Monday, July 4, 2011

Baby Bootcamp

Last night, I was listening to the fireworks going off in the night sky and I started sobbing.  That’s right.  I wasn’t even watching them…just listening to them… and it was waterworks to go with the fireworks.  I tried to figure out why I was crying.  Was it because I was frustrated that The Prince and I haven’t gone to watch fireworks in four years, even though it used to be something we enjoyed doing together once a year?  Was it because I could remember the awe I felt as a little child seeing the bright colors light up the sky?  Was it because I was thinking about what age I want our child to reach before we take our child to see fireworks?  Yes, yes and yes.  But let’s be honest about why I was really crying.  The pregnancy weepies have officially kicked in.

Crying is quickly becoming my new hobby.  Saturday was a particularly rough day, emotionally.  I hadn’t been able to keep any food down for two days and the sickness was not letting up.  I was trying to clean the house, but having difficulty working at it for more than 10 minutes at a time without getting dizzy and out of breath.  I was feeling soreness in my low belly area, since grocery shopping that morning.  And I was tired from not sleeping well the night before.  It was the perfect storm, and so I started bawling.  The Prince couldn’t calm me down and I couldn’t even really explain what it was that was making me so upset.  All I could tell The Prince was “I think the pregnancy mood swings may have started.”  He said “You think?” which, of course, was not the right thing to say and made me cry even harder.  I’m not as appreciative of his jokes at my expense as I used to be (enter the “pissy” part of my moods).  Then, as fast as the weepiness came on, it was gone…until that night, when it started all over again.     

I know it is normal to enter some level of emotional instability during pregnancy.  And I am really thankful for the emotional highs that accompany pregnancy, as they are wonderful!  I feel badly about the emotional lows, mainly because The Prince has to experience them with me (I actually feel relieved after a good cry, so the mood swings might not bother me at all if there was no one else involved).  The Prince and I made it through rounds and rounds of hormone injections, so I have faith that we can weather this episode of “the crazies.”  I may not be great about controlling my emotions, but I am good about apologizing when I’ve been unreasonable…and The Prince and I are both good at forgiveness.

During this first leg of my pregnancy journey, I have developed a theory about why pregnant women experience the symptoms that they do.  I think it is nature’s way of helping them to sympathize with their babies.  Think about it…babies throw-up all the time, need to burp, get bloated, get tired easily, have difficulty sleeping at night, and go through a myriad of emotions without being able to express what they are feeling and why.  Sounds familiar.  Even the incident of me wearing throw-up on my shirt last week could be viewed as little Hamish’s way of preparing me for motherhood (what new mother doesn’t have throw-up on most of her shirts) or helping me to sympathize with little Hamish (there’s a reason they tell you to register for at least 10 bibs, even though the baby doesn’t “eat” yet). 

I’ve been focusing my energy on trying to view the unpleasant pregnancy symptoms as something I should be thankful for because I am blessed to be pregnant.  I’ve felt like anything less than gratitude is like thumbing my nose at those still in the IF trenches, and I would never want to do that.  But, being grateful is harder than it sounds when your muscles are cramping from dehydration, as there are lots of women who get to be pregnant who don’t have any unpleasant pregnancy symptoms at all.  Just as it was hard to deal with IF and not be envious of women who were pregnant, it has been difficult for me to deal with morning sickness and not be envious of those women who don’t have it.  What helped me, when I was going through IF, was to say to myself: “This is just going to make you an even better mother because you will appreciate what you have so much more than those who didn’t have to struggle to have a child.” So, extending that line of reasoning, if I can view this period as a sort of “Baby Bootcamp,” a training period to learn empathy and coping strategies so that I will be an awesome mother when the baby comes, I think I will be able to remain grateful for this entire experience…even the weepies.


Christina said...

That's a great way of thinking about it! It definitely allows you to sympathize with a newborn after spending months being gassy, crying for no reason, and randomly vomiting.

China Doll said...

I agree.. baby bootcamp it is! My Bloke was funny yesterday - I was a bit snappy with him and I apologised, blaming the hormones. He said 'Oh, are you hormonal today?'.... My response: 'I'm pregnant... I'm hormonal every day!' xx

Willow said...
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