Monday, January 15, 2007

Still here

And still pregnant, which is a good thing. In fact, yesterday marked the magic milestone of 35 weeks. There was no fanfare, no champagne, just a sigh of relief that I have succeeded in NOT going into labor yet.

Rather than celebrate, I marked 35 weeks by having not one, but TWO emotional breakdowns yesterday. The first was when I accused my husband of not caring or being involved in this pregnancy at all. Let me just say, first of all, that I know I was being somewhat unfair. Just because he doesn't want to read 5 million pregnancy books or pick out crib bedding doesn't make him a bad father-to-be--of course I know that. I know that he will be a good father and that he is a good husband. But--oh, I've just tried to explain this three different ways and keep deleting it. It's too hard to get into, too private. Suffice it to say, that was breakdown #1.

Breakdown #2 was just a culmination of all the fears and insecurities that have been building up over the last couple of months. I feel like I can't manage to do anything right with this pregnancy. I've kept Bat Girl cooking until now, and rationally, I know that's the most important thing of all. But I haven't gained enough weight (I started out this pregnancy underweight and have gained less than 25 pounds) and I know I haven't had the best nutritional habits--yeah, I take my prenatals, but because of the bed rest have had to rely on packaged foods and takeout for, I'd say, at least 75% of my diet over the last few months. I've been going insane over the stupid smelly dresser and whether its continued smelliness (after my husband sealed the edges, it no longer smells chemical-y, but still has a strong "new wood" smell) will give my baby asthma or cancer or brain damage. And there are a million other things equally as silly to the outside observer--too many to list here.

I know that all these things are pretty minor compared to what less-privileged mothers have to deal with, and I need to just accept that I'm doing my best and let it all go--but I can't seem to do so, and then I think about how the amount of stress I'm giving myself is probably worse for me and my baby than all of the things I'm worried about combined, and I feel worse.

Then there's the very real worry about breastfeeding. I've read all about how PCOS can be linked to supply problems, and I'm prepared for the worst. I have very small breasts (AA) that have not grown at all during pregnancy--they've been sore and tender, sure, and may have grown a TINY bit, but nothing significant. I'm trying to line up the best support I can--I'm hiring a post-partum doula with lots of breastfeeding support experience, and calling a lactation consultant this week for a consult--and have all kinds of equipment (pump, pillows, books, etc.) ready to go. I'm reading obsessively. I may be pleasantly surprised in the end, but for now, I'm pretty pessimistic. I didn't get the conception I wanted, I haven't had the pregnancy I wanted, I'm not getting the birth I wanted, so why should I get the breastfeeding and post-partum experience I want?

So that's where I am right now. Three weeks (max) from Bat Girl's arrival, and still feeling overwhelmed, inadequate, isolated, and terrified. Good times! (Man, this blog has become a depressing place, hasn't it?)


Blogger sarabeth said...

Don't worry. When you lay your hands on your beautiful baby girl for the first time, you will have your moment of undiluted joy.

1:38 PM  
Blogger ~M~ said...

I'm sure all of your feelings are totally normal (don't have any kids, so I don't personally know). Try to relax and just wait it out...everything will be ok.

1:40 PM  
Blogger MsPrufrock said...

The Dude is a very hands-on father, but when it comes to research and learning about baby development and the like, I'm on my own. Somehow all of this shit always seems to fall on the woman. Boo.

Also, girl you are 35 weeks pregnant. All sense of the rational left months ago. You have done a fabulous job and your gorgeous baby born at at least 35 weeks and some days will prove that.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel Inbar said...

Very natural to be worried & antsy. Any change, whether good or bad, causes anxiety. You're doing a great job & hey, you've got plenty of time to gain weight after Bat Girl makes her arrival :-)

3:40 PM  
Blogger TeamWinks said...

No, it isn't depressing. It is real. Your job isn't to entertain us. You don't write for our benefit. That's not to say we don't benefit from reading what you write.

4:51 PM  
Anonymous Watson said...

I wish I had some wise words for you, but alas I do not.

I'm sure your concerns are totally valid, but I also know in the end you'll do whatever it takes and be a terrific mommy!

I wish you all the best, please take care!


7:41 PM  
Anonymous Meira (comments AT voirdire DOT org) said...

I hear you, I hear you, and I hear you.

For what it's worth, another blog-read of mine is 38 weeks and having 6 crying jags a day. So you're slacking! Try harder! (Kidding)

For me, I wanted my husband to be as excited about researching every little nuance of childcare as I was. I wanted to feel like he was right there with me every single step of the way, and I was (and am) a little sad that he isn't. So yeah, the husband/co-parent I've got is wonderful . . . but I'd hoped for a little more. It doesn't mean I'm bad or he's bad, it doesn't stop me from being thrilled with what I've got . . . it just means I had hoped for a little more.

Breakdown # 2 is mostly hormones & anxiety. On the one hand, you said it: the worst care you could get is still miles better than what a less-privileged mom could get. On the other hand, even if you did every minute thing perfectly, every molecule organic, etc -- the real deal is that there are no guarantees. That reality is frustrating and horrifying and is surely worth a crying jag.

As for the PCOS/breastfeeding: add me to the anecdotal evidence. I have PCOS, recall no breast changes during pregnancy, and have been nursing my twins exclusively for 21 mos. Which is not to brag or judge, but just to say that: yeah, it could be that you'll have problems nursing, but it could also be just fine. And goodness knows you deserve 'just fine'! lol I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

9:38 AM  
Blogger May said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear about the freakouts. I fully agree with your other commenters that they're totally normal, but still no fun. Might I also suggest that a lot the obsessing over things relates directly to the fact that you're not getting the conception, pregnancy, etc. that you wanted-- everything has been totally out of your control up to this point and so you're focusing on things that you CAN control. Dresser, etc. A small observation, but once I realized that was what I was doing during my bedrest, it was easier to laugh some of the stuff off. I remember having a complete meltdown one morning because the hospital food service people sent me the wrong kind of cereal for breakfast. Seriously, I lost it. That was the only thing I could control from my multi-drugged, hospital bedded, disaster of a pregnancy-- what I could choose to eat from the horrible hospital food menu. It's funny now, but it sure wasn't then. I wanted my Raisin Bran, dammit!

Also, what does it really matter about the weight gain? You've kept Bat Girl in there for 35 weeks under incredibly stressful circumstances!!!! That's absolutely fantastic. You should be very proud of yourself. We all are.

I have PCOS and was able to work through some early breastfeeding problems and went on to nurse until my daughter weaned me. I think it's great that you're already organizing lactation support. I waited too long and we both developed some bad habits that we then needed to unlearn.

Okay, I'm taking over your blog. Sorry. Have a good day!

3:20 PM  

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