Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mashup of Email Rants

I haven't been able to get my shit together and blog for weeks, so instead I thought I'd just pass on a mashup of email rants I've sent out in the past week:

God, I'm losing it. My doctor today confirmed what I suspected: I'm basically experiencing full-term pregnancy . . . with six more weeks to go. As of three weeks ago I already was carrying about 7 pounds of baby (3.3 and 3.6 pounds). I can't eat without getting stomachaches, nausea, and heartburn, and I can't digest what I do manage to eat. I can't really walk that well, because my knees are getting tweaked and my legs and feet hurt. And nighttime is the WORST. I can't sleep, because my back and hips are killing me. And turning over totally sucks. Sometimes I'm just happy to have morning come so I can give up on trying to sleep. Every three or four nights I get a decent night's sleep, but it's a real crap shoot otherwise. I've thought about trying to sleep in my recliner, but I can't recline it very far before the dizziness/heart pounding starts, which tells me the babies are sitting on my vena cava. And I worry that it'll hurt my upper back and neck so badly it won't be worth it. AARGGHH. Very frustrating.

And my work responsibilities just WILL NOT LET UP. This storm last week really messed me up. I was supposed to have oral argument on Wednesday--and I already was upset that it had been scheduled this late in my pregnancy. Now it's been canceled and likely will be rescheduled in MARCH. And it's not like I can easily ask someone else to handle it. The issues are incredibly complicated and I know the case really well, but it would take days for someone else to get caught up (and that person still might not really get the argument). So as long as I'm hauling my gigantic self into the office a few days a week, I'm really in no position to say I can't walk across the street and argue a case in court. But I REALLY REALLY REALLY don't want to do it. Any teeny amount of stress is kicking my ass at this point. On top of that, I have two briefs (that are interrelated and therefore hard to separate and reassign) due in March. I'd like to just knuckle down and focus on them, but other shit keeps cropping up that needs my attention. And I'm actually feeling so crappy that I'd love to just stop working altogether.

Oh, and I have all this baby stuff to get done too, like meet with our day care person (I think we found someone!), and find a pediatrician, and take our parenting classes, etc. And CRAP, I keep forgetting that I need to meet with our personnel specialist and call the disability people and figure out how to get all of my leave paperwork taken care of, too.

And apparently my pregnancy hormones have finally kicked in. I was snowed in all week last week, which you'd think would lead to blogging, but I was so cranky I couldn’t even get started at it. At first I thought it was stress over work, then I thought it was cabin fever. But finally I realized that it could be those third trimester hormones kicking in. You know that PMS feeling where you're so agitated you just want to start screaming at everything and nothing? That's how I'm feeling almost ALL the TIME. Add in the random panic attacks (also for no reason--simply a physical reaction to having twice as much blood, my doc says) and I'm not good company.

The rest of the time I’m weepy and sad. My sister suggested that I put together some baby pictures of me and J for our baby shower this Saturday, and I got all upset, because there really ARE NO baby pictures of me. (Totally true. My parents took a ton of pictures of my sister, but when I was born they took almost none. My mom had a nervous breakdown after I was born. And those that she did have of me she managed to lose in one of her many moves over the years. I have maybe two or three pictures, which just happened to be in a school project from 7th grade that I had kept. For a long time I thought my dad would have some pictures (given that he’s an amazing amateur photographer), but when he sent me his CD archives a few years ago I discovered that aside from the ONE photo of me in the hospital, there are no pictures until I’m more than two years old.) Anyway, I ended up sitting on the couch crying about this, asking myself why no one loved me as a baby. Like this isn’t the oldest of old news. But there’s something about being an almost-mom that brings out the strangest thoughts about my own parents. Who suck.

We're making progress on getting the house ready, but that's been kind of stressful, too. Especially now that it seems that--despite everyone's assurances that "lots of people will want to buy you stuff"--no one seems to be buying us anything off our registry. I feel horrible and greedy for feeling so disappointed about this, but I spent weeks putting together that registry (which is okay, I guess, because it's still a good shopping list) and it feels weird to have it ignored. My shower is this Saturday, and it doesn't seem like many people are coming. Again, normally I'd be cool with this, but it's also a little strange. I keep telling myself that it's okay--we have a little bit of money (from last years health care flex account) set aside to buy the essentials, and we have been given a TON of secondhand stuff. In fact, I suspect I have more clothes than I'll be able to use in the first few months (though it's hard to tell for sure). But I’m still feeling let down.

Rest assured, I will somehow get through all of this. But I’m struggling like I never have before. I feel like I’m clawing my way on hands and knees to the finish line, and I’ll be lucky to make it across in one piece.

So . . . how’s everyone else doing?


kate said...

Oh, lord. You sound like me, only multiplied. Digesting anything sucks (just broke down and bought the giant VAL-U-PACK of Tums tonight... pointless to even pretend I won't use all of them at some point in the next few months...), work is pissing me off (though this is supposedly my last week), and it's getting harder and harder to get comfortable-- turning over requires coordination and muscle control I simply no longer have. I had a good hard cry this morning over the injustices I'm dealing with at work, wrote a nice long rant about it on my blog, posted a seething FUCK YOU about work on facebook, then took both down when I decided the pregnancy-rage had subsided.

Good to know it all only gets worse from here!

The one and only way in which my parents showed me any preference was in the fact that there are a shit ton of baby pictures of me, and not that many of my brother, but that's largely because my mom was a fresh-out-of-college photojournalist then employed as a journalist and documentarian, so she basically had her camera in her hand all. the. time. And she's a pack rat so shit never gets thrown away. Stupid. But yes, I could see how one would feel like shit if one's parents took or kept almost no photos of their childhood (but took a ton of the other kid...). I am quite familiar with feeling less-than in comparison to my brother, but this is one area that I actually get to look at him and say, 'HA, HA. They loved me more (at least for that brief moment in time before I learned to talk and they started hating me...)!'

