I didn't manage to start this blog until my nausea cleared in my last pregnancy, so aren't you in for a treat that for the next four weeks you get to here me complain all the time? Good thing I'll probably only blog about three times...
You see I'm VERY bad at pregnancy for the first 16 weeks or so. I sleep poorly, I'm utterly exhausted, I'm mildly sick 80% of the time and completely incapacitated about 20% of the time, mostly in the evenings when my sweet husband gets home to a trashed house, a half-diapered toddler, and spoiling food in the fridge. I live on the couch. I dry heave, I throw up, I cry a lot.
This pregnancy is mildly better than the last but the added toddler trumps that fact. (But who am I kidding, Jake has basically been adopted by Diego and a little kinkachoo.)
|This is his "Diego time?" face with strawberries on it.|
Sigh. Still reading? Well it gets better. But it gets worse first.
I did discover something interesting about myself though when I was on the phone with a friend discussing the horrors of early pregnancy. She was talking about how annoying it is when you hear of that person who has absolutely no morning sickness whatsoever, and I realized I have no bad feelings toward those moms-to-be at all.
I thought this was SO remarkable. When I hear of someone who is having an easy time of it I'm GLAD for them. When my friends get pregnant, I pray that they will avoid the holy hell that the first 3 (4? 5?) months can be. So there I was on the phone feeling completely magnanimous about my lack of hard feelings...when I realized...there was a catch. I have all the grace in the world for someone who is nausea-free until they attribute it to one of their lifestyle habits and then I start raging inside.
I'm not talking about the mom who's been sick with previous pregnancies and found something that helped her. No. She's my hero.
I'm talking about the Lucky Lucy who never had any issues whatsoever and thinks it's because she's vegan or has a really strong constitution or has never touched alcohol. The woman who believes she somehow nipped it in the bud with her general awesomeness. The woman who has the gumption to offer this wisdom when you've just spilled your guts (literally?) about your own struggle with the big 1st T.
But seriously? How am I supposed to respond?
"Vegan? What a great idea! I'll try that as soon as I can eat anything besides turkey meatballs and gummy bears."
"...Yes...It's not so surprising how sick I've been, because I'm, well, sickly in general."
"You know you're right. This does feel strangely similar to all those nights of binge drinking in college."
Sensitive much, Kate? Simmer down.
Ok. Ok. Let's try to get a little positive.
I have learned some things. Some good things. None of them are groundbreaking, but all of them are hard lessons for people like me to learn.
Cut yourself some slack. Go to the store and buy some frozen dinners and canned soup. Practice feeling indifferent to piles of laundry, dishes, and ungraded papers. And if you're me and you're kind of obnoxiously concerned about conservation, get over yourself and buy some ziplocks and paper towels for crying out loud.
Don't feel guilty. Not exercising? Don't feel guilty. Not getting all those folate-rich greens and throwing up your prenatals? Don't feel guilty. All you can think about is beer? Have some and don't feel guilty.
Let yourself be helped. Whether that help is a friend who offers to bring dinner or watch your kid. Whether that help is in the way of extra phone dates with a friend or a sister because you need to be distracted away from how gross your stomach feels and your floor looks. Whether that help is Neftlix to carry you and/or your little person through the harder times.
If you find something that works for you, go with it. Try every zaney ginger tincture, epsom salt bath, and magnesium oil massage. There's comfort in pursuit of your magic cure, I promise. Try any diet change you can stomach. Eat a box of saltines. (Or if you're me today: a mountain of whipped cream and strawberries.)
And finally. This is the hardest one for me. Say thank you to your husband for picking up all the slack. Let him know how grateful you are. You might be surprised at how far appreciation goes. And let him love you even when you feel awful about yourself. When he tells you you're beautiful even if he's wrong and the mirror knows it, don't contradict him. Just let him be right. Just let him be right this once.