Saturday, December 09, 2006

In which I completely lose all motivation

To work, that is. Ordinarily, I love my job (that's because I have the Best Job in the World (TM)), but I am so over it right now. Perhaps that's because I am on bed rest and yet still shouldering a workload twice that of anyone else at my seniority level? A workload, I might add, that I am sadly failing to keep up with. I am going to have to swallow my pride and let go of this stubborn need to prove that "pregnancy won't slow me down!" (because, let's face it, I can't get much slower) and just ask to have my workload reduced.

However, it's not that I can't do the work, to be honest. It's that I don't want to. I would much rather spend my days on crazy nesting projects such as researching how to recycle the flatbed scanner we don't use anymore or transferring all the baby clothes we've received as gifts from one shopping bag to another in a futile attempt to organize something. See, since I can't actually do any real nesting, like buying furniture or rearranging the baby's room (still my office, and we have no idea where we're going to move all the office crap to) or doing laundry, I have to channel the nesting energy into bizarrely detailed projects like researching all-natural laundry detergents or obsessing about getting a flu shot.

Speaking of which, here's a WWYD? question for you all. Let me preface this by saying that I am 100% pro-immunization and intend to have my baby immunized on schedule, and that I normally get a flu shot every year (except that one year where there was a shortage). My OB doesn't offer flu shots, but urged me to get one if I had some other place I could. As it turns out, I can get one through work, so after much back-and-forth, I arranged to get one later this month. Up until now, I had pooh-poohed all the "FLU SHOTS WILL WRECK YOUR BABY!" hysteria. The CDC and my OB say it's OK, that's good enough for me. But just out of curiosity, I asked if the flu shots they give at work contain thimerosal. And what do you know, they do. So, because I have too much time on my hands, I'm now obsessing about it. To flu shot or not to flu shot? All the books and websites say that the amount of mercury in the flu shot hasn't been shown to cause any harm to the fetus, but "if you're worried, ask about getting a thimerosal-free shot instead." Which doesn't really help me, since I am physically unable to chase all over town looking for one. The chances of my getting the flu are probably slim, since my husband had a flu shot and since I have few visitors. But I will be having my baby smack in the peak of flu season, so there is some reason to be concerned. So, what would you do?

Other, the baby shower happened last weekend. It was really nice, though too short. It started at 12:30 and people had to start leaving by 2:45 to catch trains and such, and I will admit that I was having such a good time seeing my friends that I was a little hurt that they didn't want to stay all afternoon. But, I guess people have their own lives and I was happy that they put together something at all.

As I mentioned in my last post, I ended up inviting my friend to stay with me after all. And it was fine. She wasn't quite as helpful as she hoped to be--for one thing, it turns out she really can't cook at all, and at one point I found myself standing in the kitchen showing her how to BOIL WATER FOR PASTA--but she tried really hard, and she brought chocolates and trashy magazines and we had a chance to catch up. Though it seems that an unfortunate side effect of all my solitude is that after a few hours, I really don't want to hear another person talking anymore, and my dear friend is apparently incapable of sitting in silence.

I managed to contain the cranky fairly well, though, i think, and only snapped once or twice. The major snapping incident was when I was confiding about how hard this pregnancy has been for me, and how uncomfortable I've been, and my friend, try as she might, couldn't seem to say the right thing. It's not her fault--she doesn't have any experience with any pregnancy or infertility related issues, and we all know that there are times when no one but our fellow bloggers knows the right thing to say, no matter how well-meaning they are. But she would say things like, "But, I don't understand, what's made this so unusually hard for you? Because isn't every pregnant woman uncomfortable at some point?" and I would have to be like, DUH, the fucking bedrest and related scariness and social isolation and you try having 60-second contractions every 20 minutes for three months and see how you like it.

