Friday, September 24, 2010

A Lengthy Reflection on Crazy and the Meaning of T.M.I.

All the little people

It is 7:30am. I am sitting on the couch in the living room, waiting for Mr. Zack to arrive. Zack is my cousin Melanie's son: 3 years old, blonde haired, blue eyed, and 100% boy. He arrives in his latest Spiderman t-shirt with a Hot Wheels car in hand, calls me "Mom" and Tyler "Man" (entirely correct in the catalog of human generalizations), and pitifully whispers with one tear rolling down his cheek at nap-time, "But...but... I don't want to take a nap." However, he dutifully obeys. Gets into bed, three tears and all, and complains no further as he cuddles into a blanket and forces a smile as I tell him I'll see him when he wakes up.
Such a cute kid.

I've watched him for the past two weeks while his normal babysitter takes a little vacation. It's our annual Zack time. However, every morning of the past two weeks has been rather pathetic. They normally arrive at the doorstep and have to wait for me to actually hear them knocking. I'm still passed out on some bed or couch. I open the door, hair disheveled and in my bathrobe, half conscious, and insist that I'm still qualified to be his caretaker. Everything's fine!.. I insist in a smoker's voice with puffy eyes... Come on in! Just had a rough night!... This morning they entered into a messy household that included an old banana peel on the carpet and last night's dinner remnants all throughout the kitchen.

Rough nights have been the norm of my existence for several weeks. Rough nights after already rough days waddling around chasing toddlers with 6 weeks left until delivery. It certainly hasn't helped that London has become the world's loudest snoring child, begging nightly to climb into our bed and snort us out of sanity. She is also the world's biggest cuddler. I love that squishy body, oh boy do I. But at 3am, I could really survive without her little chubby face breathing and grunting directly into mine as she holds tightly onto my neck. Plus, the poor girl's allergies have been bothering her, so she ends up coughing through the night. Coughing and coughing and coughing.

Add that to an extra 40 pound layering of skin and fat and baby all over my pregnant body, heat flashes, leg cramps, and 5 average nightly trips to the bathroom, and it suddenly becomes startlingly clear:

This is why I've lost my freaking mind.

This is why I have been crying for the past 5 days straight, unable to get a handle on these 'mysterious' pregnant hormones. The worst crying spell of which hit yesterday when Tyler called to tell me he unexpectedly had to leave out of town on business and wouldn't be able to return until Sunday. Just as the weekend was approaching. My break. My rest. My solace. My chance to reconnect with him and enjoy time with an actual adult. All gone gone gone!

It didn't help that we had already experienced a rather tumultuous past week as husband and wife. I'm not going to lie, and this may come as a real shocker to anyone familiar with this blog (hint, sarcasm): but pregnancies are not the highlight of Tyler and I's marriage. Instead of it being this incredibly intimate time of belly rubbing and massage oil and savoring our baby making capacities, it is more like an intense battle we fight through for the ultimate prize. We want the baby. We dread the pregnancy.

I'm sure it could be better. I'm sure I could be better at this whole thing. But I'm not, and that is the reality of it. It would help if pregnancy was a universally miserable experience for every woman involved. That would at least alleviate my guilt as I stand next to another delightfully cheerful pregnant mother. But instead it's more comparable to adult acne: some poor souls get it and some don't. And I feel like the biggest festering zit on the face of human fertility. Really.

As if the physical ramifications weren't enough, my emotions run so deep. I get entirely too reflective. I simmer and stew and ponder endlessly the state of a female's condition. The way our bodies are required to go to hell and back for a new life. And in my case, going to hell and back repeatedly, in order to achieve the amount of little heads I want surrounding my dinner-table. I have terrible allergies lately and can't take my normal medications....therefore my eyes itch and I sneeze constantly....and pee. Pee my pants. Over and over. And the hemorrhoids...nobody dares to even speak about them...they are embarrassing and painful enough...and the obsessive need to chew ice...and the swelling. Everywhere, so much swelling. And all of this before I actually must give birth. Lose sleep. Get mastitis again. Work endlessly to repair my body to pre-pregnancy shape (albeit impossible because a certain extent of permanent damage seems to be done with each pregnancy) and re-enter the world of female comparison and perfectionism and self-loathing.

And I get angry. Extremely angry.
We got the shaft, ladies.
We really got screwed (no pun intended).

And during this time it seems entirely (cough, ahem) rational to direct all anger at the one person responsible for everything: him. This man. This is all. your. fault. Tyler. You and all of stupid mankind and your immunity from this system. You are who God gave as a companion through all of this? A man? A penis slinging human incapable of really understanding because his body will never. ever. go through this process? A boy who teases about fluctuating nipple sizes?

My poor husband, who really does want to be there for me when I don't even want to talk to him about it. I'd rather not voice the realities of my condition and further exacerbate the image of damaged goods I already feel like I'm becoming. I'm already clearly aware of all of the other beautiful women roaming the earth on a regular basis surrounding our martial existence, so accuse me of closing the lines of open communication and honesty, but I choose to leave out any details about hemorrhoids (until now). And consequently I feel isolated and lonely and give weird silent treatments to avoid crying until I randomly lash out and behave like the crazy pregnant woman, leaving my husband in a state of confusion and wonderment over what he did wrong. Well for starters Sir, as mentioned previously, you did choose to marry the zit on the face of human fertility. Not that you, or she, knew it at the time (and hence the addition of the clause "for better or for WORSE").

Mmmhmmm, hardly the honeymoon of our marital experience.

But the good thing about having done this repeatedly is that I know the war will eventually end. This one at least, and I will get my prize. And strangely, insanely enough - even after it all, I will look at that little face, and Tyler will hold her and kiss my cheek as we stare at her little body, and we will feel more complete and more happy than ever as she grows and becomes the perfect addition to our family, and miraculously concur that we yes - we would choose to do it all over again if necessary.

The battle is so fierce, but maybe I am a stronger soldier than I thought.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm about to sneeze again and should really get to a toilet.


Amy Minor said...

Rae every time you post a blog I want to post it to my own blog and show everyone; show them your talent and your wit and your TRUTH! I would rather hear this, the zits and the hemorrhoids and all, 1000 times over rather than read something with a veil up, covering all the real. It's so easy to write about the good, fun, easy things in life and it's also worthless and boring most of the time. My sisters and I need to know these things!!! See you soon!

Mrs. Officer Andelin said...

I agree with Amy-it is so much easier to write about the good, but it is so much better to read the TRUTH!

I love your honesty. I can totally 100% relate with you. Seriously. Everything.

You can complain to me any time you want. I will not and do not judge. I have been there just as many times as you have:)

I can't wait to meet Elli Jane.

Joan said...

Ahhh, the refreshment I feel while reading your vent session. Not that I'm basking in your misery. No, no, no, my dear. NEVER. But that I can wholeheartedly relate on every level to every detail of this post. I adore you. I understand you. And yes, we will get the most perfectly beautiful, sweet, tender, gift God can give to WOMAN :) ---okay, and man: a baby. In the end (the operative word being "end") it is so, SO worth it.