Lost In Transition

I’m feeling all the feelings, you guys.

I had a mommy friend ask me if I wanted advice.  She had written a list of things she wished she had known before giving birth.  I said yes, and I read it.

Then I cried.

This thing really has to come out of me.  And it’s going to hurt.  Like, a lot.  Breastfeeding might be hard.  And painful.  Projectile poop really does exist.  All this responsibility…

Even though I’m the type of person who always wants to know all the good and the bad stuff, it was still pretty overwhelming.

I asked myself, how am I going to handle all this?

That voice inside me shrugged and said, one day at a time.

I’m also having some feelings around body image.

My body hasn’t changed much throughout my life, with the exception of cancer and the resulting surgery.  This week marks the highest weight I have ever been.  I knew it was coming, of course, and I know it’s healthy and it’s supposed to happen.  And I’m cool with it; it means that Little Duck is growing and my body is growing with fe.  At the same time, I felt a pang when I saw the number on the scale.  I’ve never been one to weigh myself, like ever, because I’ve never seen the point.  But with the pregnancy, I’ve wanted to track my changes and so I’ve been weighing myself once a week.

It’s not just the number on the scale, but a combination of that plus how I look and how I feel.  I’ve always been fairly petite, and sometimes it’s tough for me to see my waistline disappear.  Honestly, it depends on the day.  When I first started showing, I was so happy and excited.  This is real!  Look at me, how cute I look!  I feel so special!  And sometimes, a lot of the time, I still feel like that.  But on the days when I feel achy and bloated, I wonder how big I’m going to get.  Where is my limit?  What will my body do?  It’s the not knowing that can be unsettling.

What I’ve concluded is that my body is changing faster than my thoughts and emotions can catch up.  And I have to keep telling myself what I already know to be true – that my body knows what it’s doing.  Trust it.

Even when cancer invaded my body and I felt like it [my body] had betrayed me, it still let me know what was going on.  And when I stop to think about my progress during this pregnancy so far, I realize that my body has done all the work unaided.  All the medical procedures I’ve had have been purely for screening purposes.  Of course, if my body needs medical help along the way, that’s all well and good, but overall, my body’s in charge.  And she knows what she’s doing.

Lastly, I’ve been feeling all pent up.  I really need a project (besides growing life) and what I’d really like to be doing is decorating and organizing a house, but we’re just not there yet.  Not only are we not there, but we’re crammed into a one bedroom apartment with boxes stacked everywhere.  I feel closed in, it feels cluttered in here, and I have no idea how we’re going to fit a baby in here, let alone all the baby crap.

I know this situation is only temporary, and our next move, if it’s not a house, will definitely be someplace bigger and quieter.  We’ll only have to have the baby here for one month max, if at all.

It also doesn’t help that I am not currently working, or otherwise have something to do with my time.  I’ve been looking for work half-assedly, mostly because, while I do want to be productive and useful, I don’t want the added stress of having to learn a new job, and I certainly don’t want to have to sell my soul to any job – and that’s even if anyone offers this 5 month pregnant lady a position in the first place.

I hate how the American work force – and the social service professions specifically – expect you to bend over backwords just to work.  The job openings I’ve seen aren’t only full time, but the descriptions are peppered with lines like: must be able to work evenings and Saturdays, shifts subject to change with little notice, must be able to drive to multiple locations, may be exposed to clients with violent tendencies, must give up first born child to Satan, etc.  I’d be hesitant to take jobs like this even if I wasn’t pregnant, and forget it now.  I’m not even sure I’d want to keep a full time job after I have the baby, anyway, so that adds to my lack of enthusiasm.  Don’t employers want healthy, happy, well-rounded workers who have lives outside of work?  Sheesh.  Jobs are just jobs, and I want one that I don’t have to be married to.

That said, I do feel incredibly fortunate that I am being supported by my husband right now.  I have the privilege of having the choice to work or not, and for that I am very thankful.  I also feel a bit guilty about not contributing financially to the household, and a part of me really does want to get out there and do the profession I love, but Brian totally understands my priorities and he’s supportive.  I’ll keep looking for work, and if I find something that fits our needs, then awesome.  If not, we’ll adjust and get by together.

So.  It seems as though my theme for the moment is transition.

