Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dear Future Self

I am miserable.  My back hurts.  My feet hurt.  My ankles are swollen.  My entire pelvis feels like someone has been using it as a punching bag.  It is excruciating to lift my leg enough to step into my pants each morning.  If I move too suddenly it feels like a knife is being driven into my groin.  I am tired; agonizingly, unbearably tired and yet I can’t sleep.  Between waking up to pee and the Olympic event of turning from one side to the other, I’m up every couple of hours.  I am cranky, moody and unreasonably irritable.  I’m lightheaded much of the day.  Breathing has become a chore.  Walking is a far from pleasant experience.  Oliver’s movements are now uncomfortable at best, downright painful at worst.  I don’t feel like me anymore; I feel like a barely humanized incubator.

On top of these physical discomforts, there is so much that I miss.  I miss coffee.  I miss drinking diet soda without feeling guilty about the artificial sweetener.  I miss sleeping on my stomach.  I miss holding Emmalee without feeling like I might collapse and die from the effort.  I miss having the energy to play with her.  I am constantly concerned about how this pregnancy is affecting her, and I’m pretty sure that she can now sense my misery.  Lately Emma has taken to approaching me with concern in her eyes and gently kissing my belly.  I can’t wait to be strong and fun and capable for her again.

Normally I would hate to write such a self-pitying and whiny blog.  Despite my unhappiness, I try to keep my complaints mostly to myself.  However, this blog is being written with a specific purpose in mind.  You see, something happens to many moms when their youngest child passes their first birthday.  A magical hormone is released that softens all the unpleasant memories of pregnancy and child-birth, wrapping them up in pretty pink cellophane until they can only be recalled with fondness (I’m pretty sure this has been scientifically proven).  You begin to have crazy thoughts like, “Pregnancy is such fun” or “I miss the way those little kicks felt” and, worst of all, “I want to do that again”.  I am writing this blog so that when these thoughts strike me after Oliver’s first birthday I can remember this exact moment, 8 months pregnant and miserable with 5 more weeks and a c-section still to endure.

Now yes, I do realize that the end product of all this suffering is a baby.  And though babies tend to bring about their own set of discomforts and worries, they are without a question completely worth the sacrifices.  Perhaps though, remembering these despondent moments at the end of this pregnancy will at the very least give me pause when I begin thinking that another baby is a good and sane idea.  I am not ready to completely rule out the possibility of a third child, but I would like the way I feel right now to at least play a role in the decision.  

Future self, please read and then re-read these words.  You are not a fan of being pregnant.  And, one last thing to consider, you get really, unfortunately, gigantically large when expecting.

 Five more weeks to go!