Guiltily emotional, and other updates

I often feel like I don’t have the right to be sad during this pregnancy. Which I know is not logical. But it feels extra-indulgent to me, sometimes, to feel down, to yearn, when I have had my most important dream fulfilled. But sometimes I do get down. And then I don’t feel like blogging. Because I feel like a jerk, knowing that there are some in my audience who are still struggling to become mamas. Knowing that at around this time last year (it was October) I mysteriously lost my first donor-egg pregnancy and my world flew into shreds and bits. Things are beautifully good, and I know it, and I don’t want to publicly document otherwise…

But the truth is it has been a mix of goings-on around here, some of which I simply don’t have the energy to write about! Like family stuff. Bluh. Long story short, I texted with my aunt one morning, a catharsis of stuff about my parents, and it felt relieving and healing. But it also made me feel strange and sad. One of my yearnings? To have parents who are…different. I don’t want to get into it too much. I think becoming a mama has me sensing what is lacking in them, and some of the things I’ve always needed from them and have not received.

“It takes a village,” as the saying goes, to raise a family. Not having family of any sort around me is getting me down. They are all in Ohio, and I am up here, and traveling while pregnant makes me miserable so I cannot go there. (Plus we’ve already spent so much on travel during this pregnancy.) And they cannot come here because none of them has the funds, the means, the ability to take time off work, etc. No one in my family will meet our baby until we can fund another trip home (and the baby is old enough). It’s just the way it is. I wish for once in my life someone in my family would come to me where I live, but it has never been that way, and never will be, and I just have to accept it.

The trip to the wedding in RI was also a mix. Beautiful ride on the ferry to CT, perfect poetry reading by DH, lovely conversations with good people. But I was just so damn uncomfortable and tired. I slept well in the fancy-pants quaint Hotel Providence, maybe one of the loveliest hotels I’ve ever stayed in (hooray for government-employee rates!), but at the wedding itself, I found I had to keep escaping on little walks, and I really, really wanted to sleep! Dinner was served very late, and I almost burst into tears from hunger (crying when having gone too long without eating is the norm now). But the worst was the next day, the long journey home. We had set up a foam mattress and pregnancy pillow in our hatchback in case I needed emergency comfort and rest, but my top abdominal muscles started acting up (burning pain) as they sometimes do, and I had no way to relieve the pain. Also back pain. Also swelling from the heat. (When I’m at home, there are baths, yoga, etc., to relieve symptoms.) I sobbed. Really, really sobbed. Hard. Multiple times, all the way home. Especially while sprawled on our crazy mattress-and-pillow set-up in the hatchback. It was the worst I’ve felt this pregnancy. If I had known! I certainly wouldn’t have gone, wouldn’t have put myself through that. It took me two days to recover from the soreness.

Recovery. If I do anything social, fun, it seems, I have to expect quite a bit of recovery time afterward. I have felt really blessed because a lot of friends I have been out of touch with for a while, even years, have been back in touch and there have been opportunities to see them in Brooklyn. But going to Brooklyn means 3 to 4 hours in a car total, or 3 to 4 hours on a train total, and lots of city walking, which I’m not used to. The next day is usually a zombie recovery day for me. Those (blessed) occasions, plus all of our out-of-town engagements—weddings, and so on—have started to accumulate, and my pregnant bod is going take it easy, no more! My pregnant bod likes it when I accomplish maybe one task in a day and spend the rest of the day stretching, resting, eating good food, getting massages from DH, and taking warm baths.

But there is so much to do, a seemingly endless list of tasks. I’ve felt overwhelmed by my to-do list for what seems like months now. And yet I feel like I’m treading water most of the time and getting little done.

What else can I complain about? The 3-hour glucose-tolerance test was hard. Headache and nausea so severe I had to lie down in the freezing Quest diagnostics room and was pretty much useless for the rest of the day.

Okay. There you have it, a slight release of tension into zee blog. I think I’m done now.

(Wouldn’t you know it, as I was typing those last words, I overheard DH donating money to a cause over the phone and we had a yelling argument, which is unusual for us. Is he insane? Has he looked at our bank account? Does he realize that heating bills are coming up, costs for our baby celebration party thing (more on this later), that I will be needing winter maternity clothes and bigger shoes and a bigger winter coat, that we actually cannot afford to live in this area, that we are putting together a nursery, that we are having a baby? Why does he think that now is a good time to donate money??? Gahhhhh, I don’t understand…).

