Monday, November 2

36 Weeks

I've written the first line to this post like five times - but each attempt sounds like such a negative start that I end up erasing it. Things like, "I'm absolutely drained" or "I feel awful" just seem like such a terrible way to start a post. Alas, it's the gospel truth. This past week has been rough. Before I was pregnant I was on a low dose of anxiety medicine, but man it made such a difference in my days. Just getting to the point in my life where I thought I even needed to talk to a doctor about the way I felt (and how it just didn't seem normal or like *me*) took years. It's a hard thing to grasp that emotions, just like muscles and bones, can get out of whack and need fixing. Even harder to recognize that and seek out advice other than your local girl gossip. :) I can sum it up by saying shortly after high school, during my first year of college, I started feeling - I can't quite describe it - down, gloomy, totally unmotivated and super nervous - like, I could throw myself into a panicked frenzy over such a small thing. I wrote it off as adjusting to college life, but after several years of battling with this emotional mess, I finally decided to ask a doctor if it was possible to, gosh I don't know, actually have something wrong with my emotions? Looking back, I almost laugh because it was so obvious, but I had never EVER given any thought to the subject of anxiety and depression. And if I would have, I would have surely written if off as malarky. It's so easy to do that when I don't understand something.
Anyway, my sweet doctor just smiled and said, "Well, yah..." and got me on a low dose of what I can only describe as the pill version of sunshine. I felt like my life was mine again. Food had flavor, the world had color and life - MY life - had purpose. You just don't know what living outside of that knowledge (even though you tell yourself) is like until you've been there. Since then, I have been the "me" I missed for so long. You don't have to understand it, just believe me. And believe my dear husband who has seen the light return to my countenance. :)
When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I wanted to know was how or if that medicine might affect the baby. Turns out very little has been done by way of research in this area. I literally have one doctor telling me it's fine, that nothing bad has been found for it or other drugs in its class and another telling me that it actually could be harmful. I just decided to wean myself from it to be safe at around 20 weeks. While I've not been thrust into the pit of despair like I thought I would, life has definitely been different. A normal, un-pregnant me would have a difficult time coping with the return of anxiety and depression. But a pregnant me? Oh I'm just a mess some days. :) Crying, feeling weepy for days, and exploding like a volcano when I can't get a pizza into the oven because the thawed dough is stuck to some plastic wrap. And then crying about it for an hour... (you get the picture?). It's nearly impossible to distinguish between what's just pregnancy hormones and what's a result of my anxiety. But this past week has been a challenge for both me and Victor. I've been up and down and up and down and am just tired. The smallest things bring me to tears (and I am not by nature a crier!)
What used to happen only once every few weeks is now happening every other day. I just feel like I'm losing control of everything.
BUT at the same time, I'm beside myself with joy about becoming a mom. All of the good things in life are still so good to me. I just have this new ability to turn on the tears (or the anger or the panic) like a switch! It's exhausting. So this week's post is just me saying that I'm ready, more so than ever, to be done. Almost every kick from Miles still makes me smile. His little nudges and turns still warm my heart. But it's time for me to get back to being me again, and I can't as long as I'm carrying him.
I know it's natural to get that "okay I'm done now! :)" feeling towards the end. The excitement of the unknown and the anticipation of the big day is hardly something one can just put out of mind. And the absolute and unending discomfort of the final weeks, I firmly believe, serves only to add to that feeling of "doneness". :) But on top of that I'm trying to manage all these restive emotions.
My emotions have long been something I treasure. Life, I believe, is so much sweeter, more colorful and enjoyable when you have a rush of feeling accompany an experience. But these days I find myself wishing I could be a stoic and just let these next few weeks wash past me without feeling it. It seems like it would be easier that way.
So that's where I am. Don't get me wrong - which must be easy to do after I've just written hundreds of words about being down - I am still loving life. I'm smiling right now just thinking about how awesome Victor has been lately, and about how much fun we're going to have with little Miles. There is an overabundance of things that I am thankful for, things that make me glad and things that give me a little spring in my step. I'm just having to cope with sudden interruptions of bawling my eyes out or blowing my top or breaking into a nervous sweat for no reason. And it's draaaaaiiiiinnnnniiiinnnng. :)
To the moms who've been there - you rock. I never knew what would be required of me during pregnancy. So much, it seems, and yet I'm glad to have done it. To the moms who don't yet know they're moms - the end can get hard, but focus on the things you know are true. And focus HARD, because every fiber in your being will tell you your world is crashing around you. And to the dads - keep being the men of character, encouragement, strength and love that we need you to be. It's a selfless duty that may or may not yield a tangible reward, but your efforts will be reflected in your wives. I know that after today (I was so disappointed after going to the doctor and not getting checked for dilation which set the stage for me to be short-fused and weepy) the only reason I'm breathing easy is because of Victor's great hugs and wise words.
*Whew!* I'm glad to have written this all out. It's all a part of my story, and I know I'll be happy to have it down the road. Now all I want to do is kick back on the couch with Victor and snack on something. :)


a.nation said...

Krista, I am so sorry about all your ups and downs in emotions. But I do have to say that I am right there with you on the ready to be done part! Gosh, who know the end would be this uncomfortable!!! I sure didn't. In fact, I always wondered why women were so ready to get this over I know! :)