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?