But, now that I think about it, am I ever really not transitioning?


25 responses

  1. M- At the risk of sounding stalkerish, this post just makes me want to jump in the car and drive right down there… take you out for some good comfort food, because, hey: there aren’t many times in your life when you truly can eat what you want, and not worry about it. I was always very slender, and did nothing to stay that way. When I got pregnant with my first child, it was freakish to see my waist change, my hips… all of it! Like you, it was cute, until it wasn’t. I nursed my girl, and the weight was gone in no time. My diet, however, had changed forever. I have never gotten beyond spilling down the front of me (something that pregnant bellies seem to demand!) and I’ve never fully accepted that I can’t just eat what I want.

    Pregnancy is the craziest ride out there… just behind actually raising that baby. ;-) Still, it’s a lot of change in a short period of time, and when you tack on big geographical move, new marriage, job change… well, a good therapist might point out that you’re holding a loaded deck. Hang in there, darlin’! (BTW: I love that you changed the bride to a stork on your header!) ((hugs))

  2. Your body is amazing–it’ll transition back to it’s regular, petite self in due time. Transition periods like you’re in have always been a mixed bag for me. Depending on the day, I love love love the flexibility and possibilities and other days I loathe them and wish things would settle into productive routine. Once baby is here you will find that everything falls into place, somehow or another. “One day at a time” is the perfect mantra for parenting. Remember that the days will be long but the years will be very short indeed.

  3. Hey you know…I’ve had three of the little monsters. And the best advice I have for you is….when the day comes, all of the scary stuff won’t matter. The pain, the anxiety, the logistics of it all, pales in comparison to meeting your little one. Until you realize it’s much easier to tote them around inside, without needing 290980748379 items “just in case”. But other than that, it’s incredible! ;-)

  4. the greatest advice given to me was DON’T expect to walk out of the hospital in THOSE jeans (ones i brought) ;) oops. my hubby had to go back and get me maternity clothes to leave in, and let me say that i am super glad i had my stretchy pants for the ride home…oh, and the years that followed. haha! pregnancy—scary, beautiful, and a wonder! god bless.

  5. I hear ya. When I was pregnant with my first daughter we were living in a tiny one bedroom apartment. I stopped working half way through my pregnancy and always felt guilty for not “working”. I think there’s this notion that we have to make money and work for someone/something else in order to feel valuable or successful or accepted. Once I had my daughter everything changed. The day-to-day care of a newborn sort of trumps all other matters for a while. That might sound scary or overwhelming but in fact we’re sort of biologically programmed to LOVE it (and you will). Anyway, it took a long time for me to not feel guilty for not working, and I even picked up a part-time job for a while until I got pregnant with my second daughter. We still live in a tiny apartment, but at least it’s a two bedroom! And, there will never be a time–you’re right–where you’re not transitioning. But, somehow, becoming a parent makes sense of all of it. You will see! :)

    • Thank you for this. Right now, I feel like I am in this holding pattern, just waiting for baby to be born so that my days and life will be (more than) filled.
      Not to say that they aren’t filled right now, but I think you know what I mean ;)

  6. I love reading these pregnancy posts of yours because I feel like so many of your thoughts now align with the way I felt when I was expecting. The body issues, the job ambivalence, the frustration that in America it is so hard to both work and be a parent. In the broad scheme of things, I’m only a couple steps ahead of you, but I can assure you that it will get easier. (In the interest of full disclosure, it does get harder in other ways too, but it’s all worth it. Promise.)

    • Thank you for this; it really helps to read, especially since I feel pretty isolated right now.
      About working – my dream is to eventually start a private practice and *work for myself* so that I can be the mom, wife, and therapist that I want to be. Someday!

  7. Everything you’re feeling is normal. The weight issues, the uncertainty of everything. Just know it will all be ok. The weight will come off, (I gained a 3rd grader…85 lbs. Wait. What?!) and they say breast feeding helps to shed the pounds (I was only able to endure it for 2 weeks, but some people really say great things about it.). Wait until you see that baby! You are going to fall instantly in love and all worries will fade. Best wishes.

  8. I don’t have any baby/pregnancy advice to offer you (not having a tiny human of my own), but relish in the time off from working and definitely keep that current attitude about a new job. If you don’t need to work, you can be a lot pickier.

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