Emotions & elasticity.
September 18th 2013
30 weeks pregnant.
I’ve finally embraced new technology and become an iPhone owner. I may be considered somewhat of a Luddite when it comes to upgrading my phone, but it became necessary. Andy was very excited because now he can send me all sorts of fascinating emojis (which he does all the time). I was happy to go ahead and upgrade now so that hopefully by the time Wilder comes I will have mastered the photo app. I received the phone in the mail and had to go to the T-Mobile store so that they could import all my contacts. I found myself getting super frustrated and a bit bitchy towards Andy because I couldn’t figure everything out immediately. The situation reminded me that unfortunately I have a poor habit of being rude to him when I am frustrated. I’m truly trying to become more aware of this, and not act out in this way. It isn’t beneficial to either of us and I surely don’t want our son to learn such a nasty practice. I spoke with a friend about this and she said that at times she catches herself doing the same thing. I feel like more of the women than men that I know have this vice, and I wonder why that is.
Physically, I’ve been feeling pretty good lately. Only ten(ish) weeks left to go. The newest and most annoying symptoms of pregnancy revolve around my afternoon desire for sleep and the way I toss and turn at night. At around 1:30 pm every day I feel like a narcoleptic. It doesn’t help that five days a week I am practically tethered to a desk staring at spreadsheets all day. As the weather gets cooler, I may resort to spending my lunch time napping in my car. There are days when I doubt my resolve to work up until the bitter end, but then I remember how much I like having money to pay bills. Luckily the co-workers in my immediate vicinity are very understanding of my current state and when I loudly exhale and throw my head to my desk in despair, they don’t blink an eye. I know things could be a lot more uncomfortable than they are, and I try to keep that in perspective. I’ve also been keeping up with my yoga practice, which has helped with a lot of the physical discomforts that are developing as my pregnancy progresses. I tried a few prenatal classes, but honestly I couldn’t really relate (yet). In the meantime I’ve been going to my regular classes and just modifying the poses. It has definitely been very challenging and I wouldn’t recommend taking this route unless you have a regular practice to begin with. Eventually I will succumb to prenatal classes, perhaps sooner than later since I can’t see my feet past my belly anymore.
I had a few emotional days this past week. I feel that for the majority of my pregnancy I haven’t really acted any more crazy than I normally do, but every once in a while I just feel very sensitive. The books that I have read mention that it isn’t uncommon to have more anxiety in the third trimester, and I certainly have been experiencing it. I find myself worrying a lot more about money than I used to. One day after receiving a $1,200 lab bill for tests that were once again supposed to be covered under health care reform, I nearly started crying on the phone with my insurance company, while at my desk, in front of my co-workers. Then because I really wanted to feel awful I decided to Google my nephew’s name, since he hasn’t spoken to me in nearly a year. The search concluded that he had been arrested for theft in July. The saddest part of this revelation was that my first thought was, “At least he’s still alive.” As I’m sure you can imagine the day went to shit from there. I spent the remainder of the afternoon feeling a lovely mixture of guilt and self-pity. I don’t know if I will ever be able to separate the failings of my nephew with my self-perceived failings as a parent. As usual, thoughts of him brought up thoughts of the rest of my family and a sinking feeling of loneliness. One of the most life-altering aspects of my pregnancy has been embracing my loneliness. In the past when I have felt sad or anxious, I have just distracted myself with a social setting, alcohol or risky behaviors. But now I have to hang out with my loneliness. We’re slowly getting to know one another, and it’s often as awkward as a first date. Letting myself fully feel emotions that make me vulnerable or uncomfortable is something that I have yet to embrace in the past, even in therapy and meditation. Now I find it a necessary practice. I certainly don’t want to quell my nerves with a dose of Makers. Wilder is going to have enough challenges, and we don’t need to add FAS to that list. Also I am hopeful that by learning not to distract my way through situations and eventually life, that I can teach him how to feel and accept his emotions. Learning to be alone with oneself is a truly invaluable lesson.
