stuff tomorrow!!

BT and I have been waiting to have kids until we reached some magic moment in time where we felt our finances and living situation were in order. Seeing neither issue working out in the near future, and meanwhile finding we were not getting any younger, we figured it would be good to start trying. To be honest, and I’m sorry if this is TMI, but we have been practicing the Rhythm Method for the last 6 years. Despite feeling very comfortable about how my body works, we were surprised that we were not blessed with an Oops Baby during that time. You could have knocked us both over with a feather when the test came back positive after our first try. But, before you ask, I will not give advice about using this method (statistically, the least reliable) of birth control. Three people have already hit me up for advice, and I am scared to hear back from them that they ended up getting pregnant after all. Just know you have to be really really regular (I was 2nd Monday of the month for as long as I can remember), and you have to be willing to do some things that could detract from the spontaneity of your sexual relations. Enough said.

Pregnancy is and is not simultaneously kind to me. On the good side of things, I did not experience one bit of morning sickness. The downside of that, I found out, is that I gained just a little too much weight my first trimester. Nature has a way of correcting itself, however, and now in my second trimester my appetite is a bit off – I think because there is too much weight resting on my actual stomach muscle. Besides no morning sickness, I do not have any aches or pains, or anything that feels significantly different than pre-pregnancy. In fact, in some ways I am feeling better. I am eating much better, and by cutting out soda and caffeine, I have not had any heartburn for the last 5 months. My blood pressure has been lower than pre-pregnancy. Overall, I am feeling pretty good.

So maybe I am (thus far) a good “breeder” physically, but pregnancy has been one big mind fuck. I think the first week after the test, I was in the happy elated phase it seems most women maintain until the end when things start to get tough physically. My mood, by contrast, was a constant low level anger interspersed with extreme worry. I cannot explain the former to you. I have a history of depression, and expected to see a magnified version of that – crying jags, racing thoughts. The fury, however, was very unexpected. It’s also difficult to describe. Even though I feel like I was turning into a raging bitch, most people I spoke to about it didn’t notice anything. BT was rarely the target of the angry thoughts, but even he did not notice anything different in my mood. I was not angry about being pregnant. Just…angry…all the time…for no apparent reason. If you drew me as a cartoon character, I would be the one walking around with a storm cloud over my head.

My main targets were my co-workers (who did not know I was pregnant until a month or so ago), and advice givers. If I had to look at it psychologically, I would say I am angry about work related matters because with all my pie-in-the-sky ideas about being a SAHM, there is no way I can stay home for more than a few months with our little guy. Especially since one of the limiting factors to starting our family mentioned above may be rectified by the end of this month, as we have had a bid accepted on a house. Barring any terrible news during the inspection, we will be moving from our 900 square foot, classic, unaltered rental to a 1,000 square foot version of the same in need of TLC (and central A/C), carrying a mortgage 3 times our current rent. Ah – the joys of living in southern California. Anyway, we have set our priorities in life, and unless a giant pot of money falls out of the sky, this is how it has to be. That doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. I don’t, however, need to take it out on the folks that work with me.

Advice givers – oh – that’s another group that has made my blood boil. Logically, I know even if they didn’t necessarily have my best interests in mind (I have had so much advice about morning sickness thrown at me despite starting the conversation saying I did not have any), they enjoy telling the stories because it allows them the chance to relive their own pregnancies. I know this, as I said, logically. But the other side of me hates the advice because it negates the fact that I have been wanting to have a child for the last – oh – 8 years or so. During that time, the only way I found to keep myself sane was to read up on pregnancy, baby care, etc. I have so many baby related links saved, it’s kind of scary. I can’t say I know everything, and certainly have been surprised by how things have gone in practice. But, I resent it when others treat me like the babe in the woods who needs to have her hand held for 9 months. Fortunately, most people have backed off now that things have gone relatively smoothly. I am not really showing (the downside of being overweight before getting pregnant – it takes longer to get a well-defined baby bump). Also, I am never the one to bring baby matters up in a conversation, so I think some people forget I am pregnant, which is fine with me.

Pregnancy is a singular experience, and no one can predict how it will be for another woman. Not that I don’t seek out individuals that may have had a similar experience with the rage and fury, just to be contrary. It just seemed so different from the feelings described by friends, family members, books, blogs, etc., I felt like I had to find somebody who went through the same thing so I didn’t feel like a total nut job. I didn’t have to look far. My neighbor said she felt the exact same way, to the extent that it has deterred her from having another baby. Maybe it’s something in our water supply? Here’s to hoping our little one did not pick up this horrible character trait from his mama.

On top of the anger, there was the worry. At every stage, and every possible scenario. It was only after seeing our little guy (who is bereft of a nickname other than Baby) on the screen during the 20-week ultrasound, and having the pictures reviewed by the doctor, that I have finally settled down. The anger has all but diminished, and I think the worry is back to a more acceptable level, now that we have ruled out big baddies like Down’s, other misc. genetic disorders, spinal cord problems, hermaphroditism, etc. Oh, and his heart is inside his body. And he has all of his limbs. Like I said – I’ve been through them all.

