Friday, April 22, 2005

One Day I'll Learn

I've been grousing a lot about how icky I feel. And I got to thinking about how that might be misrepresenting both me and pregnancy. Let me make this clear: I am not a wimp or a whiner, and pregnancy isn't this awful condition to be feared or avoided lest you feel as miserable as I've been describing or worse. It's just that, with Mark being "stuck" in grad school for another year or so (pray for cooperative fruit flies so we can lower that number), I'm the major breadwinner for the family. I feel this responsibility acutely. And it's driving me crazy that the one time I absolutely need my body to be 100% so I can provide for this child in the future is the same time that I have to make every concession my body asks of me in order to provide for this child right now.

So I'm getting a tad irked with my pregnant body for not letting me work the 40hours or more without collapsing from exhaustion every night and weekend. I'm rather pissed at this mortal casing for not letting me finish a book that I could try to get published in time for Junior's arrival or shortly thereafter (yes, I know that's not all that realistic anyway, but this "gotta provide" thing is freakish in its primal, instinctive nature). And I'm really annoyed that I have to kowtow to my stomach before I can make weekend plans to work with some writing friends on putting together a consulting business. Does it matter that it would be unreasonable to consider 100% non-stop effectiveness while trying to work three jobs (the nine-to-fiver, writing, and consulting) even without the added "job" of pregnancy? Apparently it didn't to me.

I know--in the logic sense--that our financial situation is fine. Sure, it's not ideal, but it's very capable of keeping Mark, Baby, and myself fed and well cared for. Even with the unexpected car loan foisted on us last week. I know that we'll find a way to keep day care costs and frequency of use to a minimum. Mark is a genius when it comes to finding ways to make the best of tight money and time situations. But there's that illogical, emotion-ridden part of me that feels the weight of this child growing in me and knows that I want more than "we'll find a way" for this new life. I have a feeling I'll be fighting this part of me for the rest of my life, and that I'm in no way unique as a parent to feel this. I'll always try to find even more resources to give this baby. Always be willing to run myself into the ground to get those resources. Because, after all, my life isn't nearly as important as this child's. So sayeth the illogical, emotion-ridden, Mother Bear, instinctive part of me.

And so I grouse about the exhaustion and the morning sickness. I get frustrated every time I have to set aside weekend plans. I feel the stress levels rise every time I think of the long list of items I haven't been able to get to since February. I take on more and more at work, hoping to compensate for all the sick days I've taken and all the times I have to leave early or arrive late and make up the time at home or on the weekend. Every "relapse" into exhaustion and morning sickness after a day or so of feeling good drives me insane. Not because I can't hack it (though I'd much rather NOT have to deal with these symptoms), but because it's keeping me from being in what I think is the right position to provide what I want for this child.

But I'm trying to be easier on myself. Every woman experiences pregnancy in different ways, and I can't keep denying the way my body's responding. And railing against it doesn't do anything for my blood pressure or general state of being. I'm trying to live better with this, give myself evenings to just read and watch TV without feeling guilty, actually take lunch breaks even if it means working an hour or so on the weekends (which I can now do from home, a definite plus). Funny how it all works out. I've spent much of my life living for others, working for others, beating myself into oblivion to make everything around me run smoother. Now I'm facing a situation where in order to work and live for someone else, I have to work and live for myself because that someone else is physically a part of me.

This child is a blessing in so many ways.

No comments: