I suppose if I had to describe my emotional state, I would liken it to a post-game-teen-boy’s-tube sock being spun around in celebration above said teen’s head after a big win. The sock whips around, up, and down, like my hormones over the last few days. Oh yeah. And it STINKS.
Allow me to explain.
First of all, I don’t use weekends to relax. Well, sort of. I use them to get things done. And getting things done is relaxing to me. It’s why I don’t like to sleep in on a Sunday, don’t like to watch movies during the day generally, don’t like lounging, etc. I want to seize the day! I don’t want to waste a drop of free time. Sometimes I sort of hate this about myself. And, as someone who also dislikes being alone, Nick doesn’t care for this part of me either, since I usually drag him into whatever it is I want to accomplish. (I don’t blame him in the least.) I often set high expectations for my free time, so when I don’t get something accomplished, I get frustrated and, on occasion, it can ruin my day. It pains me to admit this about myself, but I can also say it’s something I really do work on. Relaxing, that is. Who knew it could be so hard?
Anywho, when this past weekend approached, I tittered excitedly to Nick, “Oh, my! Do you realize this could be our last, or one of the last weekends we have together? Just the two of us? We should do something special. It may never be like this again!”
Mistake: Verbalizing this fact. Why? Because I had just set an expectation. Ooooh, this could be our last weekend together. It simply must be amazing. Or at the very least, we must be mentally present in every moment, consciously enjoying each other’s company.
Saturday morning we wake up and have a fabulous breakfast. We make plans to see the new Batman movie, which I secretly don’t want to do because I heard it’s about 3 hours long, and I don’t want to waste that much of our free time on one task – especially just sitting in a theater, especially when it’s nice outside, especially when you’re pregnant and have to pee every twenty minutes, especially, especially, etc, etc.
By the time the dishes are done and we’re ready to go, it’s lunch time. We decide to eat at home before we head out, knowing the movie is long. So, by the time that’s done, it’s early afternoon already. Where did the precious time go? Sidebar: speaking of “the precious” that’s exactly how I feel about time…I should refer to it as my “precious” the same way Gollum refers to The Ring. I covet it while it destroys my mind. Hmmm. Food for thought.
Long story short. We end up not seeing the movie. We get there, and even for a matinee, there’s a huge line. I can tell Nick wants to see it. He can tell I don’t. We do the whole:
“I mean, we can still see it if you really want to.”
“No, that’s ok, we can just see it tomorrow.”
“Are you sure? Because I can tell you really want to see it.”
“No, seriously it’s fine. I don’t want to see it right now if you don’t. Seriously, let’s just see it tomorrow.”
“Yeah, ok, we’ll see it tomorrow. It’ll be better anyways, you know…”
So on and so forth.
[Here is where the teen picks up the sock, his excitement building, he hasn’t quite started whooping and spinning it yet.]
I feel two things: 1) a little anxiety that our itinerary has now been altered, 2) guilt because I want Nick to be happy and I can tell he wanted to stay and see the movie. This circles back around, leading to more anxiety, but I try to ignore it.
We peruse Barnes and Noble for awhile, and I read “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding,” while enjoying a Starbucks beverage. Now, I must say, this is a phenomenal resource, highly recommended. It has given me such great information, and I feel very informed. However (and I won’t hide my feelings here), this book makes you feel like absolute shit if you are even considering having anything but a natural birth with no drugs whatsoever.
[Dear La Leche League,
You’re book hurt my feelings and made me question whether I am actually a bad person for my choice to have an epidural. Don’t worry – I’ll keep reading, but your passive-aggresive one-liners sprinkled throughout the helpful bits of text don’t really serve a purpose in my opinion. I suppose if you are trying to get an emotionally unstable pregnant woman to feel horrible about herself, then bravo – you nailed it. Peace out.
I have Nick read a few of the passages that state the consequences of taking pain meds during labor (i.e. you’ll feel horrible afterwards, you won’t love your baby as much after birth, your baby won’t connect with you, your baby will probably grow up and be worthless, etc.) and he brushes them off as anecdotal at best. I feel better, knowing he and I are on the same page. (Remember this for later.)
We head home for a bit – Nick wants to relax and read. I need to finalize my grocery list and print recipes for freezable dinners and such to make. I had just read that when you bring a newborn home, there’s no time for cooking, so a stocked freezer is your best friend. We enjoy our leisure activities, then it’s time to head to the store. I also have to stop by Hobby Lobby on the way.
I’m ready to go.
Nick says, “I have about 20 more pages and I’ll be done with this book.”
I whine, “What? But it’s already like 6:30! By the time you read that, we go, get back, the day will practically be over! C’mooooon-ah, let’s gooooo-ah.”
I know I’m whining, but I don’t know what I’ll do for the half-hour it’ll take him to finish his 20 pages. I decide to sigh loudly and bang things around exaggeratedly as I wait.
Finally, we’re on the road to Hobby Lobby.
[The teen boy opens his mouth wide to whoop it up, the sock slowly starts to twirl.]
We’re turning in and I get a huge lump in my throat as I think back on the day. Why wasn’t Nick more concerned with the whole epidural, medication thing? He was so laid back about it. I don’t understand why he didn’t have more of an opinion. Why does he never want to have long conversations about these things? Why does he never have an opinion about anything? He doesn’t care. You’re on your own.