Maybe now I can become one of those pregnant women with the “happy glow” I hear so much about.

Thanks to anyone who made it through this! Back to light and fun tomorrow!!

14 comments:

Sarah and Jack said...

Eh, glow or no glow* (which I never had a single solitary moment of), you will still, god willing and the crick don't rise, end up with a baby at the end.

And *that* makes up for the total insanity of pregnancy (and even parenting!).

*I happen to think the glow is total bullshit anyway, but whatever floats someone's boat. LOL

Jane said...

Thanks for your honest sharing...and blessings! Very exciting news. I look forward to the rest of your baby posts.

Stephanie said...

I can totally emphasize with you and hear your worries and fears. I'm right there with you..trying to bite my lip as the advice givers share...and share...and share. I remind myself they have the best of intentions but it's not always a mood fix. I too gained too much during the first trimester but have leveled off during the much more enjoyable second trimester. *big hugs* Thank you for sharing, it's nice to read about someone who's in the same boat as me. We got the keys to our NoCal house last week, too.

Shanna said...

the hubby said i was the meanest pregnant woman he'd ever met! of course, i didn't see that at all! i happily flitted about the house preparing for jerrett and i was just so darn happy! i guess the hubby noticed my mood swings more than i did!

i hated people telling me what i already knew...and wanting to pat my belly! god! i could've smacked this woman from the hubby's work! we were at a xmas party a few days before i went into labor (jerrett was 2 weeks early) and she wanted to sit near me to hear all about my being preggo and she kept wanting to put her hand on my belly to feel jerrett kick. i wanted to kick her!...hmmm, now i see the meaness the hubby was talking about! LOL

flurogoddess said...

Thanks for sharing the mad bits of pregnancy.

I think too much emphasis is put on the smiley-smiley happy-happy joy-joy pregnant lady. It's good to hear that, like everything, it's not all roses.

Good luck with the rage - perhaps you could hang up a punch bag? ;-)

Melissa said...

Well, here's one person that has no advice for you, but lots of mad (as in crazy) joy and excitement. Can I knit you something?

Nomadic said...

First, congrats on the baby and for completing the first trimester without smacking anyone! :)

I find that I carry angry feelings when I am really scared. Rather than admit I'm scared, I will seethe with anger...and I never realize it until the underlying cause is resolved.

Enjoy your pregnancy and that beautiful baby when he gets here! :)

Melissa in FL

apple cyder said...

Congrats to you! Loved this post. I became a super worry wort with my pregnancy. I kept picturing my husband getting in a fatal accident and worried I would be a single mom!

Emy said...

I felt the anger after I had the baby. It is a part of depression so keep it in check. (Sorry for the advice. :D)
What I hated was a being pregnant at the same time as my sister in law. She turned pregnancy into a contest. I never won because I didn't have much to complain about. :D
I am sooooo happy for you and if you need anything, just ask. And I guess I didn't get that you saying little man meant you were having a boy. Sorry about that. I still have mommy-brain. Plus I called Mabel and Cale "he" and "him" a lot.

leslie said...

well i am going to ignore all that you said about advice because of course you mean everyone else and not ME! right?? yikes! i think i have given you two full books worth! just one more though (cant help it!) after you have that little guy, you are gonna be fertile myrtle (sp?) so you better use something extra with your rhythm method, i cant tell you how many people i see three or four months after i scanned their full term baby, pregnant with an "oops" baby!!! and usually not too thrilled about it either. infertility patients have it happen all the time, back to back babies.
love ya!

telfair said...

1.) Congratulations on the house!!
2.) I totally understand the SAHM thing, I will be heading back to Widget Central after my 12 weeks of maternity leave and feel a little bitter about it. I have been asked several times, "How long are you going to keep working before your baby is born?" As if I have any choice! I resist the urge to say, "I will probably GIVE BIRTH at the office, I only get 12 weeks of maternity leave."
3.) You can see from the above that I have my own moments of rage...
4.) I can also relate to your conception method, the minute I read your comment about being willing to abandon spontaneity I thought, "Yup, been there, done that!"

Anonymous said...

jennifer,

I am unbelieveably happy for you and want to say congrats to u both. I will agree whole heartedly that pregnancy has a mind of its own and each person goes through it in your own way. Struggeling with worry and fury is somewhat normal. At least it was for me!!! And I am sure you have that glow, you sound thrilled, I'm sure it shows!!!

mascanlon said...

I look forward to hearing a little more along the way! Fear and joy together seem to be the recipe for most pregnancies mixed with wondrous anticipation for the future. a 20 week secret, wow that was impressive. No advice though, we all experience this journey in our own way.

Anne said...

Ugh, I've been away and look what I missed - your big news! Congratulations. I will not give any advice or at least try not to. I had many of the emotions you are describing, not sure why it happens.

I am so happy for you.