I hurt… all over. Everywhere. From the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.
Wednesday evening is when it all started. My joints have been popping and crackling a lot the past couple weeks, but now they’re all suddenly in screaming pain. My fingers, wrists, elbows, shoulders, toes, ankles… nothing is safe from the power of the relaxin hormone.
- Multiple times having pneumonia or bronchitis in my life? Not as miserable as this.
- Chicken pox for a couple of weeks while I was in high school? Not as miserable as this.
- Having a glass door shatter on me? Not as miserable as this.
Granted, most of the pain and discomfort of those times seems to fade from memory… so I’m clinging to the optimism that I’ll forget this discomfort too. And whatever comes in the next few weeks. And labor.
My midwife said that my discomfort is probably just going to keep building. Yay!
I’m also tired. While my fatigue is nowhere near the levels I felt in the first trimester, it’s really hard to imagine that I will ever have energy back. Sometimes it’s just too hard to even laugh at something I see on TV or online because between breathing and trying to sit upright, I don’t have energy left for anything else.
I had the Group B Strep test at my appointment today. That’s a super fun thing that checks to see if I’m “colonized” with the GBS bacterial infection. The infection doesn’t really cause problems for the mother, 25% of women have it… but it can be problematic for the baby. I’ll get my results at my appointment next week.
Women have to suffer through so many more indignities than men do. It’s a cruel world.
I was told that I could go into labor next week (Yikes! Too soon… I have a ton of work to do still, and I probably have to do more CMS training at work the last week of July/first week of August!) or it could push into next month. So everyone that asks me if she has any predictions about when the baby will come… yes, the baby will come sometime.
I also get asked about how big the baby is. My midwife told me that she could guess, but it’s not going to be anything accurate or scientifically derived. She said that I still have room for baby to grow (HOW?!) but based on my size and how much I’ve grown she doesn’t think I’ll have a baby beyond the 7-lb range, but again it’s all a guess. But to have something for those who think I need to have all these answers… the baby will be a normal size.
Mainly I’m just feeling scared. Really really scared about becoming a mother. Scared that I won’t feel instant love for this baby like I’m “supposed to” when it joins this world. Scared that I will never have any energy back. Scared that I will break the baby. Scared for how a child will affect my interpersonal relationships with others. Scared how this will affect my running and my job and my physical and mental and emotional health.
And when people say, “Oh don’t worry… you’ll be fine.” I find that really frustrating. That kind of talk is dismissive of feelings, and at least I’ve learned through therapy that is what is occurring and that I don’t want to talk to my kid that way (assuming I have energy back to actually listen to the tyke). The best advice I got in regard to that was from a friend who told me, “It’s okay to be scared. I’m scared every day, and my kids are older. But it’s also the most amazing love you will ever experience.”
36 weeks along… 4 weeks to go. (or less or more… I have no control, the kid is firmly in command.)
I’m sorry your feeling so miserable. I wish I had practical help to make you more comfortable, but I’m at a loss.
Yes, being a mother is scary. I think there are several reasons that I still feel the impulse to tell you that you will, indeed, be fine. First, it comes from what I know if you that will make every reasonable effort to make well-informed decisions about keeping your child healthy, happy, well-educated, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in the finer details of how we raise our children, and I’ve experienced plenty of anxiety about what I should and should not be doing as a parent based on what I read or observe in other parents. That fear can become debilitating if you let it. Enter the other reason I feel the need to tell you you’ll be fine, it comes from some inner need to reasuure myself that I also am doing fine as a mother. Just like you wouldn’t let any of us beat ourselves up about body image, I hate hearing mom’s beat themselves up or attack others based on parenting decisions. It’s all negative and if we internalize that negativity and start to doubt ourselves. Not that we should gloss over the hardships of parenting and pretend everything is perfect, we all need to vent our frustrations sometimes. But when I say you will be fine is more a reassurance that I think you are a competent person, and despite whatever shortcoming you may find you have as a parent, that you need to start giving yourself some credit and allow people to try to do the same. Whether you experience instant love, or grow to love your kid over the next 50 years, I believe he/she is coming to a great home and that with some time you will find your “stride” as a parent. You have friends and family who love you and will love your new sidekick.
I appreciate your rationale. I guess one of the biggest reasons I feel frustrated by the response is that it usually comes from people who wanted to be pregnant and have their babies (as far as I know). The fact that still, every single day, I find myself asking “Why did this happen to me?” makes me worry about my abilities. And venting that insecurity here is what helps me to not completely internalize the negativity!
Oh gosh lady hold in there!! This is not easy stuff, it is really no joke whatsoever. And it is super super scary. You are feeling scared and that is ok. Try to take thing one thing at a time, one moment at a time – not that i am much better at this. I have found that right now I kind of switch from topics each week and kind of keeps me grounded. At this point, survival i think is the name of the game. Do whatever you need to stay as comfortable as humanly possible. Here if u need me!
It’s totally one thing at a time… I need to keep remembering that because my mind starts swirling and it jumps to labor, delivery, 1st week/month/year, school, etc. And before I know it I’m in a panic about this whole kid’s life ahead and my impact on it!
