Tuesday, December 13, 2011

on strangeness and disappointment.

after a too-short, but moderately productive, weekend i thought i ought to wrap up some business. you may (or most likely, may not) remember a tiny bomb i dropped in the middle of this post, not too far back. the comment i made was about the disappointment i've felt about this pregnancy so far, and while i was trying to downplay my whining, i did not realize it would perhaps cause concern for some readers (who, you know, read the things i write. silly me!) anyway, it dawned on me, after having attended 2 birthing classes so far, that i was perhaps not alone in this feeling. but at the same time, no one seems to really discuss many of the negative feelings associated with pregnancy. it's all diaper pails and coordinated bedding and fancy strollers, with the occasional mention of an annoying pregnancy symptom or discomfort. at least, that's the majority of what i've come across, given my limited vantage point.

that said, the following is perhaps a more articulated (i hope?) explanation of some of the less rosy side of pregnancy, at least as i've experienced it so far. this is not, nor do i wish for it to be, merely a list of gripes, or a not-so-subtle way of trying to fish compliments or empty encouragements from the masses. i'd just like, for once, to be honest about how things have gone so far, with how my expectations measured up with reality, with the hope that someone else might feel the same way and would be encouraged to know that they are not alone. also, it should be noted that all i'm about to disclose does not represent the majority of my feelings about pregnancy; in fact, i've had a rather delightful time of it. so while i struggle from time to time with regrets and anxieties, please know that i'm actually feeling quite wonderful about the whole process. it's been mysterious and captivating to be host to the creation of a new little person, and i've loved every minute of the experience from that perspective.

all that being what it is, i'm surprisingly content with our current situation. in fact, i've been happier throughout this pregnancy than i've been in a long time. not that i was unhappy prior to this, but there's just something about the expectation of new life that makes the human heart glad, i think. i'm feeling more in love with my sweet Husband than ever, for example, during a time i expected to be rather difficult and full of painful adjustments for us both. he, of course, has been wonderful through it all, and it's clearer to me every day how i simply could not do this without him. the more time passes, the more convinced i become that having his baby is the best idea i've ever had!

so what am i so disappointed about? in short, i had BIG PLANS for this pregnancy. i had been anticipating being pregnant for some time (something like 10 minutes... but felt very long to very-impatient me) and had lots of expectations. maybe they were foolish, but as dreamers do, dream i most certainly did. and worse--I MADE PLANS. i read articles, blogs, books about how to stay healthy and fit throughout pregnancy. i started running again (sort of, if you count twice as "started again".) i gathered advice from friends and family about the medical aspects of pregnancy, timelines for preparations, you name it. and then! ... i actually got pregnant.

still feeling young and optimistic, around week 20

for the first few weeks, i was merely slightly uncomfortable, but whatever bloated discomfort i faced was easily overshadowed by my intense worry and glee. the Husband and i were both pretty giddy about the whole idea; having finally pulled the trigger on this whole "family" idea was overwhelming, but mostly at that point just plain fun. but soon The First Trimester started. and soon i found myself overwhelmingly nauseous and outrageously exhausted. for weeks 8 through about 16 or so, my couch had never seen so much of me and my flower beds had never seen so little. i was down for the count, and it was NOT pretty. so there went my plans. just like that! just like i said they wouldn't. for i had MADE PLANS, you see. BIG PLANS. for running through the first trimester! for maintaining a healthy diet, plus or minus perhaps a couple small tweaks to account for cravings and foods rich in healthy, life-giving fats and calories! for sewing, for cleaning, for crafty preparations galore! but all. i did. was lay there. for 2. long. months. "i'll get back to that in the second trimester," i told myself. "i'll be feeling better then."

and feel better i did. just better enough to become more busy than i ever imagined. was pregnancy supposed to be this busy? why did i suddenly no longer have time for daily workouts? trips to the grocery store? laundry? dishes? where did all my time go? i've spent more time reflecting on this than i probably should, and i still don't have any answers. i'm not sure how it is i did not expect pregnancy to be as busy as, say, wedding planning. i suppose i expected to be busy during pregnancy, but i think i was picturing something more ... productive. instead, we suddenly found ourselves in a whirlwind of appointments, busy work schedules, overly ambitious home improvement projects and very little else. all our routine went out the window, and along with it our healthy eating habits, our regular workouts and our ability to keep our house even remotely clean. by the time i felt like i had time to breathe, i realized i had missed several months of regular workouts and no longer remembered what to even buy from the grocery store, much less what it is we used to eat or how i ever had time to cook dinner.

to be a little more brief, i've been terribly disappointed with how things have gone with this pregnancy. not because pregnancy has been awful or because the struggles and discomforts outweigh the happy parts (that's certainly not even close to true.) but because i once considered myself a routine-driven, capable, disciplined person. and suddenly i am seemingly none of those things. (on that note, please do not send me messages trying to tell me otherwise. you have not been at my house for the last few months to witness the carnage, you're going to have to trust me on this. plus, that is not the point here, i thought i mentioned that earlier.) realizing all of this has been difficult for me, to say the least. looking around, it doesn't seem like any other pregnant moms-to-be have so much trouble keeping it together. most of them appear clean, dressed and healthy. i think i even saw some of them eating vegetables.

so while most of this pregnancy has been thick with anticipation, adventure and delight, i can't shake the feeling that i should have done better. that i should have tried harder, that i should have maybe even tried a little. it scares me a little, moving toward such a drastic transformative life change that i feel as if i've lost all control. my only hope is that this time has given me some new perspective. or at least that it has given me a break between my life before and what my life is about to become. like a fresh start, i can pick up and start all over again. and this time, instead of changing routines, i'll merely start anew. so i suppose there's some hope built into this feeling of disappointment. a clear vision of what my life might be without a little structure, and a healthy helping of humility to spur me on.

1 comment:

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

Sorry for the disappointment you've been feeling, and the chaos. I wouldn't worry about people's reactions, I'm not quite sure where all this prescribed idea of pregnancy, "it's all happy all the time" came from.

As for being busy and unable to eat vegetables, I hear you. I'm realllly disappointed... with my job. bah.