The Curve Ball

A little bit ago I wrote about how I’d been hit by a curve ball that left me feeling “dazed, confused, bewildered and angry.”
Freaked Out!

The curve ball?
I’m pregnant…

This was not planned, it was a surprise.  I don’t like unplanned things. (Especially things that are going to change my life forever and ever and ever and ever.)

So I’ve been freaking out about this.  Just a wee bit.  (Okay, a HUGE freak out!)

I don’t think I have the worst pregnancy symptoms in the world, but the fatigue/heartburn/nausea/acne are all doing a number on me.  I have no motivation to do anything other than lay on the couch.  For a couple of weeks I tried to do 2 strength workouts and 2 running workouts during the week.  But when combined with working full-time, I was shredded by the weekend and couldn’t function.  I’m usually ready to crawl into bed by 7:00 each night.

But even worse than the physical issues, the emotional and psychological stress has been intense.

I know pregnancy hormones play a role in this.  But the day that I got a positive test, I stopped taking my anti-depressant due to the label on the side of the bottle “Do not take if you are pregnant or under suspicion of pregnancy.”  If I had been planning for this, I probably would have worked with my doctor to wean myself off instead of a cold turkey detox.

The past two months have, quite honestly, been the worst time of my life.

There were times that I thought I wanted to end my life, but I didn’t want to leave chores behind for my family (planning a funeral, cleaning things, etc.) or leave projects at work unfinished… and the pregnancy fatigue left me too tired to figure out how to wrap up those loose ends.

I’ve been angry because I feel like I was denied what the process should be:
Flowchart

Instead I got this:
Flowchart

We’d always assumed that we would have kids in our 30’s.  Well, maybe there was a mis-communication.  Kevin assumed when he was 30 (he’s a couple of years older than me).  I assumed when I was 30 we would consider the idea.  But when I turned 30 and after I ran the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, I stopped taking the pill.

Stopping the pill taught me a huge lesson… you are far sicker than you ever realized!

I had convinced myself that I had “reversed” my eating disorder on my own.  I had convinced myself that I didn’t have that severe of a problem because I still had a monthly cycle.  But that cycle was purely due to the pills.  When that external influence was gone, my body revealed just how sick it was.  A few short months after that is when I checked into treatment for my ED.

I stopped the pill in December 2008.  Despite gaining weight, scaling back my running (hence, no marathon repeats since) and working hard on my eating habits, my cycle didn’t come back until I was forced to stop running this summer (July 2011) with a stress fracture.

And by this time, I’d actually decided that I didn’t mind if I couldn’t have kids.  That long without a cycle makes you consider the possibility, and I like being a parent to Jade The Boxer.  She’s easy to take care of… goes outside to go to the bathroom, eats her meals on a schedule like a champ, you can leave her behind when you go out to dinner and she’ll just sleep on the couch or play with a toy.  Perfect!
Basking in the sun's rays.

Since July I’d only had a couple of cycles, so nothing was really regular or consistent like it should have been.  So I at least wanted to become “regular” before I considered the upheaval of having a kid.  I wasn’t baby-hungry… babies don’t interest me much anyway.  I can appreciate a cute baby, from across the room, no desire to run over and hold a kid.  I have never felt a mothering instinct that the world has led me to believe I should have.

Yet with those intermittent cycles, I have become pregnant.

I alternate between feelings of:
– I’m WAY TOO YOUNG for this!
and
– I’m too old for this, too set in my ways.

I also feel like I haven’t lived enough! I graduated from college too fast (I was 20) and entered the “real world” immediately.  I got married a couple of years later.   I just kept working.  I didn’t take up running until I was 29.  That changed my life, it gave me goals and dreams that had nothing to do with my job, a job that doesn’t really inspire me to have goals or dreams.  I had so many things I wanted to do.  But that hasn’t panned out and it likely won’t pan out for several years now.  My body is no longer my own, it’s a host to another life… and this life is pretty demanding so far.  It doesn’t want me to feel good!