Grrrr the “you’ll be fine” line. No phrase has driven women (well at least me) to commit mental homicide as much as those three words. Husband quite saying it after I went all Linda Blair on him the last time.
I’m sorry you’re miserable, I can’t even imagine my joints, other than my jaw, popping. My Mandie sympathizes with Jade, though, as my laptop has taken her coveted cuddle spot.
Sometimes I wish my husband actually would try to give me that reassurance. If I start freaking out, he just looks at me out of the corner of his eye and kind of shakes his head! LOL.
And it’s so weird to have my hips, knees, ankles and toes all popping while I walk. I sound like I’m walking across a spilled pile of “crispy rice” cereal or something!
You’ll find your own way. There is no right or wrong. Whatever works for you and your family. If your baby is healthy that is all that matters. It is scary. It’s good to acknowledge and embrace that feeling. If you feel that, it means you care. And remember, it does take a village to raise a child. So don’t forget to ask for advice, help, etc from those of us who have done it before. You don’t have to reinvent in the wheel.
I think I see your point. I suppose it is easier to deal with the challenges of motherhood when I have the thought in the back of my mind that I really wanted to have kids, not wondering about some other life plans that might have been. Not that the choice entirely prepared me for all the things that come up, but it makes sense that it affects how I feel about the challenges and cope with them. Your last couple of pregnancy posts sound like you’re pretty stressed and overwhelmed and just uncomfortable, and I thought you could use a pep-talk. The “you’ll be fine” comments are probably all meant in kindness, not to slight your feelings, by people like me who just don’t know quite the right words to say. But on top of all the other unsolicited advide you’re getting right now, my last bit of advice would be to ignore all the to-do lists and other comments that stress you out (including anything I said if necessary) and try to focus on the ideas that you think will actually make your life easier for the next few months. Have hope!
I know I’ve told you this before, but I am always reminded of one of my best friends who accidentally got pregnant 4 years ago with her daughter (actually, I guess more like 5 years ago, since the daughter is 4). When she was born and for a while, she was still sort of resentful, but really after a while, she really did come to embrace being a mother. I don’t know if that’s the same as telling you, “You’ll be fine.” but it’s what happened to her and your situations are similar.
That story is more reassuring than a simple “You’ll be fine.” too. Mainly because it addresses stuff that is part of my concerns. Does that make sense?
I think I’ve told you this before, but just in case I have not:
I knew from the time I was a little girl that I wanted to be a mom. We were ready for kids for several years before we had them (the delay was because of the Navy, not because of problems getting pregnant), and during that time I remember getting very upset a few times because other people all around us were having babies, and it didn’t seem fair that we weren’t.
So you’d think that when I found out I was pregnant with Annalie, I would have been SUPER excited, right? Well, I was excited and relieved (I’d started to worrry by then that maybe we were going to have infertility issues), but at the same time…ACK! I was pregnant, and I was going to have a BABY!? But I didn’t even like babies that much! And I liked my life the way it was! What had we done!?
Annalie was born a month early, taking us completely by surprise and almost completely unprepared (we did have a carseat and some baby clothes, though none for a preemie). I felt for the first three years of her life like I was running constantly behind, like I was never going to catch up.
And even though I did love my babies from the start, mixed in with the love and happiness was a good dose of, “Aw, crud. Life is about to get a lot less fun for a while.” Caring for a baby, while often very fun and heartwarming, is also quite challenging and draining. Toddlers are enteratining and make life hilarious, but they are EXHAUSTING (said the mom of a 20-month-old). Older kids aren’t quite as tiring physically, but mentally, they will wear you OUT. And the challenges just grow as the kids grow.
I love my kids and I love being a mom. Do I still imagine what life would be life if I didn’t have kids? Yes, occasionally. Do I daydream about taking a week off from mothering to do whatever the hell I want and not feed a single person besides myself? You bet I do.
Would I ACTUALLY want my kids to disappear? Never in a million years. They’re two of my favorite people, and being their mom has made me a better person in so many ways, and co-parenting with Troy has strengthened our relationship and taught us a lot about each other.
I do understand why the people who tell you, “It’ll be fine!” are telling you that, though. Because really…it will be fine, most of the time. Parenting IS scary, and it can be very difficult and challenging. Adjusting to an entirely new kind of life is a big challenge. But that doesn’t mean it won’t also be just fine—good, even! Life is complex and messy, and it gets exponentially more so when you add kids to the mix. But it also gets exponentially more fun and sweet and full of wonder.
You’re smart to be scared. You know what big changes are ahead, and you’re worried about how you will handle them. But I think Kate is exactly right: you and Kevin don’t take your responsibilities lightly. You will make every effort to make sure your child is healthy and happy and safe, and to make well-informed decisions. And however you feel, you will act in such a way that your child will be secure and know s/he is loved.
I really appreciate you sharing this… because if even the people that I look at as being amazing parents (YOU!) have some of the same thoughts and fears, that does console me. You’ve been a wonderful support to me throughout all this. I’m glad you’re moving back out to the west, if only San Diego were “let’s do lunch” distance!
You know, Jill and Bethany, Ontario CA is only about three hours away. That is each way, but there are some places to have lunch there:)