We have hit a steady stream of predictable with Joseph and I have to say I never thought I would see the day. He is happy more often than not, can tell me what hurts in caveman terms, and doesn’t need my attention 120% of the time, just a solid 98%.
To say it feels glorious to have arrived here is an understatement. Having a high maintenance, only wants mom, gets 17+ ear infections, breastfeeds around the clock, has never slept through the night baby is something that wears on a person. Especially on the person who seems to be the only one who he wants to solve these things for him.
So, I finally am starting to feel like Joe is gaining some independence, finally feeling better, sleeping almost through the night, and in general, is a much easier tiny human being to manage. We’ve hit some sort of baby/toddler-age nirvana.
We still have rough days, but that will always be the case. It is just glorious that I can put him outside, he plays on his own happily for like 30 minutes, and I can do something that I want to do, too. I honestly never thought I’d see the day. Granted, he still wants me in eyesight, but hey, we’re getting somewhere.
Another amazing thing that I thought would never happen, is my working mom guilt has relatively subsided. I don’t have the intense pangs of guilt leaving him until like Thursday of every week. In fact!, I might admit that I am ready to go to work somedays.
In addition to all this perfection, I am somehow finding time to shave my legs, brush my teeth, do my hair and makeup about 4 times a week, and generally feel a whole lot more like myself since having Joe.
BUT, I am 37 weeks pregnant.
All of sudden I was pregnant and now all of a sudden I’m almost done. At this point of pregnancy, I start to feel trapped in my own body. My symptoms skyrocket. I become a bear.
I have left my car keys in the banana bowl, dishwasher, under the bathroom sink, in my underwear drawer, towel drawer, and on top of my car. I haven’t left Joe anywhere yet…fingers crossed. I can retain what someone tells me for about 30 seconds. I make lists and then leave them at work or in the car or with my dogs. I write my 45 doctors appointments on my hand because putting them in my phone would be too permanent and logical.
Most of the mundane things about life irritate me. The dogs looking at me. Joe clinging to my legs pulling me around the house. Pat making that crappy olive pasta again. My students saying my name 30,000 times during the day. The mailman bringing my mail. The sun for rising. Spring suddenly seeming much rainier than usual. My insurance company for being so crappy, but mostly myself for being an irrational mess.
Sleep is an elusive unicorn. I sleep in 2 hour stretches. Wake up in pain. Attempt to roll my belly to the other side, always praying that gravity just takes over and pulls me down.
Also, can a person pee too much?
I desperately want to be naked all of the time. ALL THE TIME. Please? I can’t fit into any of my clothes. My boobs are busting out of my bras and just sit lazily on my belly. I put on a dress this morning and popped two buttons off of it. My regular shirts now look comical; like I am trying on Joe’s clothes or something. Fat guy in a little coat….
With all these pregnancy complaints, I am still quite happy all around. I am fully aware of how easy things are with Joe right now and the mere fact that I am getting to shave my legs once a week is a miracle from above. I am terrified of adding another to the mix just when we are finally hitting this stride of normalcy.
I am petrified of not being able to give enough to Joe, not being able to give enough to the new baby, to the dogs, to the Pat. I am also terrified of losing all my hair again, never showering, never sleeping, never putting on makeup, postpartum pooping, sleep schedules, and the list could just go on forever.
It took me 2 years to find some sort of semblance of balance and in a mere 3 weeks it will all disappear again. And who knows for how long this time.
I am miserable, yet ecstatic. Uncomfortable, but happily anxious.
People who have to live with me,
Pat, I am sorry I am so grouchy. I am sorry that it annoys me that you watch table saw videos for hours while I am puking in the bathroom. I am sorry that I don’t want to eat the homemade dinner you made me and spit it directly out onto my plate after one bite. I then eat a bowl of cereal and that probably isn’t very nice. I am sorry I wake up and already seem pissed. Getting out of bed is painful and nauseating and it doesn’t seem fair at this point that you can roll out of bed and feel fine. I limp out of bed and want to throw up and pass out simultaneously every single day.
I am sorry the thought of sex makes me want to vomit in every direction. It feels like a bowling ball is constantly trying to exit my vagina and a penis entering that arena sounds god damn terrible. I, occasionally, feel bad that I am not glowing with pregnancy and those hormones aren’t directed onto your penis, but rather they present themselves in eye rolls and meltdowns. I apologize that when you say I look good I want to scream. It took me 97 tries to find an outfit that fit (sort of) and I still have to figure out how I’m going to get my shoes on. I just want to be naked.
Joe, I am sorry I don’t want to pick you up and put you on the slide 67 times even though I did anyways. I am sorry that I am no longer coming up with creative mom shit for you to do to stimulate your little brain during the days and we mostly sit in my car and I watch you push all the buttons and ruin my CD player. I am sorry I want it to be nap time all day long and I almost always nap with you at this point, which I am pretty sure you actually love. It is getting harder and harder to pick you up and you have done ok with resorting to holding my hand…occasionally. I feel somewhat less bad because you use my belly as a pillow and/or table for your snacks.
Additionally, I am sorry in advance for leaving you unexpectedly when I go to have your brother. There is nothing that causes me more anxiety and I promise to plan and over plan for every second that I am gone. There are new toys involved, so just pump the brakes on thinking I’ve abandoned you.
DOGS! You are wearing me out and I apologize. Why does it seem like you are judging my crabbiness with your constant stares of longing for more pet time? I’ll get to it…someday. Luna just stop licking your damn paws in the middle of night! It’s driving me god damn mad. Gilman could you be any clingier? Please refrain from following my every move and laying on my feet. I have a baby inside kicking me, a baby outside kicking me, two dogs either laying on my feet or giving me the death stare for attention, and Pat asking how his hair looks incessantly.
Baby Number 2, I am sorry that I can’t keep food down. I am mostly feeding you bagels and cream cheese. It’s all you’ll let me eat. I wish I could champion nap like I did last time I was pregnant, but your brother won’t allow it. I am sorry you are probably squished in there. Trust me, we are both ready for you to be born. I also can’t wait to meet you.
Naked and Afraid