When I was working in banks, part of the robbery training was to isolate the victim following the crime. This was to avoid cross contaminating stories or influence as far as I understand it. I was reminded of this training earlier today when leaving ornaments work.
I've always been a youngin' in the ornaments room with most of the other ladies being 30-something mothers and older. Unfortunately, instead of becoming a role model/nurturing relationship during my pregnancy this atmosphere has become a negativity minefield. I've ended up trying to avoid talking about my pregnancy (which is kinda difficult with my rather obvious bump and need for extra breaks) just to prevent the onslaught of sarcasm, war stories, and negativity.
This afternoon I couldn't avoid it. I got trapped by a question about my sleep. My first impulse is always to tell the truth so I replied that I wasn't sleeping well. Cue the deluge. Not only were there war stories of pregnancy sleep but the obvious sarcasm about "you'll never sleep again" and "you've never known tired until you've had a newborn" which I understand is a reality but I'm sick of the negativity. It's a wonder anyone reproduces anymore with how horrible motherhood and childbirth is portrayed (on the flipside there is the overly rosy, positive portrayal of fulfillment and joy that leads people to feel guilty for negative feelings or hard times-basically, it's all out of wack).
So, back to isolation. I've been struggling with loneliness (not out of the usual for me) but find myself treasuring isolation when it protects me from such negativity (a huge reason behind not doing childbirth education classes). It's a double-edged sword. In order to protect my experience, my "story," I feel the need to isolate but that defensive tactic leaves me lonely. Add to this social safari the fact that I am often shamed or belittled when I'm honest about my pregnancy experience so far ("it's only going to get worse" or "that's nothing...." or "be careful what you wish for!") and I'm often left with the conclusion that not talking is better than talking.
Thankfully there is one lady at work (also pregnant) that I'm able to commiserate with but also share positive hopes and views on motherhood, but I would like more positive ladies around me. One gal that I see intermittently and don't really see outside of work doesn't quite fulfill my need for positive pregnancy interaction!
SIGH. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, eh?
I supposed this would be as good a time as any to give a pregnancy update :)
I'm 7 months now and feeling the baby weight. Only 13 lbs gained so far but my pelvic floor is sure feeling that engorged uterus every time I stand or roll over in bed. The pressure is building and I'm still riding the good ole donut pillow nursing my 'roid, Arnold, and peeing more often than I would like.
I suppose stretch marks are a notable change but with my history of weight fluctuation I don't particularly notice or care about stretch marks (old news!), more noticeable is my ever-shallower belly button. That fascinates me. Can't wait to see how it looks when labor starts.
My face has been interesting.... I'm enjoying some marvelously clear skin except for the odd pimple or two but dry skin has made me run for the moisturizer like never before (lest I look like a leper). I'm letting my hair grow and it's nearly to my shoulders now. The long hairs straying on counters and clogging my brushes isn't pleasant but the hubbo likes the new look and I'm enjoying the feminine feel. Quite a change from my pixie cut!
I've been really enjoying baby's movements and the hubster continues to be amazed every time he feels baby with his own hands. There are times when it feels like my bladder is getting assaulted but so far it hasn't been that uncomfortable. I'm sure further along that will change ;)
The heartburn still sucks. I have to be very careful when consuming sweets (especially chocolate) and consuming more than a small portion leads to the worst chest-wrenching heartburn of my life. Other discomforts include the pelvic pain (pubic bone, hip joints) and back pain (low back and lately between the shoulders and, of course, my perennial shoulder agony). I'm not sure if the back pain is a combo of ornaments work and bigger boobs or one alone, but either way the massages sure are a blessing as is my heating pad.... and the miracle salve BENGAY.
Emotionally I've been dealing with more rough waters of late. Anxiety has perked up and being the over-thinking, contemplative type that I am thinking about pregnancy and my experience and others' experiences and weighed heavily on my mind. Trying to be gentle with myself and acknowledge my struggles and pains without feeling shame or guilt or "whiney" and also staying positive overall. The hubby has been a good listener and tells me that he appreciates it when I finally come clean and lay out all the dirty details of how I'm really doing. He's come to have a new appreciation of pregnancy and what I'm going through, that's for sure!
I've noticed that when I'm tired or achy my perspective is much different; I feel overwhelmed and unprepared for labor and motherhood. But when I'm energetic and relaxed I feel confident and blessed. It's quite the roller coaster! I feel stressed by the lack of confidence during the down spells but most disheartening is imagining the little baby in my gut as I have these "what have I gotten myself into?" thoughts. I know I'm not alone in this though. I know it's natural. I just feel so bad about myself and sad for baby-but no matter how stressed I get I always feel love and attachment to my baby, so I don't get too upset.
I'm hoping to increase my positive thoughts and confidence after ornament season is over when I have more time for self care and can better manage the input I receive about pregnancy/birth/motherhood. When I'm in good spirits I'm really confident and excited about labor and motherhood, so I think my last couple months will be focused on nurturing those good feelings and getting closer to the hubster and preparing our little two-person birth team.
In other news, the hubbo and I got a new mattress for our mutual Christmas gift this year. Who would've thought replacing a 17 year old mattress would make such a difference!? It's awesome! Still dealing with pregnancy sleep but I can feel a difference despite the short term pains I'm going through.
Whew. Got eye strain? ;)