Or, she would try to make me see the bright side with things like, "Oh, but I'm sure you're really enjoying the good parts, right?" and I would have to bite my tongue to keep from saying, "What good parts?" Because, I don't want to seem ungrateful, truly I don't. I am grateful that I am pregnant, especially when so many of you, who I care about so much, are still struggling. And I'm unbelievably grateful that it's starting to look like I might actually have a real baby at the end of all this. But I don't think it's a betrayal of that gratitude to be honest about the fact that this pregnancy has been a real struggle and that a lot of the time, the sucky parts really outweigh the good parts (which, I'm not even sure what the good parts are--feeling the baby move and seeing her on ultrasound, I guess). In the end, getting the take-home baby will outweigh all of the suckiness by far, but that doesn't cancel out the fact that right now is often hard and sad and uncomfortable and lonely. And I refuse to pretend that it's not.

I do my best not to frighten the pollyanna, pregnant-woman-as-precious-vessel people like my friend, who ask me if I'm "journaling" and "treasuring this time"--but come on, even if I weren't having a hard pregnancy, that is so not my personality, to write letters to my unborn child and have soft-focus professional belly shots taken. Call me Mama Crankypants, I guess.


Blogger MsPrufrock said...

Wait, so you're still not enjoying pregnancy? Not knitting booties for wee Bat Girl? No gratuitous rubbing of your belly? Gee, I cannot imagine why.

I never did any of that shit and I had a far easier time than you. If you are Mama Crankypants, which you AREN'T, than I was Mama Bitchpants.

I'm afraid I have no advice to you regarding the flu shot. I'm talking out of my ass here, but as you're rather late in your pregnancy (Thank christ for that, right?), would the potential side effects of thimerosal on the fetus possibly be less serious? Meaning, pregnancies are at their most vulnerable in the first trimester, but as the fetus grows and develops, they are slightly less vulnerable. Like I said, I'm probably just talking out of my ass. That, and I'm even too indecisive to tell you what I would do hypothetically. Sorry.

I'm so pleased you're headed toward the finish line of this pregnancy. You are one hell of a strong woman for going through all of this without losing your friggin' mind. Well done my friend.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Lexie Ann said...

As for the flu shot I got mine a couple of weeks ago and forgot to ask if it was thimerosal free. In order not to stress about it. I decided not to know either way. Everyone said it was fine. As far as for the baby I am doing a delayed schedule, since he will not be in any kind of daycare. Everyone has their own opinions on this. You need to do what is right for you.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Erin said...

Yeah, I'm with Ms. Prufrock. I wrote a couple of journal entries at the very beginning of my pregnancy and that's it. And I didn't have nearly the tough time that you've been having.

I didn't get a flu shot while pregnant because I was worried about the mercury and decided that it just wasn't worth it to take a chance. P, who was born in December, got one in February. It seemed pretty pointless then but when he was already getting 4 other vaccines, getting a 5th didn't seem like such a big deal. In retrospect, I wish we had done delayed vaccination--but that's totally off-topic.

Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed the baby shower and your friend's visit (for the most part). Her idea of cooking sounds like one of my college roommate's ideas, which was that she could put a frozen pizza on a tray and put it into the oven. Voila, a "fresh cooked meal!" My other roommates and I laughed at her a lot for it, but she was as proud of it as could be.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Dear Crankypants! I laughed about the journal. I tried really hard for the first couple of months, but with all the in and out of the hospital it just didn't seem that romantic anymore! Glad to hear that things are progessing well for you! Take care.

7:11 PM  
Blogger K77 said...

So does blogging count as "journaling" or "treasuring this time". I snorted when I read those words. I am tempted to punch your friend square in the face. What's not to understand? The shot - I wouldn't get it. I'm neither pro nor anti vax, more questioning I suppose.

9:44 PM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

Poor friend. So clueless. Didn't you experience any contractions while she was there?

You need a trophy when you deliver this baby!

9:54 AM  
Blogger May said...

I have to pull a Crankypants and wholeheartedly agree with you on the crappy pregnancy front. Everything you wrote rang true. My pregnancy ended more than a year ago, and the strain and trauma of the whole thing are FINALLY receding into a patchy haze in my memory. The whole mess still seems crisp in my husband's memory though. I wonder how long it will take to become something that no longer bothers us? Here's hoping not too long for you, once your turture reaches its end!

4:15 PM  

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