As I have these thoughts, the other inner-monologue in me is screaming how ridiculous these feelings are. Pleading with me to just stop it. But it’s too late. Nick asks what I need to get at Hobby Lobby. I shrug and practically run into the store, leaving him behind because I know I’m about to start crying for NO reason whatsoever. It takes about 5 minutes to calm down, and I’m over it for the rest of the night. Just like that. What the???
Sunday morning comes. I wake up way too early from acid reflux, but then I’m hungry so I eat and try to go back to bed. I’m exhausted, but for some reason I just can’t get back to sleep really. I give up a couple of hours later and go back downstairs. And, for whatever reason, I am pissed. off. I can’t pin-point why, and that makes me angrier. It’s just some nagging feeling of foreboding I can’t shake.
Nick wakes up and says something really chipper and nice, which makes me want to scream. Once again, I tell myself how irrational I’m being and I don’t want to take my nonsense mood out on him, so I simply warn him, “You may want to stay away from me this morning. I’m in a bad mood.”
We sit on the couch and he’s eating breakfast. He flips on the t.v. We don’t have cable because we don’t watch a lot of t.v. Since we don’t have cable, our local stations are lackluster in their reception. Some days they come in great. Other days, the digital signal cuts out so you get little geometric squares where people’s faces should be, and it keeps cutting to a black screen. We’ve grown used to it. But this day…this day is different. I stare at the television with its sound and picture cutting in and out and in and out, and each time it happens I feel like I’m beating my head against a wall. I can’t take it anymore!
[The teen boy is really spinning that sock now, wooping it up with his buddies. Spinning, spinning, spinning! Hell, is he going to have lift-off?]
I quietly excuse myself and head upstairs to take a shower. Instead, I sit on the bed, stare out the window at the beautiful sunny day, and start bawling my eyes out. I mean, we are talking full-on crying jag with snot, the previous day’s mascara, red nose, the works.
Nick, who is obviously very brave, comes up to see what’s wrong.
I explain to him through blubbering, hiccuping sobs that it’s just overwhelming. All of it. I had all of these plans to get things done in the house, and now we’re down to only two weeks left, and so much of it is still left undone. We didn’t refinish the floors, the carpet didn’t get cleaned, we only have a few precious moments left before our lives will change forever and there’s just so much that still needs to be done. He listens until I’m done and the sobs turn to shudders, then announces that we’re taking the dog to my parents’ so he can start on the floors. Today. God bless him. He outlines the plan and it just all seems better already. We make plans to see Batman that night after he’s worked on the floors.
Deep down, I know it’s not just “stuff not getting done.” It’s knowing it won’t be just us anymore. That makes me cry. Sometimes I feel like no one in the world could ever understand how much Nick and I enjoy being together. How much fun we’ve had together in our lives. And with my hormones raging, the baby suddenly feels like an end to that life rather than a new adventure for the both of us. And then that makes me feel guilty and want to cry. Oi.
Now, God forbid anything should ever happen to Nick, cuuuz after sharing this, I’m quite sure no man would want to come near me, having demonstrated that I am, in fact, psychotic. But here’s the rub…and you can add this to the incredulity I feel about this whole pregnancy thing – I’m not an emotional person usually. Nick used to call me the Ice Princess when we dated in high school because I just didn’t have “feelings” generally. I don’t like feelings. I don’t like gooshy stuff. Even my friend Heather will tell you that I don’t get too excited about much. I mean, I can. I just don’t show it usually. So, my hormonal tube sock reeeeally stinks to high heaven. It reeks.
Our weekend wasn’t the grand affair I’d hoped for, but we finally did make it to see Batman. The irony is that I ended up enjoying the movie more than Nick did! We admire the first coat of varnish on the floor before heading to bed. We lay there and quietly discuss all the fun times we’ve had, what a great life we’ve had together so far already, and how it really is going to change so soon. We’ve had this conversation so many times. Each time we vow to each other that we’ll remember our old selves. We’ll remember what it feels like to just be together – how we know it will be hard once the baby gets here and we’re tired, and cranky, and so focused on him, as we know we will be. It always makes me feel better to make these promises.
It was February and we were fifteen years old the first time Nick asked me to “go with him.” We were sitting on the bench by the doors that lead out to the bus line when he asked. He was wearing an orange and green University of Miami sweatshirt. I missed the bus on purpose that day just so I could be with him because I liked him. My mom was annoyed when I called and told her I “accidentally missed the bus.” But it didn’t matter.
I love this baby so much. I really do. I can’t wait to meet him in just a few days or a couple of weeks!!! Yay!!! But, when you’re thirty-three, and you’ve been with the same person since you were fifteen, someone who’s become your best friend in life…well, let’s just say it really messes with your head knowing there’s gonna be a new roommate moving in. A helpless little roommate. Permanently. For eighteen years minimum.
I’m glad he’ll be a piece of Nick. I’m thankful Nick puts up with me, even when my tube sock is very, very stinky.
**Note: I do not mean to offend La Leche. I attended a meeting and everyone there was very supportive,kind, and helpful. The book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, is put out by LLL and is a great resource for b-feeding moms. They just need to cool it on the natural birthing, that’s all. Just my opinion.