In the past seven days, seven different people have asked me if I’m having twins. Twice this was in jest, just a little mommy to mommy ribbing about the breadth of my ribcage from a couple of friends who have been there. Once it was malicious, one in a series of intentionally barbed (and highly inappropriate) comments about my pregnant body made by a very disgruntled colleague (yes, it really is that bad at work lately). Which leaves an additional four – count them FOUR – completely unrelated incidents in which perfectly harmless, perfectly well-intentioned people let their curiosity get the best of them.
Lucky for them I don’t cry easily, even with the pregnancy hormones. Even luckier I didn’t punch any of them in the face, especially with the pregnancy hormones.
I would say it’s been that kind of week, but I guess it’s more appropriate to say it’s been that kind of pregnancy, at least if I’ve read any of my own posts over the past six months. The first trimester sucked, because the first trimester always sucks, and my second trimester didn’t suck so much as it’s just kind of kicked my ass – I kept waiting around for that burst of energy and joy, but the only things bursting are my blood pressure and my not-quite-elastic-enough maternity jeggings. I can only imagine the gifts of joy my third trimester is bound to bring in the coming weeks.
If I’m really honest with myself, though, it hasn’t actually been the second trimester or the first trimester or any part of the pregnancy that’s been kicking my ass. It’s my life. My life minus long slow runs and quick furtive cigarettes equals my life kicking my ass, plain and simple.
I suppose those infamous pregnancy hormones are having some kind of impact, but really I feel quite normal, quite a lot like I always do. The only real difference is my disappointment at feeling like I always do – shouldn’t I be floating along on super doses of serotonin or endorphins or something by now? Shouldn’t I really not still be missing that little nightly dose of nicotine? I know, I KNOW, cigarettes are bad for me, but honestly I’m beginning to think those few precious minutes of silence on the front stoop after my daughter stopped (literally) fighting sleep each night were the only thing standing between me and a total nervous breakdown. Can this really be blamed on the hormones?
Physically it’s the same story. Aside from the fact that I appear to be carrying a giant alien inside my abdomen and someone else’s bust inside of my bra, I don’t actually feel all that much worse than normally I feel sans fetus, particularly if I compare how I feel now to past occasional periods lacking exercise. Pregnant or not, I’m usually pretty tired, relatively rundown, and exceptionally creaky and sore. Maybe I shouldn’t be complaining about pregnancy side effects, but instead celebrating the fact that at least now I have an excuse for all of my moaning and groaning.
So last week I rested. I had a few days off from work, so I put my legs up and digested lots of starchy food and lots of Netflix superheroes. Then I went back to work, and to childrearing, and to work. And to cleaning up the house, and to work. And to work and to work and to work. This was a problem back when I had my smoky little front stoop and my sunrise runs for daily doses of recalibration. Pregnancy has done nothing but make it all feel so much more pronounced (like the belly and bust all these friends, enemies and strangers can’t help but comment on).
Christmas break is right around the corner, but I know better than to lay too many eggs in that basket. Every year for the past decade and a half I’ve spent working in higher ed has been the same experience – make a big plan and an even bigger list of all the activities and inactivities I could accomplish during that 7-10 day period of free vacation, only to find that I was right back where I started come January 2. I don’t need a vacation, I need a complete overhaul. And as I turn round this final curve of my pregnancy, the urgency is more than a little palpable.
Supposedly you can change just about any old habit that plagues you if you give it regular attention over a period of one month. Which means three months should be plenty of time even for my slow moving pregnant self to come round to a new way of being – or at the very least a new way of behaving.
And it all starts now!
(Okay, not like literally right now, but soon. I swear. Just as soon as I get through this last stack of work that is.)