Andy spent the weekend in Illinois visiting some friends. I was nervous about him driving all the way there and back, but also supportive of him taking the trip. Financially it may not have been the best decision, but I also feel like his chances of travel will severely decrease once Wilder is here. He had a really nice time and I was happy to have Cody stay over in his apartment to help dog-sit the pups. Cody and I went to the Fleur de Tease season opener burlesque show on Saturday. The performances were fantastic and it was really nice to see many of my friends. After the show we were talking with a friend of mine who was adorably inquisitive about my pregnancy. She asked, “Aren’t you worried about your taint?” I immediately responded, “Well, yes.” She then asked if I was going to try to have the baby naturally and how she was considering pregnancy but doubted her ability to deliver her baby without a Cesarean (she is very petite). We chatted for a few minutes and she had me laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants (not too much of a challenge these days). I adore people who will ask me bold questions about my pregnancy. I enjoy sharing my experience with them, especially when they have a good sense of humor. Cody said that the conversation was one of the best he had been a part of in a long time. He’s learned not to become too shocked when hanging out with me. He’s learning a lot.
I do plan on attempting a completely natural birth. I accept that it may be necessary for some medical intervention or that I may end up begging for an epidural. I’m going into this new adventure as prepared as possible, with hopes that I can do it without the drugs. I think each woman should choose how they want to deliver and just because natural is my goal, I’m not about to push it on other people. I have been asked why I would ever put myself through the pain of childbirth needlessly, and the main reason is because I think it is the healthiest choice for me and Wilder. I have attended natural childbirth classes, hired a doula and read as many books as I can stand on the subject. Although this preparation may go out the window with the first contraction, I feel it gives me a better chance of meeting my goal. Am I worried about the pain? Absolutely. I have no idea of how it is going to feel, and while that is scary as hell it also stirs the curiosity in me. Am I worried about my vagina not being as awesome afterwards? Not really. I do a lot of kegel exercises and I’ve watched enough porn to know how elastic a vagina can be. Am I afraid that I won’t be able to do it? Sort of, but there is only one way to find out and I’ve always been up for a challenge.
The lovely ladies of my book club took me out this past Sunday for a proper tea luncheon. I was not aware of where we were going and was overjoyed with the surprise. I know I’ve said it before, but I feel so grateful for all the dynamic, caring people in my life. My book club has some of the raddest women in New Orleans. It includes students, writers, moms, scientists, lawyers and business owners. Each of us is so different and the conversations we have are generally entertaining and brilliant. They presented me with a slew of awesome books for Wilder, which I completely adored. I hope he is an avid of a reader as I am. A friend of mine teased that I didn’t put any clothes on the registry but had included over twenty books. I have priorities.
Andy returned home late Sunday night and I was really happy to see him. My happiness unfortunately didn’t last until the next evening, because on Monday night we had a tiff. Our arguments mostly involve me getting upset and emotional and Andy listening to me repeatedly voice my fears or anger. This evening I was frustrated because I had spent too much time overthinking our future financial situation. With the due date approaching and my (hopefully) temporary unpaid leave of absence from work, I have become obsessed over our lack of savings. I feel like every time we are able to put some money away, either something expensive happens at the bar or a crazy medical bill comes through. Andy has a much more laid back, nonchalant attitude about our financial situation and many times I take his belief in our financial security as him being lackadaisical. I don’t know what I really expect; it wouldn’t do us much good if we were both freaking out all the time. Like most arguments, there was little resolution and I went to bed feeling defeated and disappointed in our ability to provide for our son. It is times like these when I question my decision to buy a house and have a baby. I know the feeling is temporary, even as it is occurring, but it can be so disheartening.
I felt much better by the next morning and things between us went smoothly back to normal. One good thing about our personalities is that we rarely, if ever, hold a grudge against one another. Arguments start, then they end, and that’s that. I truly love Andy and know that he is with me on this crazy adventure. While we don’t always see eye to eye, we do love, support and respect one another. Regardless of the bind we may find ourselves in, I know we can work it out. I felt much better about my current situation and was very happy to hear that everything was progressing as it should with Wilder when I saw the midwives on Wednesday. He is growing perfectly so far and while my sleep has been an issue, I consider myself lucky that I have not experienced some of the common complaints of other pregnant women I know. I was informed that as of December the midwives are moving their practice from Touro Hospital to Ochsner’s Mercy campus on Napoleon. Cathy seems to be very excited about the move and explained that the new birthing center would have state of the art technology and the staff was bending over backwards to provide them with exactly what they wanted. I explained that I was a bit nervous because everything would be so new and that they wouldn’t have the long-term relationships they had developed with the Touro staff, but she didn’t seem to think this would be a problem. So now if I deliver just five days late, I will be at a different location. It really leaves things up in the air. My normal reaction would be to stress over the situation because I have so little control. But I decided that this time I would just accept that I have to go with the flow. I’ll let you know how that works out.