Mine snuck up on me yesterday. I hit 29 weeks of pregnancy. The baby still looks great. It’s measuring a week ahead of schedule and they estimate it weighs around 3 lbs. 3 oz. My high risk doctors don’t seem to be concerned. I’ve only gained around 14 pounds, which is less than they’d like, but from their perspective, everything else is going really well. And everyday, I like to pretend that’s exactly how I feel… gleeful, chirpy, tickled pink… the happiest girl on the planet. It’s an act I can successfully pull off, until I reach my breaking point. After all, I have enough distractions: work, kids, life to name a few. Who has time to even think about themselves and how they are coping when the rest of the world needs to be taken care of? Then yesterday happened.
I failed my initial gestational diabetes test, and I had an emotional break down. And if I’m really being honest, I’m still reeling from it today. For the last 12 hours or so, I’ve been trying to figure out why this triggered me. Maybe it’s because I barely failed? The threshold measurement at my doctor’s office is 135… I got a 139. Maybe it’s because I know what’s coming next? I failed the first test with my son, too… then nearly passed out at the doctor’s office for the longer version and proceeded to feel like crap for the rest of the day. Maybe it’s because I’ve just had enough? My entire pregnancy I am poked at, prodded and examined. I hate needles, but needles are necessary when you’re high risk. Why NOT add something else to worry about to the list… gestational diabetes!? I kept coming up with reason after reason, until finally I realized it’s not just one thing. It’s all of them.
When I sit down and allow myself think and feel, I realize how worried I’ve been about this baby for the last seven months, and how I’ve shoved all those feelings aside. I have two children, 4 and 6 who need a lot of attention. The 6-year-old is in kindergarten, has homework, dance and swimming classes, friends’ parties and girl scouts. Have I mentioned it’s cookie season? The 4-year-old needed to be signed up for spring soccer, registered for kindergarten next year, and also has swim lessons. They each have emotional needs at the beginning and end of each day. While I know I’m raising compassionate little beings, most days it feels like the compassion ends with mommy.
My husband is desperately trying to keep up with and tolerate what I can’t or don’t do around the house. But I feel his frustration. Eating cereal at the end of the day is never ideal. And sometimes you just need a brain break!
I’ve written a list of things that need to get done before the baby arrives. Lord only knows if we’ll finish it. I only have a certain amount of energy every day. Once that’s over I know I can’t do anything else. I try to plan wisely, but in the back of my mind I know there’s still a lot of items on that list.
In the middle of it all I got sick. Judging by my fever, cough, body aches and fatigue… it could have been the flu. I had to miss days of work that I didn’t want to. Those lists of mine didn’t get touched for a couple of weeks and kids still came to me with needs.
Then there’s the life that is growing inside of me. Everyday I’m focused on making it to the next day or the next week. I’m constantly worried about whether I can feel the baby move. Most of the time the baby is active, but movements are different now as the baby gets bigger. They are slower and less ninja-like. I wonder if I’m feeling a contraction or if the baby stretching. And when it IS a contraction… I’m constantly worried that my water is going to break. Just a few days ago I had a dream that my water WAS breaking. When I woke up, I was in the middle of some pretty intense Braxton Hicks contractions. They stopped after I went to the bathroom and drank some water, but I was freaked out for the rest of the night. My joints hurt worse this time around than they ever did with my other two children. Sciatic pain is out of control on some days. I’m STILL throwing up in the morning. The baby is sitting low so my lower abdominal muscles hurt and so does my back.
My hormones are raging. I’m tired.
I’m still high risk. Doctors still measure the baby regularly to make sure everything is ok. But this thought is always looming: When’s the other shoe gonna drop?
And then… I failed my gestational diabetes test. Barely. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s just one more thing. And when, on God’s great earth, am I supposed to emotionally deal with it?
The other day I joked to some of my coworkers that we should start a new segment called “Bitch with Ditch”. You know… offer people a chance to vent with me, then we’ll end it with a 2 minute meditation session so we can all just let go of that anger. Maybe I need to take my own advice. Find some quiet time. Settle down and sit with my feelings… then when I’m done, let them go. Because the reality is, most of these things are out of my control.
If I need to find support, I’ll get it. I know first hand that depression is a real thing. I struggled while I was pregnant with my son and then after. For now, I think it’s time to focus, just a little bit, on me.