I’m due August 17.  I will turn 34 six days before that. My life is going to be forever different… and I hope that it is worth it because I can’t just hit “undo!”
8 Week Ultrasound 1

37 comments

  1. Jill, I SO relate to what you are saying. I have never (and still don’t) have the motherly desire to hold a baby. Yes, even after having my own kids.

    Your feelings are real and if a woman is honest, more woman feel how you feel than not.

    I have no easy answers for you, how to get out of this funk, but I can assure you – that myself and many more are here for you.

    You may feel alone, but you are not.

  2. My first pregnancy wasn’t exactly planned, either, and I was 25. My first was pretty much a honeymoon baby, born 10 months and 5 days after Hubs and I got married — and we had been together for 4 years before getting married. I had so many plans that were temporarily derailed, but (and as much as I dislike this statement) everything does happen for a reason. I completely understand how you feel, though. It’s a lot wrap yourself around. Ditto on what Charlene said about your feelings being real.

    Keep in mind that you can still have your goals and dreams. You’ll be a great example to your child. 🙂

  3. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share such difficult feelings that are so very common! You have no reason to trust me, but trust me,:) you will be OK, it will work out, you will be great at this, and you won’t regret it! You just don’t “know” this yet. But you will. And you will defeat your own doubts about yourself. Yes, your life will be different. But it will be a good different and you’ll grow and learn in the best possible ways. Your body is still your own, it’s just been “hijacked” for a while by a very cute little thing that you will fall hopelessly in love with. Scary, yes…. Awesome, yes! Try to enjoy the ride as much as you can.
    Love the flowcharts, by the way. 🙂

    Signed,
    Been there…

  4. Your honesty in this post is really amazing and admirable. I think a lot of people would be afraid to admit they are having thoughts like this, and because of that I wonder if you might not be as alone in the way you feel as you think. Do you feel like it would help at all to find a community of other women who feel similar to the way you do? Maybe people who could support you through what you’re going through?

    This is a major life change, and has resulted in some very difficult shifts for you–keep in mind that it is okay to slow down and take it easy. Don’t beat yourself if you find you’re too tired to run. Maybe take this time to connect with other activities you enjoy instead. And don’t feel guilty about the way you feel or the doubts you are having. Give yourself credit for the immense strength you have, and know that you have a support network of people who care about you and want to help you with what’s going on. Feel free to email me if you want or need to talk. *HUGS*

  5. WoW!!!! Jill! I’m so excited for you! I’m sorry it has been difficult so far. Thank you for your honesty. I know full well how hard it is to stop an anti-depressant cold turkey. I’ve been there in those hopeless moments when you think things would just be better if you could just end things… I know how god-awful those moments are. I really hope you have a therapist that has been able to help you work through some of these feelings… they are certainly valid!! I don’t know if it helps at all (especially coming from someone who has never had children), but I do believe you will be blessed beyond what you can fathom with this child. I am nervous too about having children. I’ve never felt like the motherly type either. But conversely, I find myself a little jealous of you too. It’s going to be ok. Hugs girl. You have my number if you ever want to talk 🙂

  6. Jill, this is FANTASTIC news! I’m so happy for you and Kevin, I’m grinning a big stupid grin and bouncing in my seat a little bit.

    I completely understand your feelings of ambivalence, believe it or not. It took us about four years of trying before we had Annalie, thanks partly to my irregular cycles and partly to the Navy separating us a lot during that time, and by the time we got pregnant my main feeling was, “Oh crap, we can’t take this back now!” And then around the time Annalie was 3, we started talking about whether we wanted a second kid or not, and basically decided to put off deciding for a couple more years. We had just started talking about it again when, surprise! We found out we were pregnant with Elliora, and the timing of it complicated our lives a LOT for various reasons.

    I was 29 and almost 36 when I had babies, and both times I felt too young and too old. 🙂 I have never, ever been a baby person; I don’t immediately love all babies; so I was surprised how patient and calm and smitten I was with both my babies. Of course I had moments/days/weeks filled with frustration, but overall I was able to handle it with far more aplomb than I would have expected. (I’m still not a baby person, though.)

