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Archive for June, 2012

32 Weeks Weak!

I am such a pansy-ass. I don’t write in my blog because all I can think to do is complain anymore. I know I have a batrillion things to be thankful for, that are going well and that are undeniably promising… but it’s hard to ignore the constant undercurrent of discomfort and worry that come along with being 32 weeks pregnant with your first child.

I don’t know who this kid is! So far, all I know about him is that he doesn’t like it when I fold my hands/arms on top of my belly… he likes to try and kick them off. He’s more of a roley-poley shift-arounder than a puncher/kicker which makes me think he may be either mellow or just very indecisive. He seems to like to listen to David Bowie, because when I played it for him on headphones he started kicking up a storm once I took it away. He either loved or hated Cabin In The Woods and Prometheus because he kicked the shit out of me through both those movies… I think he was probably just reacting to the adrenaline rush from watching them but that’s the point… WHO THE HELL KNOWS?

I have no idea who will be careening out of me in a couple months and the closer I get to my due date, the more terrifying that is. With all these We Need To Talk About Kevin nightmare child scenarios, and with how extraordinarily willful and difficult I was as a child, I can’t help but worry. I suppose I should realize this is how being put in a situation I have very little control over can make me feel. I feel very helpless when all I have to do is wait and hope and think positively… that is so difficult for me! My brain has been concocting every nightmare scenario possible and still seems to come up with more every day. Then I feel guilty for the ways in which these worries may be causing stress to the baby and I feel even more like a hopeless idiot. What the hell kind of self-defeating cognitive loop have I been sucked into?

My cousins Alexis and Emily have both recently made it through pregnancy, childbirth and the first stages of parenting with two lovely little boys that I’m already very fond of. This should be encouraging, right?! I mean, everything went well for them, the babies are healthy, mellow, happy, currently not murdering anyone… and they seem to believe I can do what they did and that there is no need to be worried. Instead of drawing strength from their strength, I oftentimes look at their successes as good karma that will most likely run out when it comes to me. Like, they hit the jackpot on a baby-slot-machine that will inevitably turn cold for me. Why? Why does it feel this way?

I worry I will experience every part of being a parent this way. Instead of being mindful and able to enjoy each moment as it comes, I will constantly be worrying about the future… concerned that terrible things MIGHT happen instead of enjoying that they are currently not happening. Yesterday I spent most of the day imagining how exhausted and defeated I would become, as a mother who does nothing but fret about the next obstacle and never surrenders to the immediate euphoria of simply existing with child.

I have enjoyed parts of pregnancy. I enjoy the challenges and immense onslaught of new information every new day brings. I enjoy growing closer to the women around me, especially the mothers. I enjoy cultivating more respect for the experience of growing from a girl to a woman to a mother… all the while learning to value a more selfless existence. It is all valuable in an abstract yet voluminous quantity you only really grasp by being involved in the process. I enjoy the idea that I am changing into something I have never been before. I enjoy seeing my family and friends so excited to meet a brand new person, who is an extension of me, and to share this new life with us. All of these things are exciting, but equally as terrifying in their uncertainty.

Sometimes I have visions of the build-up to my due date, all the anticipation, hope and expectation… and not getting to bring home a baby afterall. I really try not to think about this one, and I’m sure it has something to do with some repressed fear of being a disappiontment to those around me… but this idea has been surfacing a lot. I imagine that I go to the hospital, I make it through an epic struggle through birth in some horrific cascade of unfortunate health crises, and at the end… my baby is taken away from me in a lifeless state and everyone looks at me like a failure. I have this same feeling associated with the fear that I may be made to have a c-section instead of a natural birth, and that everyone will look at me as a failure… so perhaps it is just a free-floating, ominous feeling that takes the shape of many potential fears.

While all of this is going on (and there is a lot more than this) I am impressed every day that I have made it this far, by myself… noticeably discontent to be living where I’m living, yet somehow arriving at 32 weeks pregnant, healthy, well-read, supported and with a good deal of savings nestled away in the last 8 months. I do feel stronger for that. I guess it makes me realize I may be making progress and becoming stronger while not feeling the sensation of growing stronger along the way. I see that it is possible to grow more resilient from fear, and by admitting and acknowledging these feelings, they have less potency and seem less real.

The mental struggle is just one of the hard parts, there are plenty more struggles ahead… but it’s how we navigate through them, leaning, listening and learning from each other on the way, that will determine what level of success we perceive ourselves to have had. That, and all the tiny faces that make up this new generation… their smiles, their tears, THEIR struggles and how they learn to cope with them from us.

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