I must end on some up notes! Here they are:

  • I passed my 3-hr glucose-tolerance test! Not only passed it, but had low numbers for all three blood draws. No gestational diabetes. So! Gluten-free cupcakes all around.
  • Baby boy is moving and nudging and kicking and letting me know he is there all day long. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. At first, I wondered how I would ever get used to it. Now I wonder how I will ever live without it. It’s my very favorite thing about being pregnant.
  • Hypnobabies materials arrived! They look great. I am digging in. Relaxation and distress-tolerance and eyes-open hypnosis techniques, here I come. Perhaps I will now enter a new phase of pregnancy.
  • I love the nip of fall in the air.

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. For me, being pregnant was exhausting. I did not socialize. I went to woke, ate dinner, and rested for the rest of the night. I know some people are very active throughout, and even feel extra energy while pregnant. But I couldn’t even go to the movies. A wedding or a road trip would have been totally unthinkable. And I don’t regret how little I did. We did so many fun things before we had kids. And There is plenty of time for adventures now!

    Reply
  2. Awwww you are so cute! Glad all the traveling went so well, sorry you felt so tired. It’s totally normal but annoying, I’m sure. Just indulge in the excuse to take it easy while you can! And yay for the good notes! I can’t wait to read more about the hypnobirthing!

    Reply
  3. Oh your blog is, at times, the therapy I am just not getting in my real life… I have nearly shut down my own blog because, although so deeply grateful and amazed to still be pregnant at 16 weeks, I am still seriously struggling with my emotions and lingering (deepening?) depression… I cannot seem to get it sustainably together, to get over my past traumas and sorrows… and I just cannot bare to blog about it knowing that so many ladies who I really care about are still out there yearning for the chance to be where I am today. My family is thousands of miles away and, although I felt isolated in my infertility before, I am feeling deeply lonely anew right now. Sincerely, I was not like this even a few years ago, not at all… but after going through some really really difficult years, I am clearly not able to bounce back… yet? on my own?… I am very open to seeking help, but how I wish I could find a therapist who really understood the particular and profound effects of infertility… Until then, I am so very, very grateful for your writings…

    Reply
    • Oh dear you. I hear you and offer a virtual hug, for what that is worth. I still haven’t figured it out, what it is we go through when we finally do have successful pregnancies…I used to think I could jump right into a private practice after having my baby, counseling women with infertility, but now I realize how very long it is going to take me to synthesize all that has happened during the past three years! My God! It’s intense, it’s a lot, and only other women who’ve been through it have an understanding of how complicated it is. Only other women who have gone through it have an understanding of the added complex layer to our pregnancies. I realize that women who have not experienced infertility have emotional pregnancies, paranoia, isolation, and so on. But I have to think that what we’ve gone through intensifies it in ways that are not fully understood, even by the medical/psychological communities. We’re kind of in new-ish territory, you know? I know you already know this, but of course everything you’re feeling is valid—just like my own feelings—and it’s good to remind yourself of that, and that you *deserve* an outlet like *anyone* else. I have to remind myself constantly that it is okay to be negative on this blog, now that I am pregnant. Sugar-coating or only telling one layer of the experience is not our job. I encourage you to keep writing. And I encourage you to keep looking for a therapist until you find one who understands, as you say, the profound effects of infertility. Also, just as an aside, my OB told me straight-up that although she knew I weaned myself off of Zoloft at 8 weeks pregnant that she had no problem with my going back on it, if need be, at any time during the pregnancy. This was apropos of nothing I’d said or did! I definitely think I can control things with yoga, but I thought that was so interesting that she brought that up. “You’ve been through a lot,” she said, by way of explaining why she brought it up. “Just know that that is always there for you.” So I pass on her words, in case they are helpful. It sounds like you’re perhaps sensing a deepening of the depression, and like you’re needing that therapist soon, or some intervention—don’t hesitate to take big steps if you need to! Sending out lots of love. xoxo

      Reply
  4. Congratulations on passing the GD test! My family won’t get to meet our babies either until we fly back for the same reasons as yours. Definitely makes me sad. And I don’t consider any of what you wrote as complaining but rather as documenting your journey :) Hope things continue to go well with your little boy! <3

    Reply
    • Oh, ugh, that sucks that your family won’t get to meet them for the same reasons. Feeling serious empathy. Doesn’t it just bite? I’m sorry! I rationalize the feelings away sometimes, but the truth is just that it sucks. Little boy is very active today—he forgives me all crying jags and keeps tumbling away, my sweet lil starfish swimmer.