    The first trimester is basically one big blur of exhaustion and hormones. Growing a whole new person from scratch is hard work! That will get better around the 14th or 15th week, and you’ll have more energy during your second trimester.

    I think the fact that you’re being totally honest about your feelings is great. It will be much better and easier for you in the long run than trying to pretend everything is totally fine. I think those feelings of being gobsmacked and overwhelmed are far more common than you might think, too.

    If your experience is anything like mine, it will definitely all be worth it. Parenting is–much like running!–challenging and rewarding. It teaches you things you never knew about yourself, and enables you to find hidden strength you never dreamed you possessed. I know you and Kevin are going to be wonderful parents, because you are wonderful people.

    If you ever have any questions about ANYTHING or just need a shoulder to cry on, you have my email! God knows I would not have survived this many years of mothering without good friends who are also moms, who can sympathize with me on crazy days and celebrate the good stuff and give me advice when I need it.

    Also, let me know if you have certain colors you would like in a baby blanket. 😉

  7. I know what you’re going through. My first was a total surprise and I FREAKED out. My husband and I had just gotten married and moved to DC to be young and adventurous. A month after we moved, I found out I was pregnant. I was working full time, traveling about 90% of the time. We had to change jobs, change homes, change plans.

    But you know what? It’s awesome. I love that things happened the way they did. It was really tough at the time, but everything worked out for the best…and I’m really happy.

    All the best to you! You’ll be wonderful!

  8. It is weird, we are going through different things but you know the same symptoms. I think of you daily and how you are doing. I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how I am doing it honestly. But day after day we keep at it. It is through supports like you that we keep going. I know this is so not what you wanted or ask for just like my situation is not what i wanted or asked for. But this is what it is. So we are trying to make the best of it, as best as we can. How is coping again? I hope you are being gentle with yourself and using your supports. Email me soon lady 🙂

  9. congrats jill! i’m sorry to hear of all the other difficulties going on, but i hope they will lighten up so you can have a healthy, enjoyable pregnancy. you guys will be leaving the DINKS category with your new little bundle of tax deductions 😉 now hubs needs to get a gun so he can shoot their laptop when they do something bad on facebook. kidding! 🙂

  10. Wow Jill!! What a shock! I love how honest you are about the whole thing too. I know it’s a shock but I firmly believe that this baby will be such a blessing in your life. You are a wonderful, beautiful person and you deserve so many equally wonderful and beautiful things. I think this will be one of them! Praying for you guys!

  11. Congratulations, mama! 🙂 So many thoughts are swirling around my head from all you wrote. I could sit here and tell you how much I hated being pregnant, how I never worked out once, how I gained and lost 60lbs both times and that for as miserable and challenging as it was, I still got the two greatest gifts I’ve ever received… BUT you truly won’t be able to understand that until you’ve had your baby.

    So, I will say this: Your life will not stop and neither will all the things you want to do. We are a testament to traveling (19 trips w/my kids last year alone) and staying very active (both with friends/activities/maintaining our hobbies, etc.) In many ways, I think I do more now than I ever have! And I’m not sure there is a perfect time for a baby. But this is YOUR time and when it was meant to happen! You can embrace the moment and literally lay on that couch for the next 6 months to nurture yourself and that beautiful growing baby. Besides, maybe putting focus on the health of something else will help with your healing, too. Becoming a mother taught me so much about who I am, my strength and my capacity to love and be loved. You are going to be a great mother, Jill! Sending lots of love to all three of you!

  12. See how you are not alone. I too would be among the many who would (if being honest, like you are being) felt no mothering instinct. I spent most of my 20s and some of my 30s pretty much thinking that I wouldn’t have kids….wasn’t interested… like you, never felt the need or desire (still don’t) to hold other people’s babies. just. not. me.

    I did have kids, mostly because Walter really, really, really wanted them, so I did it for him so that we could get married. In other words, I lied a little (a lot) when I told him that I’d changed my mind and that I wanted kids.

