March 15, 2013 by 8junebugs
You guys? I’m…
I’m pretty pregnant right now.
The app that keeps me from having to stay on top of just how pregnant I am (35.5 weeks) informs me that I have gained a little too much weight (but not how much my fibroids weigh…ahem), that I may experience heartburn (not anymore — thanks, Protonix!), and that our baby is the size of a honeydew melon right now. It does not say how easily I can be overcome with emotion, much more so than during any other month of this pregnancy.
Over President’s Day weekend, one of my aunts flew out from Mass. for a few days. When you’re the one who moves away, this doesn’t happen a lot. You’re the one who’s expected to come back and visit, even if the place to which you move is a glorious tourist destination and a wine-tasting wonder that everyone should visit at least once in their lives. That’s what you sign up for when you move farther than 10 miles from Ye Olde Homestead, and that’s something this particular aunt and I have in common.
We had a lovely time walking the Golden Gate and trekking up to Napa (I have been woefully lax about getting up to Napa on my own), but the last full day was probably the one that nearly did my temporarily tender heart in. We took my aunt to see our house, and then she spent half the day helping me pick out colors and putting some samples on the walls. After that, she and Graham conspired to let me nap longer than the 30 minutes I requested…but I’d made it that long without needing a nap, which was a little impressive.
This stuff, this “Come see my new house!” stuff and wall-color-picking stuff, is the kind of thing I would’ve done with Ma. This is the part of the visit that was more “family” than “fun,” even though it was still fun…for me, anyway. And this was after all the conversations in transit to other things, the birth stories I needed to hear (it turns out I come by my epic heartburn honestly), and the family reminiscences going back long before my birth. It was fun the same way it was fun to show my mom the first apartment I lived in on my own in Alexandria. I miss that.
This aunt, in particular, understands where I’m at in a lot of ways, and she got on a plane to lend some support. That I didn’t burst into tears once during her visit is a goddamned miracle.
Puppy videos posted to Facebook are killing me. I just watched a yellow lab make friends with a toddler born with Down Syndrome, and I pretty much lost my shit and got down on the floor to hug Rodney. No more doggie videos until after this baby is born. It’s distracting for me and makes my dog wonder what’s wrong. You know, what’s wrong in addition to all the moving, all the new smells, all the contractors going in and out of the house, all the schedule changes, and all the pillows now preventing him from sleeping between us at night.
So, we’re taking childbirth prep classes, and every single birth story leaves me in tears. We’re 75% done with these classes, and every week, I’m the cliche wiping my eyes when the lights come back up. I don’t know how much of it is hormones and how much of it is coming through the universal umbilical cord tying all birth experiences together in some way, but I can guarantee that I will be a giant snotty mess when they lay this kid on my chest. (I have never been a pretty crier.) I want pictures of these coming moments…and I also kind of don’t. I’ll take them anyway.
It’s not all funny-pregnant-lady crying. I cry out of frustration a lot, too. Although I’m fortunate to be in good health and have had a relatively simple time of it, this is wreaking bloody havoc on my 35-year-old body. I am not accustomed to being limited in ways that cannot be overcome with practice or pharmaceuticals. I cry when I can’t sleep. I cry when commuting leaves me wiped out for most of the next day (the position of the baby and the fibroids has seriously compromised my lung capacity). I cry when I can’t lift things or climb stairs without one or both sides of my back screaming at me. Exercise, oddly, is okay. I had no trouble walking the Golden Gate with my aunt…until the baby got lodged in the position that leaves me most breathless, and then I needed to stop for a few minutes.
I cry when I realize I have absolutely no choice but to accept this diminished state for the duration. This is not something I would normally accept. And what’s stupid about that is that I’m the first person to tell someone else to take it easy and be gentle on themselves, particularly if their bodies are growing a whole new person…as well as a whole new temporary organ.
I know. “Asshole, rest thyself,” right?
I cried when I took my first shower in the new house. The door to the upstairs shower opens inward instead of outward (which is not normal, but none of the handyman work done on this place meets any kind of standard), and the only way I can get in is to let the shower head hang down so I can open the door all the way, stand in the opposite corner, then close the door behind me. I can’t close the shower door around this belly any other way, and we haven’t put up the curtain and better shower head in the downstairs bathroom yet. Graham had to talk me down from trying to demolish and re-do the upstairs bathroom TOMORROW DAMN IT I CAN’T USE THAT SHOWER EVER AGAIN AND I’M SURE HOME DEPOT’S HAVING A SALE ON SOMETHING.
(It turns out I could shower in it again, and have every day since.)
I cry because there’s a LOT going on right now, and I am feeling more than a little useless.
I also cry out of sheer gratitude and wonder for this life. (This usually happens in the car, inconveniently.) Years ago — at ages 18, 22, or 29, for instance — I couldn’t see this day ahead of me. For all the first-world, privilege-laced difficulties I complain about on Facebook, I have it pretty damn good. I get to build a family and a home and decades of memories with the love of my life (who basically packed/lifted/shifted every box for this move and every subsequent repair or installation). This kid, this little honeydew-melon-sized, boy-child blend of the two of us, has been a long time coming.
When you get right down to it, what else matters? And who wouldn’t cry, hormones or no hormones?