And my experience with registries is that people often DON'T buy what's on registries, either because they can't find the exact thing you registered for and don't want to buy you the wrong thing, or because they have some sentimental reason for buying/making you something different. I'm actually having my shower the first weekend in March, but that's because I'm being flown back to my hometown in order to do so, and I'm being really, REALLY conservative with my travel dates. I'm a little nuts about it, I know, but I don't want to travel past Viability Date. It's like if something awful were to happen and I go into labor on the plane, at this point, there's not much they could do about it, regardless. I mean, they can try to stop the labor, but effort is the same between now and the end of the pregnancy. The difference is that if they are unable to stop labor, and I'm past the point of viability, and the babies are born before I can get myself to the nearest NICU, I will forever be kicking my own ass for putting myself in that position-- for now, since nothing can be done to save them if they are born outside the reach of a NICU, I somehow feel better about risking a flight. (yeah, yeah. makes no sense, I know. preggo logic. but it's what works for me right now...). I have no idea if people will buy me anything off my registry. It's all stuff that I want and need, but from what I understand, you generally get toys, blankets and clothes as shower gifts and maybe one big ticket item from the grandparents or other close family types.

After your shower, if you haven't considered it yet, you may try looking up consignment sales in your area. My friend runs a twice-yearly sale in Austin, and she says you can get some really amazing deals on things. And they frequently will offer a VIP shopping time for expectant mothers or people who volunteer for the sale, so that's a great way to stretch the baby budget. On my recent "Money..." post, people left a lot of really good tips for budgeting for twins. Really helpful stuff.

Anyhow, to answer your question, I am doing great, despite the fact that today was an awful fucking day emotionally.

Here's to the final stretch! You're getting so close! You're almost there!!!

kate said...

(BTW, my therapist seems to think- and I agree- that anxiety increases happen during pregnancy not just because of hormones, but also because of biophysical feedback that kicks in the fight-or-flight response: decreased lung capacity, so no way to get the full deep breaths required to make the parasympathetic nervous system kick in, plus the tight-chested feeling that comes with decreased lung space, and rapid heart rate, which is another key our brains use to determine whether we need to freak the fuck out. Just to let you know I'm right there with you on this one. Anxiety SUCKS, and being unable to control the panic response REALLY sucks. I breathe deeply as often as possible, and it helps, but sometimes Baby B really pushes on my diaphragm, and no manner of attempts at deep breathing produce any sort of relaxing effect. Stupid babies. Um, I mean, sweet, innocent, unknowing babies...).

Kristy said...

I just had my baby shower and no one bought anything off the registry. I was so upset. I spent a lot of days agonizing over what to put on there and no one bothered to look at it. We got a ton of cute pink clothes but we really don't need any clothes because my sister has 2 girls and gave me loads of hand me downs. I felt bad for being so dissapointed but truly I just wanted to cry because now we have so much stuff to buy on our own!

Sue said...

People LOVE to freestyle and go off registry. It's frustrating. I found that other parents give you the best and most useful gifts. The childless and cognitively impaired grandparents - not so much.

I don't doubt your parents suck, but I'm guessing they were also busy being whatever kind of parents they could manage to be. We've taken tons of photos of our baby, but there are lots of times we don't take photos. It's not because we don't love him, just that we're busy and would rather spend what little time we have with him NOT taking photos. I haven't gotten around to doing a baby book for him even though I was determined to do so because my mother didn't do one for me (and I was her first child). Now that I'm a parent, I understand. Your parents still suck though.

Shinejil said...

I remember feeling many of the things you describe, though a bit later in the game. Every little thing became very big and difficult to deal with. Hang in there.

Just to offer you some comfort, the awfulness of pregnancy made the first crazy no-sleep month seem great in comparison.

Ms. J said...

I have done this plenty o' times . . . just copied/pasted either emails into blog entries, or vice versa.

I am sorry bout the registry thing - I wish people would stick to it! I do religiously, but that's probably comes from being totally F'in annoyed back when we got married and received FIVE crystal vases and bowls from Tiffany & Co. Um, we weren't registered there, and aren't crystal kind of people?! I actually try to now buy the least sexy thing on someone registry (a baby gate, diapers, etc.) because I know nobody else wants to buy it and yet it's what's needed MOST by moms.

It will all come together, I promise. Remember to focus on essentials . . . diapers, wipes, a few bottles, the car seats. Lots of stuff we think we need as Mommies turns out to be for convenience or just mere "fluff."

BTW we have very few photos of my husband as a child - they were taken, but his evil stepfather (think the worst soap opera villian EVER - we no longer have contact since his mother is deceased) pitched them or hid them or otherwise refused to turn over to us. This is in stark contrast to the bazillion of me (my family is like paparazzi with a camera and I think most of the kids in our families suspect we are celebrities by all of the flashbulbs popping). I know it hurts my husband, but there is a definite healing by having photos of our daughther now, and esp. ones of him with her.

Lorraine said...

I totally agree that the no-photo thing can be healed by doing a great job yourself of documenting your little ones. Esp. now that it's so easy, with digital everything. My high-school teacher friends say that kids these days have tons of photos of them selves, know what their "good" poses are, and are so well-documented that they will be trying to delete images of themselves someday!

Plus, the whole registry thing: I like the idea of buying the least-sexy item on the list, because it's true that nobody wants to pick out a diaper pail. We were fine with getting most things for ourselves in terms of spending the money, but it did feel a little weird to be disappointed about the lack of interest in the list - after all that research and poring over the options!