Sunday, March 25, 2012

Maternity Clothes are Stupid.

I have mentioned before that I have issues with anxiety. I am doing extremely well using my strategies since I have been off of my crazy pills for a while now. That's not what this blog entry is about.
This is about the attack of the insane pregnancy hormones.
I don't remember being particularly moody when I was pregnant with Brynn. Maybe no one told me. I wouldn't call myself moody right now, but I haven't thought of a better word for it. I'm fine most days, but then other days I absolutely cry uncontrollably over NOTHING.
Friday was a particularly frustrating day at school with everything except my students. Those are the worst days. I would rather have multiple child meltdowns than a day of paperwork going wrong and working with adults. (Hence the reason I did not grow up and get a grown-up job. I play for a living.) I had been planning on leaving school ASAP and going shopping since it seems the front of all my shirts are shrinking. I got to school early to get some stuff done (which ended up being wrong) to be sure I could leave at 3 on the nose. So after my frustrating day, I was thrilled that retail therapy was within reach.
I realized that not only do you forget all the pain of childbirth after it's over, but apparently you also have amnesia about how sucky shopping for maternity clothes is. 99% of maternity clothes are made for women who could get by with the rubberband trick in their pants and going up a size in regular shirts. AND they try to make them for no particular season (read: 3/4 sleeves and cheap material). The maternity section in Belk (which hardly covers the same square footage as our daughter's tiny bedroom) was even called 3 seasons. I get the pun on the trimesters, har har, but these clothes are neither good for winter nor summer, so I only count possibly 2 seasons of wear. IF you aren't actually pregnant.
I have also discovered even aside from clothes, there is very little information out there for 2nd (or beyond) time mommies. I get the little aside sometimes like, "By the way, if you have been pregnant before everything is already stretched out and you get huge immediately. But we don't want to talk about that."
Since I wasn't exactly lean and lank BEFORE I began growing another human being, I'm a bit self-conscious of my size anyway. So squeezing into a shirt that is supposedly made for 2 people to fit into that my cantaloupe and I were busting out of did nothing for my self-esteem. (If anyone is wondering, I was trying on the sizes that according to the tags should have fit. I'm not trying to fool myself.) I know I'm 3 1/2 months pregnant, but for some reason, I can't accept that this belly is a baby and not just fat yet. (??? I told you I'm in crazy preggo land right now. Thought of a word other than moody yet? Looney? Schizo? Insane in the membrane?)
I had to sit down in the dressing room and cry. I was in all but the ugly cry stage and started developing a plan. I could call someone to come get me. I thought I could explain what dressing room I was in without having to go back out there alone. People needed to know that Jabba the Hutt here did have people who loved her, she wasn't just wandering the world looking for someone else to eat.
I brought my sweet husband to mind who always has a way to calm me out of my bizarre-est of moments, and I knew he would remind me that they were just clothes, and I'm beautiful the way I am. That gave me the strength to wipe of my runny mascara and go back out there. I went back over to the maxi dresses in the regular section to see if any of them could drape over my gorilla body. Of course the first one I tried on was HIDEOUS. I can't even begin to describe how ill-fitting this dress was except that I cannot imagine what kind of body it was designed for. Thankfully though, it was the last horrid thing I put on that day. I actually ended up with two dresses I feel really good about, but unfortunately still don't have any more shirts. It was all I could handle that day though.
Just to make myself feel even better I also got a new pair of shoes too. Shoes never make you feel bad about yourself. They are so forgiving. Even ugly shoes, you just think, "Wow, those shoes are ugly." You don't think, "I need to go on a diet so these shoes will look better."
Of course on my way home I called Erick and fell apart all over again recounting how horrible my experience was. Then my mom called, and as hard as I try, there is no way to hide my emotions from her, and her sympathy is all it takes to push me over into the ugly cry. The one that makes my face go polka-dotted and my eyes swell shut.
Thankfully only two days later I can laugh about it, but in the moment, there is nothing worse. Whoever wrote the thing I read recently about loving your body because it is doing something wonderful and blah blah was not actually pregnant at the time of writing that. I want this baby more than anything and it is well worth massive melt-downs in the dressing room, but I'm pregnant, and gosh darn it I can cry if I feel like it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Faith in the Oven

I really stink at keeping secrets.
Not like I tell them or anything when I'm not supposed to, but I just have to avoid talking at all to whomever it involves. Take this baby business for example. I disappeared from blogging because all I wanted to talk about was related to my being pregnant.
Erick and I decided not to tell anyone (except our moms, dads, and brothers) until after the first ultrasound. Okay, so I told a few other people before that too. See, I told you I stink at it. I promise if it was your secret I would do better. I feel more at liberty with my own.
in the few weeks before that first ultrasound, I had some pretty soul-deafening fear like I'd never felt before. I don't know how some people go through the pain of losing a child more than once. That is a heartache I just can't believe I can bear again. It makes me pray that much harder for others still struggling. I clung to the words repeated about 100 times in the Bible, "Do not be afraid."
When Erick and I finally got to see that beautiful baby with the strong heartbeat floating in a just-right sized womb, it was pleasantly anti-climatic. "Hmm. Baby is a little bigger than 8 weeks, but it's close so we'll leave it." Oh so different from last time. If you don't remember, May baby was about 2 weeks too small and there was no fluid. I asked this time just to be sure, "So that all looks perfect, right?" The doctor assured me it was.
Last week I had another appointment. I was perfectly fine until about the day before. Then I started being afraid again. I knew in my head everything was okay, but my belly just isn't quite big enough for me to really believe I'm pregnant. (Especially since thankfully I'm not throwing up every time I walk into the bathroom!) Again though, we got a good report from a sweet nurse, "Wow, that's a great heartbeat for 12 weeks!"
I have never had an experience like this one. After two pregnancies--one perfect and one a nightmare--it's like I'm starting over. I am painfully aware of how little control I have over the process of this baby coming out healthy. Sure, I'm taking my vitamins, eating and not eating the right things, not smoking, not drinking, no caffeine, and all the other things we know about. But there are so many many things only God is just left to take care of.
I know I should give Him all my fears and doubts, but the human side of me would feel like I wasn't caring or somehow wasn't doing enough. So thankfully, God understands that I am doing the absolute best I can. He has given me peace about the 95% that I have turned over and is holding the other 5% while I stand very close by with a finger on it.