Yeah, I never did make that Taj Mahoney post. I avoided posting anything on here because I felt guilty for not making it. I’ll probably do it one of these days, but really the world has moved on. Anyway… I found out sometime between Thanksgiving and December that a baby is on the way!
1. I am strangely uncomfortable mentioning the word “pregnant” and “baby” in regards to myself. This made telling my family the news distinctly awkward and on occasion less than optimal. Telling my friends was simple because I just made a Facebook status… in my defense, I was unable to see them all in person and I didn’t have a working phone at the time so I couldn’t call. I don’t know exactly where this discomfort comes from, because it’s not like I had a repressive upbringing, and I have no problem using those words in any other context. It was just remarkably difficult to spit out the words “I’m pregnant” or “We’re having a baby.” In fact it was impossible, so I resorted to beating around the bush by renaming my relatives to their “upgraded” titles. A similar inability to express myself happened when I had to tell my parents that I had gotten engaged, but that was because I was deathly afraid of disapproval, but this is different because I’m 23, had been married for 6 months, in a stable financial situation, etc, and it’s not like my family is against babies! It might be connected to the weird issue I have with thinking that I am a real grown-up doing grown-up-y things because for the most part (unfortunately) it doesn’t seem like I do, but likewise I am hardly against becoming that full-fledged more-than-an-age “adult”, I’m just not that great at making the shift because I’m very lazy.
2. Absolutely everyone on the planet who knows where babies come from has an opinion on how to give birth. This is even true for dudes for whom the whole world of reproduction – besides the prevention thereof – doesn’t exactly exist. Not surprisingly, general opinion in my circle (at least those who have discussed it with me – this doesn’t include everyone I know by any stretch) tends towards hospital birth with all the drugs cos birth is scary, inherently dangerous, and involves intolerable amounts of pain. I pretty much have decided not to tell anyone what I want to do unless very pressed because I don’t think anyone will support me. Of course I hope I will be wrong, and I probably will be, because once I start to feel isolated by some people, I tend to assume everyone else will act the same way when in fact certain friends have shown a remarkable ability to come through when I least expected it, but it definitely makes me timid for now.
3. The human digestive system (or at least mine) has absolutely NO IDEA how to cope with pregnancy, and may possibly be jealous that previously loafing organs are now getting more attention. It just doesn’t make biological sense to me for my stomach, now that it is of the utmost importance to eat well and eat enough, to reject nearly EVERYTHING I put into it. I could understand my body being picker about things like “oops too much sugar, must prevent gestational diabetes, HURL”, or “too greasy, too many nasty artificial ingredients, too much mercury, too bad for you in general, HURL” or regular things like “you have a stomach bug” or “you ate poison”; obviously those things are detrimental to the health of both people involved and I ought to get rid of it. But healthy stuff? Plain water? Nothing at all?? This is ridiculous, and it just seems so counter-productive.
4. There is nothing like pregnancy to dredge up nasty memories or emotional responses and force me to focus on them when I am in bed trying to sleep. Then it makes me have the weirdest, least restful, most vivid dreams ever. Then it wakes me up in the middle of the night and won’t let me fall asleep again until 8am.
5. Morning sickness? More like 24-hour sickness, and very sneaky in that the early afternoon will usually have a period of “yuck, but you know, I can probably be functional in a few hours” during which I make plans to do something productive or see people, except then the evening comes (when other people are finished with classes/work and are free to be seen) I am sitting on the bathroom floor wishing the toilet didn’t smell so bad because then maybe I could more easily convince myself not to throw up… again. I live in sweatpants and big t-shirts for three reasons: I can’t stand anything more binding unless it’s for the greater good (wearing real clothes in order to go outside and be seen by people), my jeans don’t fit anymore unless I use a ponytail holder to connect the button and button hole and leave the zipper open (necessitating long shirts), and I haven’t done laundry in over a month because bending over makes me heave. Not having clean clothes is a major stress factor, and I’ve almost dissolved myself by crying in despair and then castigating myself because I SHOULD be doing this and NO ONE is going to do it for me and it’s UNSUSTAINABLE and it’s all my lazy fault, but man, I hate throwing up so much that I can’t bring myself to do anything that will assuredly make it happen. I dread Sundays because I have to figure out what to wear, and “I didn’t have clean clothes” isn’t a valid reason to miss Mass.
6. I feel about as useful as a snot-filled tissue. This feeds into my despair that this apartment will ever be presentable or even respectably tidy, and my fear of being abandoned because I don’t “contribute” (to household chores, keeping up friendships, my schooling, finances, etc).
My mom said in an email awhile back, “Funny how women can remember labor and delivery but sometimes can’t recall the prenatal experience – unless they had a difficult experience.” So far I think it might be because unless something really awful happens which makes for a story, or unless it’s really good which also can make for a story because it’s different. it’s just a period of mundane inconveniences and annoyances. Who wants to remember that when you can forget about it and focus on the wiggly little baby instead?