Friday, January 7, 2011

i don't like doing math in my head.

well, the two of you who have responded thus far seem totally willing to hear my pregnancy stories, so here we go.

first, i have a bit of a rant.  well, not a rant. mainly just a fond remembrance from facebook days-gone-by when i turned to musicboy one day, after reading someone's status, and said "i really hope that i never become one of those people who complains constantly about their pregnancy. i hope that i am just grateful."

now this, among many other things i thought i wisely said before i was pregnant and knew what on earth i was talking about, i will likely have to revisit, as i eat my words.

(that seems fairly common in my life right now.)

but lately, i've been thinking that maybe i actually am just grateful.  because of the scare at 6 weeks, because i was so worried about everything and anything, because i count every day that Baby Girl stays inside and kicks me to say she's there and active and healthy as a blessing, because i count every (relatively) normal blood pressure reading and urine sample from the doctor's office as a monumental success, i am grateful.  i take note of the little things, and i am grateful for them.

that doesn't, however, mean that there aren't things to be Annoyed about.

i am one of the lucky women who feels her pregnancy in her back. thus far, knock on wood and all wood products, i've had very little trouble with swollen anything. in fact, my rings seem smaller than they were pre-pregnancy.  my feet are holding up quite well, especially after an upgrade from $2 old navy flipflops to $25 reefs (with arch support! even though i don't have any arches to speak of! huzzah!).  i get the occasional heartburn, but nothing that a single tums can't rectify quickly, and though i have to pee all of the time (seriously. i think it eased up for, maybe, three or four weeks there at the beginning of the second trimester--and you're welcome), i consider the hike up the stairs to the bathroom just additional opportunities for exercise.

but one of the things that this back/hip issue causes is a problem with sleep.  never been a side sleeper, folks--always on my back. and not just on my back, but on my back in a particular way--one leg bent and the foot of that leg against the other leg, head turned to one side--this was the way i slept.  well, according to the Pregnancy Powers That Be, that's a no go now. something about blood vessels and blah blah blah.  it's guilt-inducing is my point, whenever i end up on my back. HOWEVER sleeping on my sides is just super-uncomfortable. it doesn't matter what i do--some days, it just doesn't work out well. i wake up and my hips ache.  i mean ACHE.  so i flip.  and then the other hip aches. and i flip.  but at this point, i'm out of non-aching hips.  and this side manuever requires pillows a-go-go, so every time i flip it requires readjustment. and then when i have to pee, it's like getting out of and into the freakin' space shuttle.

i need a pit crew, i think, is what i'm saying.

but i pretty much just accepted my fate. in some ways, i'm rather glad for it. it has eased me, the person who DOES NOT LIKE mornings as a general rule, into the idea of getting up every three hours, precisely the schedule i'll need to be on when Baby Girl gets here. she'll need to eat, and i don't think it will be quite as awful to do as everyone says--since i'm already up anyway (and, increasingly, up for stretches at a time, since it's difficult to go back to sleep).  i am grateful for that.

once i started gaining weight at a COPIOUS rate, i started thinking. you know, other than the whole "you should really stop eating that much processed junk" stuff, my lack of sleep really might have something to do with this gain.  so i decided, once the holidays were over and i had the chance to establish a schedule of my own, that i needed to start making up sleep during the day. 

so every morning, now, i try to calculate how much sleep i've actually gotten (today: probably about 6.5 hours, though i was in bed for longer) and how much i want to try to make up (good goal for today: 2 hours) so that i can get to my personal threshold of happy sleep.  i know this is a luxury. i'm FULLY aware of this fact.

however, i'm also rounding the bend into my third trimester, and it's time to start practicing our labor coaching and time to get serious about finding nursery furniture (craigslist--if you wait long enough, it will come--we're in line to see a brand new changing table that will PERFECTLY match the crib we registered for for half the price it was in the store. i'm stoked.) and starting projects for the nursery and training my body for the hardest work it's going to do.

it seems to me that sleep has to be a part of that equation somehow.

but to get back to what i was saying before--i don't complain about this. even to my darling husband, who looked at me with concern before he left this morning and asked if i was okay, i said "yeah. i didn't sleep very well, but that's nothing new." and i wasn't being a martyr or a pill. i was just telling the truth. so i didn't sleep well. big dang deal.  i'm pregnant.  color me especially shocked.

as i was laying in bed at 5 am, rubbing my belly because Baby Girl was kicking (she does that now when i'm awake. i'm not sure if she does it all night and i just don't feel it, or if we really are on the same schedule--can i just tell you how freakin' sweet that would be if we could keep it up?), i thought to myself (and to her, though i know that seems crazy) that she's worth it.  she's worth the loss of sleep and the hips and the weight anxiety and the unnecessary worry. 

she's worth it.

so i guess my point is this about pregnancy, a small life lesson that i hope i carry into parenthood as well: yeah, sometimes it's hard and sometimes it genuinely sucks. sometimes my lot is harder than yours and other times, yours is.  but seeing the dark and gloomy side of it doesn't do anything to chase the clouds away.  even when you're miserable, i'm not sure it's necessary to really bring other people with you.  it's more fun, it's a party, when there's more than one person in the misery room. but i'm pretty sure there's heaps of people in the relatively content room, where you can mention your aching hips in the same breath as your wonderful holiday excursion and you'll fit right in.

so maybe i am doing okay at that thing that i wanted to do.  i never once want my Baby Girl to think that she caused me to dread or dislike anything related to her.  yeah, it'll hurt to bring her into the world. so what?

she's worth it. 

and making my life sunnier and happier and more focused on the gratitude of the situation is better than stewing and dwelling in sadness and misery. i'm worth more than that.

and so it goes. 

(but like i said--give me five weeks. i might be eating my words.)


  1. Keep the pregnancy stories coming:) I love hearing whatever you have to share. I know writing about my pregnancy was pretty therapeutic for me, and now I'm so glad I have it all to look back on.

    And just so you know, I don't think you'll eat your words. Just keep that attitude, she's worth it. All of it. That got me through a lot of tough stuff with my pregnancy, it will for you too:)

  2. I hear you about sleeping pains! I don't think I've been "truly" comfortable sleeping or laying down since I basically became pregnant. I can basically try a bunch of things to make it not hurt as bad, but actually being and bed and thinking "Ahhhh, this feels nice" hasn't happened in a long time. I'm thinking that it is nature's way of making us excited for labor, regardless of the pain :)

    People ask me all the time how I am feeling and I always say "Great! Wonderful!" because mostly that is true but I also feel ungrateful to mention to anyone how tired I get sometimes of the pain and uncomfortableness. Sometimes it is nice to talk to other pregnant women and feel good to admit that everything isn't lemon drops and puppies all of the time :)

  3. I didn't have much trouble sleeping (I don't know how I got so lucky), so unfortunately I don't have any "try this!" advice. I do think you're smart to work on getting your sleep, though. The 3rd trimester is a sleepy trimester :)

    As for overall attitudes, it's great that the "worth it" headspace is where you are now, because it actually gets easier to feel that way. Not every day, obviously, and not when your toddler is crying because he doesn't want his hair washed. But for a good majority of the time, you get to hang out with an awesome little person that you made. Totally worth it.