      Reply
  5. Just because you’re grateful to be having a healthy pregnancy doesn’t mean you don’t get to be sad and frustrated and tired and antisocial sometimes. Just like you told me earlier this week, don’t be so hard on yourself! This is your place to vent, bitch, and in general maintain your mental health. Dump on us!!

    Reply
    • Ha! Yes, I know it. Am, in general, very hard on myself. My standards are quite high for myself and it’s something I work on lowering all the time. (: It kind of sucks—it’s a pretty entrenched personality trait of mine, and this pregnancy has put me to the test quite a bit in *relaxing* standards. I didn’t sleep well last night and I couldn’t cope with much today, and so now am watching terrible movies and simply counting my baby’s kicks and writing them down in my little book. He’s so active and takes away stress. I will continue to dump, I promise!

      Reply
  6. I’m done traveling at this point. I went to the ILs on Cape Cod for Labor Day weekend and left after one night. I was t comfortable in a twin bed and one walk to the bathroom at the beach was all I could handle. I left DH there and drove home. I’m also only able to do about 2 errands per day—not 4. My belly is simply too heavy with two babies for more activity. My shower was this weekend and everyone left yesterday. I’m recovering today and not leaving the house. Don’t beat yourself about that..

    Reply
    • Amen to not beating oneself up! It sounds like you know exactly what I’m talking about. I barely left the house today! Kudos for all pregnant ladies who choose couch-bound-ness. I’m not even going to yoga. (:

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      • I know how you feel hun and it’s nothing to feel bad about. There are years of trauma and sadness behind us that leaches out when we least expect it. Even now I find myself in tears every night thinking about my lost ones and all the changes I went through. Seeing a live kicking baby in my arms intensifies the loss so dramatically, knowing that one of these was lost six times. How is that possible?! Hurts so much. Stay nestled and safe in your bubble. It was all I had to feel comfortable. Sending huge love xxx

        Reply
  7. Let it out, sweetie. Gosh, I could have written this myself towards the end of my pregnancy. You have every right to feel the way you feel, and anyone who knows you knows you don’t take this pregnancy lightly. Hugs!

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for the validation. I think I’m kind of hard on myself just in general! It’s a trait I struggle with for sure. What’s wonderful is that in the midst of almost anything, this baby’s kicks make me grin like crazy. XO

      Reply
  8. I got the baby gift invite today! Thank you thank you! I can’t wait to pick out the little tyke something :) xo

    Reply
    • Oh! No, you already sent a gift! I think maybe in the assembly-line of invitation-sending we might have mistakenly included a registry card in yours, aaaack. I just wanted to send you that invitation and rose necklace/bracelet so you could participate in that birth ritual/prayer/visualization thing, if you want to. (:

      Reply
  9. I can only imagine that getting closer to your baby making his entrance into your life would make you further think on the losses, and also your own family of origin. Sometimes I wonder if I am so hardheadedly going after pregnancy because I want a do-over on my own family. I can only think that those feelings would intensify as you get closer to meeting your little kicker! I’m so sorry the trip was so uncomfortable. I am so glad you can recover and take some pressure off! I love the nip of fall in the air, too…. :)

    Reply
  10. Here is a perspective for you. I never had a successful pregnancy and eventually became a mom via adoption. I personally never get upset over the so-called “complaining” pregnancy posts because why should only those who never struggled get to be the only ones who can complain about the not so fun parts of pregnancy?! The same goes for parenting after infertility. Just because we finally get what we strived so long and hard for does not mean we are exempt from the challenges that accompany it and we have just as much right to vent about those challenges as those who became parents easily. If someone reading is in a tender place they can click away until another day but you write how and what you wish. I am and have been rooting hard for you from afar!

    Reply
    • Thank you, love! I feel the same way…most of the time.

      What you’re saying brings to mind how some people who have never gone through this struggle think women with infertility /miscarriage history should not yearn for a second a child…yes, we have the same complaints, struggles, challenges, and yearnings as anyone else. xo

      Reply

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