I changed the name! Because I like this one better.
This one is mostly sad.
The Last Week
I manage to carve out one calm, lucid, not-puking hour of the day to teach Shiva Nata. It is glorious!
The rest of the day I get progressively crankier, more bored and more nauseous.
Our nature outing today is to the Japanese Gardens, but I’m mostly too tired and sick to enjoy it much. I wish people would never look at me. Ever.
I really really need a strategy for encouraging people to cease and desist with the advice.
Also one for getting things done. And one for surviving the boredom of being too sick to go anywhere.
But I can feel the deep changes happening. Hard, yes, but very much wanted.
Sleeping through my life
I don’t get a weekend, because I sleep through it. Saturday I don’t get up for more than half an hour until well after 5p.m. Sunday morning I go to a meeting and help with painting for an hour or two, but then I come home and sleep the rest of the day.
I didn’t realize how much I missed the little pleasures of my day. How much I looked forward to taking a bath and going on a walk and writing and talking to David. Now I’m just sleeping, sometimes eating. I wish I could be awake for my life.
One piece of unsolicited advice too many sends me over the edge and I spend a solid four hours sobbing about how hard this all is. I’m realizing just how much history I have with my body feeling unwell. How little I trust the world when I feel this way. To have strangers and near strangers responding to even my jokes with more things I “need to do” is too much.
Where’d I go?
David says he misses the real me. The happy me. I agree. Where’d she go?
He stops me as I’m drifting off: “Are you sure you want this?”
“I wouldn’t let myself be this miserable if I wasn’t. But yes, I am 110% sure. And that’s why I can be so upset. Because I know I still choose this. Absolutely.”
I don’t think he’s reassured, but I’m too tired to do anything about it.
We have a meeting with the midwife. At least, that’s what I call her before the meeting and I also call it a meeting. Afterwards it’s morphed into “an interview” and she’s become merely “a midwife.”
She and I have nearly identical opinions on everything, of course. But the entire time she seems at a loss of how to talk to me. We spend a ton of time talking about “the birth,” but I know too much to be a good student.
And the space is wrong for me. It’s lovely and bright and filled with people. But on the other hand, it’s filled with people. As soon as we’re out of there I feel incredible relief, and profound exhaustion. No. I can’t birth there.
More than any of that, when I imagine her touching me, my first instinct is to flinch. I don’t know why but it doesn’t really matter. I need someone my body doesn’t flinch from.
That’s eight months from now
It’s kind of freaking me out that anyone’s talking to me about the birth at all. I’m wanting help with the difficult task of adjusting to being pregnant. One person who is kind and knowledgeable who will hear how how much I know*, but also how afraid I am. Who will stop trying to reassure me with more facts from books I’ve memorized and will instead help me find spaciousness without heaping more shoulds on me.
I am not ready to zoom eight months ahead and spend my time discussing the minutiae of what birthing position I’d like to be in. It’s just not something I have an opinion about, because I don’t have an intuition about it yet, because I’m not me eight months from now yet.
Of course I don’t plan on going anywhere that would restrict my movement without a damn good medical reason. Duh. That’s not what I want to talk about.
I want to talk about how scared and lonely I feel. How many people will talk at me but not listen. How hard this is.
Maybe I won’t find a midwife to have that conversation with. But I need someone.
*I guess I don’t widely advertise this, but I studied childbirth for the 3 1/2 years I was in college, spent ten months on a grant in Tajikistan studying childbirth practices, and have attended many births as a doula. It’s rare that someone is telling me something new.
Fevers and their consequences
Now I’m sick! On top of everything.
And fevers in the first trimester raise the risk for nasty birth defects of the neural tube, which doesn’t close properly if you’re too warm while it’s forming. It’s forming pretty much now. And of course fever reducing medicines run their own risks, so it’s rock and hard place here.
Usually my body is 97.5 degrees. Pregnancy has me a little warmer, but I’m hoping my cool-blooded luck will hold.
I spend the day checking my temperature, ready to down some Tylenol if it gets above 100 but unwilling to do so before then. 99.3 and climbing. 99.5. 99.7… And then it’s going back down. I spend most of the afternoon at 98.9. High for me, but hopefully low enough for the baby’s spinal cord to form properly.
David and I joke nervously that we should have made fewer jokes about anencephaly (lack of a brain) and zombies.
I ask him to check the baby’s energy and he spends a long time at it. Finally he opens his eyes: “Completely okay.” I’m reassured.
I e-mail a wise friend of mine who hasn’t heard the news yet, and every bit of her response is perfect. It warms the cockles of my sad sorry heart.
My mantra: “this won’t last forever.”
Because I care a lot about how people communicate with me right now, I’m going to try to be extra clear here.
I do not want: advice, psychoanalysis, or criticism. Especially not “corrections” to my medical knowledge, any reassurances of “it’ll be okay”, or one single “remedy for nausea.” I also would not like anyone to e-mail, message or call me expressly to check up on me because my blog sounded worrying. (E-mails with responses that were too personal to be posted in comments are of course always lovingly read.)
I would love: to hear from you. For you to use this space to process anything that’s come up from you while owning it as your stuff (telling me that you’re commenting in the interest of me owning my stuff, however, is not owning yours by my definition). I’d also like hand-on-heart sighs, virtual hugs and wishes for protection and ease. Or any of this stuff.
Invoking the qualities of humility, acceptance, safety and fierce sweetness.