The good fight

Things have been kind of challenging these days at fort slowmamma.  Much of it, no doubt, is amplified (if not outright caused) by my total inability to weather the hormonal storm of pregnancy with anything resembling grace.  I was thinking back to this exact point in my pregnancy with the twins and it called to mind a nice dinner with some friends that ended with me losing my shit over the fact that motherhood and self are incompatible and that my “life was coming to an end”.

The irony of that moment is not completely lost on me.  The hormones may have been responsible for that particular panic attack but the reality that followed is my responsibility alone.  The truth is that I’ve done a pitiful job of tending to my own needs since g was born.  Actually, I think it was only recently that I remembered that I have needs – beyond the health and well-being of my two year-old.  The second that I admit failure, my mind releases the emotional equivalent of a hungry pack of spotted hyenas in my defense.  Honestly, generally speaking, I tend to go very easy on myself.  My road to motherhood was filled with potholes and mudslides – and I might add in a wildfire and a pile-up or two as well.  I should have done better but I didn’t.   Right now I just want to relegate at least some of those shortcomings to the past tense.

I have been trying to figure out what it might look like to retake possession of myself, one small piece at a time.  This strategy has relied predominantly on g beginning to attend a daycare, part-time, just 2 short mornings a week.  g, however, does not agree.  He’s on to me.  He sees where I want to go with this and he seems intent on fighting it all the way.  It pains me to force separation on him when he is clearly not ready for it.  It is, after all, mostly my fault that he hasn’t learned this by now.  Apart from G, who by the way is fantastic and has been charitably picking up my kilometric slack these days, nobody has ever helped us to care for g.  Our family is impossibly far away and it’s very hard to justify shelling out for help when you aren’t making a cent.  Add to that the fact that g has suffered from intense separation anxiety from the time that he was very small.  Ugh!

I do believe that we will begin to achieve separation sometime in the future.  I only wish that I knew how to go about it – you know, ideally without leaving my child emotionally scarred for life.

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Behind

I’m sincerely doing my best not to fret over the fact that my embryonic fetus is measuring behind.  Truly, we aren’t the overachieving sort anyway – alive + heartbeat = good.  At my appointment, I was so busy celebrating the fact that there was just one that it barely even registered.  I begged the technician to search in all of the dusty corners of my uterus to be sure that one wasn’t hiding in there.  In response, she sort of half-laughed at me and said, “actually, we did miss one once”.  To which I responded that the “once” happened to by lying on the table at this very moment.

It was only sometime the next day that it dawned on me that I’ve been here before.  When we did finally discover that I was carrying twins (at about 16 wks), we also found out that one of them was measuring behind.  Of course, “behind” ended with no heartbeat at 31 weeks.  But twins are a different ball game and it’s early to be predicting demise.  I have even decided to stay away from Dr. Google and friends this time, going decidedly against my internal grain.  I’ve come to believe that sometimes there is wisdom in not seeking knowledge.  In the case of the twins, I had read every paper I could find and considered every scenario that had a precedent.  It made for good conversations with the perinatologist, who thought that I was myself a physician, but it didn’t change the outcome and it didn’t, I believe couldn’t, prepare me emotionally.

So I will wait for more information.  The good news is that I don’t have to wait long.  I have an ultrasound in just less than 2 weeks.  In the meantime, I have given myself the “worst pregnant woman on earth” award.  Simply put, I SUCK at this!  I am tired – ok, slovenly – and nauseous and my brain functions only on the lowest maintenance setting.   It’s not pretty.

The power of positive thinking

I want to thank you all for your thoughts.  On the way to my ultrasound, I was thinking about how different everything feels this time around.  Part of it, I’m sure, is having g.  The other thing is that I have this space and the amazing support that it provides.  I understood that it would make a difference but I couldn’t understand just how much until I really tested it out.

I was surprisingly calm yesterday leading up to the scan but once I was on the table and she started to move her wand around I started to feel my palms sweating and hear my heart beating inside my ears……..no wait, that’s not my heartbeat, it’s…………!

One heartbeat found.  Big, wonderful relief.  However, the measurements showed him/her to be about a week behind.  That might be ok, considering I figured I must have ovulated late but it feels a little later than it should.

I guess that we now have something to talk about, both good and bad, but really there is still nothing to do but wait and wait and wait.

The gag rule

G has instituted a policy of silence covering all matters related to my current gravid state.  His view is that, considering the risks involved, all that we can do is wait until we actually have something, good or bad (please good?), to talk about.  My initial response to this was a vehement tongue wag, accompanied by a na-na-na-na-na-naaaaaa, because I have a BLOG and I can go there to talk about whatever I want!

But then I realized that he’s right.  Sure, I could talk about the state of my boobs or the fact that I feel nauseous and exhausted and generally, optimistically MISERABLE.  But experience has taught me that none of that guarantees that my life with soon be turned upside down again by the arrival of a tiny, needy, well-loved human being.

And so I wait.

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

My first OB appt. came and went with nothing more than an order for bloodwork and some surprisingly kind words about doing the best that she can to monitor me along the way.  Actually, it was quite a relief if you consider that I was fully prepared for a thorough scolding along the lines of: What are you thinking by trying to do this again?  You SUCK at pregnancy and I am tired of delivering your dead babies!

Luckily, I had my answers well prepped in advance:  Um, well, it was actually, erm, kind of an accident (cue red cheeks and averted eyes).

So I must leave you for now to contemplate the absurd predicament of a woman who has nothing to say about the only thing that has occupied her mind for an entire month.

Ultrasound on Tues.  Positive thoughts welcome!