    Truth is, it’s been a great life experience. I’m not gonna lie, the baby part wasn’t much fun for me, but as my kids have grown into the people they are becoming, I am constantly amazed by the process. I have learned so much about myself as well! So it was all worth it, and I’m so glad that I loved Walter enough to do this for him. In the long run, it’s really been for me too.

    So congrats girl. It’s a great adventure. Sorta like training for a really, really, really long marathon, and you know how to do that!

  13. Fun read. Your life will be forever changed but in a great way. Enjoy every minute of being lazy because when the baby is here I know he/she will be in a running stroller in no time.

  14. My Jilly-
    I love how far you’ve come. I’m a mother of one unplanned and one planned…I love them both…even when I want to lock them in closests.
    I would love to tell you how it feels when they arrive, but it beyond description. They become more important than you can possibly imagine. I am so glad you get the chance to know what it’s like.
    Now that my babies are growing up…I miss the BABY part. I am SO glad I get to share in that joy again with you!!! You and Kevin will be wonderful parents…

    Congratulations!!

  15. Wow Jill, I give you credit. You just put into words all the things I would have said in your place. You have such courage, more than I think I could have, with being so open. (part of the reason I’ve not blogged in almost a year.)

    You have my number and gchat address or facebook you want to talk about things privately. For the parts of you that are happy about this, I am happy for you. For the parts that are all confused, I support you and just want you to know I’m here. I may not be an active person in the blogosphere anymore but I still think of you often, seeing your updates (your post showed up in my email, btw, so yeah, I’m still subscribing!!) and consider you a friend, even though we have never officially met. Anytime we’ve talked online, I’ve felt like I was talking to someone I’ve known forever.

    All I can say is , “wow, Jill, curve ball is right!”

  16. Jill!! Congrats! It is a curveball and it IS hard when something SO huge and lifechanging happens and you didn’t plan it (trust me, my first was not planned either)but motherhood is such a miracle and a blessing and you are going to be a GREAT mom. Hang in there! Hugs!
    E

  17. What a time for me to make a comeback to the blogosphere! 🙂 Congrats, Jill! I’m so … I don’t know what I’m feeling. I’m excited for you and, at the same time, I can totally understand your “curveball” feeling. Wow! All the others said everything I’m thinking so I’ll just let it go at that. Hugs to you!

  18. My goodness congrats Jill! I personally think you will be a wonderful mother and I am really happy for you guys. It kind of sounds like you are still in shock but I remember when you were worried that you would not be able to have kids. I think this baby will add more happiness and joy to your life, and you deserve it.

  19. I am excited for you. Here I am at the other end. No more kids after 30. Holy cow… My oldest heads to intermediate school next year and we are having the talks! I can’t stand watching her get older. I love holding babies but are glad to send them home or back to their mom. If we were closer I would come take care of your baby so you could work. I hate having a job. Something happened to me after I had kids and moved to the country. Still have anxiety and stress but love my life as a mom. You will two. You guys will be great parents!

  20. That should be too… Books not two.

    Oh and yes I am remember saying some choice words when I found out with baby number one…. And crying my eyes out with baby number three because that was not plan.

    It is normal. All you are going through. Can’t wait until you honestly write about appointments and delivery! Oh the things they don’t tell you

  21. I love your honesty, Jill. I think women are expected to put on a game face and talk about how happy and full of joy you are now that you are pregnant. But your right, your life has forever changed–knowing that can be pretty scary.

    I never wanted kids. NEVER. EVER. I’m just a big kid my self. And selfish. Yes, I’m a guy…we are all selfish. Everyone says that the happiest day of their live is when their kid popped out. That was the scariest day of my life. All of a sudden i’m responsible for this little person. The decisions I made/make will affect everything about her. But, I quickly learned that you can’t think like that…you’ll just go crazy.

    Today, my 5 year old Piper is the best thing about my life. I love her to pieces…and I’m so glad my wife tricked me in to having her (ok, tricked is a little strong).

    The one and only piece of advice I’ll give: don’t read any of the stupid baby books out there. They are worthless. At least I think they are–I never read any of them.

    • Baby books and baby websites cause me stress. I’ve decided I don’t need those. People used to have kids without Googling every step of the pregnancy, I’m going that route!

      And thank you for your insight. That is a consolation in this, I haven’t heard anyone say that they regret their kids. (and if someone does, please don’t tell me!) And it’s always been evident how strongly you care for Piper, it’s always warmed my heart a little!

  22. I really appreciate this post! If you asked if I wanted kids, my response would also be “uh…” I don’t know! Like you, I also feel I haven’t lived enough yet! I feel like I want to work more, run more, travel more before that all becomes difficult. My husband just finished grad school and got his first “Real” job so I feel like we are finally “adults” now at almost-29. Also, we just moved to the opposite side of the country from all our friends and family- so I know it wouldn’t be easy have no social support here yet. Good luck to you and your hubby! I also agree that baby books (and even Babies R Us- from shopping for friends’ babies!) is stress-inducing. Good for you filtering that stuff out!

  23. Wow, I am really behind on my blog reading!! My oldest, Jon, who will be 16 on 4/17 was completely unexpected & unplanned. I had him when I was 23. My BF left me and I was a single mom. I ended up marrying the man of my dreams (who accepted Jon as his) in 2000 and we had another baby, though she was unexpected too.

    I know that this has all come as a huge shock to you. I pray that you have a healthy 9 months and that you can find peace.

    ((HUGS))

    Kim

  24. Again, I feel like a jerk for not having read this earlier. I hope you’ve been feeling better since this post was written. I honestly have never liked holding other people’s babies or babysitting for other people, or anything like that, but I do like my kids, especially when their babies. Except when I’m sleep deprived and I hate it, but that’s not all the time. You’ll do great!

  25. Wow! I’m so excited for you!
    I understand that you’re not quite at excited stage yet, but I’m confident it will come.

    You know, I’m wondering if it’s the birth control pills that make women feel ambivalent (or more) about motherhood. I mean, we know that it reduces women’s sex drives, among other things. So it wouldn’t surprise me if that factored in.

    And I’m glad that you bravely spelled out how the pill tricked you into thinking you were healthy. It really is a dangerous drug.

    May I recommend… once you’re through with pregnancy, consider one of the charting systems to monitor your health and fertility. One of my best friends learned a lot about her health and was able to find a doctor who could actually HELP her with her symptoms and help to relieve them naturally.
    The charting systems I’m referring to… Creighton Model, Billings, Marquette etc… I think you’d appreciate them because they’re natural, and chemical free. a great resource is being developed here: http://iusenfp.com/ (coming soon!)

    Congratulations! I’m so happy for you and this fabulous curve ball!
    Wish I could have a curve ball like that!

    • Thank you for those resources. I am convinced that I never ever EVER want to take the pill again. I don’t think I want to use any hormonal birth control. I’m excited to learn about these options.

      • It really amazes me that the Creighton Model and Billings Models are so completely ignored by medicine!! But doesn’t surprise me because, duh, they don’t make money!

        The other reason they are ignored is because they are associated with Natural Family Planning and I swear people (especially big government and science) are afraid of anything remotely Catholic, despite the fact that the Catholic Church is responsible for the creation of the scientific method! (and obviously you don’t have to be Catholic to benefit from the research – including NaPro Technology)

        If you never want to take hormonal BC again, my advice is to start looking for a pro-life/ Catholic OB-GYN — who will be more likely to assess your fertility charts and hormonal imbalances and actually SOLVE your health problems rather than throwing BC at any problem that comes up!! Then go back to your original doctors and demand to know why this information was withheld from you!!

        here is a young med student who is considering specializing in NFP : http://nfpandme.blogspot.com/

        And here is a blogger who is currently doing a series on NFP — really good stuff in her FAQ post : http://thefiskfiles.blogspot.com/2012/05/natural-family-planning-faqs.html

        Again, good luck with your pregnancy. I’m so excited for you – and happy to spread the word about this natural alternative.

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