Thursday, September 5, 2013

Thoughts from a state of Pregnancy Insomnia

It's been over a week and a half since my OB doctor told me, "any day now!" which is exactly why no human being should ever try to predict when labor is going to start.  I was having early labor with contractions 8-10 minutes apart Monday-Wednesday last week, in which about 1/4 of the contractions I had were borderline painful and I was certain that I would go into active labor any minute.  Then Thursday-- nothing.  I continued to have Braxton-Hicks contractions fairly often, but not regularly and not intensely. 

When I showed up to see my doctor on Tuesday I learned that I had progressed another centimeter, putting me at three centimeters dilated, but this time he didn't give any kind of "any day now!" statement.  This evening (Wednesday) I went back to the pattern I had last week for several hours, but they still never got closer together or stronger.  Now, of course, I'm just having trouble sleeping.  It's the weirdest place to be when you are completely exhausted but can't sleep.  I remember this last time around too.  

I'm wondering, how much does early labor drain someone physically?  Sometimes I picture myself with a little energy pack floating in the air next to me (kind of Sims-style) which monitors how much energy I have, and at this point I feel like it can go from being full to completely empty in the course of a few minutes.  I wonder if the contractions, however false they may be, deplete my battery pack.  

I am also carrying the baby very low, which makes it difficult for me to sit like a normal person.  So I'm stuck in this place where I have not yet started my maternity leave, yet I have neither the energy nor the physical ability to do my work.  I also, emotionally, am hardly in the place to counsel and care for people in an effective manner, considering my own hormones are off the hook. 

I know this is quite a bit of complaining. I try to remember one of my favorite passages from scripture, the compassionate and sympathetic words of John, a man who regardless of his inexperience is, I think, accurate:
Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.

On to some other happenings:

1. Tomorrow (today?) is my annual review at the church.  I am nervous, but I think there has been good open communication and I'm pretty aware of anything they might say.  I actually think I'm mostly nervous that my hormones will get the better of me at this point and I won't be able to handle any critique.  I think as long as they don't evaluate my entire year on the last week and a half I'll be just fine.

2. Tomorrow we close on the house.  I am having trouble processing that one; it's like my brain can't physically process all of these changes at once so I just kind of go with the flow.  I don't think any of it will feel real until we're standing in there together without the realtor or inspector or seller.  We have a plan to order a pizza tomorrow night and just hang out there as a family, show the house to Nos (the dog) for the first time, and just dream about what it will look like someday.  There is some work we will do right away-- the carpets need to get out of there ASAP (30 years of smoking, at least), and the drapes will go with them.  We're hoping to do this work over the weekend, with the help of some friends.  I'll be the anxious pregnant lady pacing around looking for something to do.

3. My baby nephew Harrison Gene was born just over a week ago.  He's perfect.  I can't stop looking at pictures of his little face.  It is hard to be so far from family in times like this, but I'm not sure I'll see him anytime before Christmas.  When that time comes, I'll lay our baby boy next to him on a blanket and probably weep with joy to see them together.  An image of them catching salamanders together is one of the places my mind has been drifting off to this past week. We're going to have so many amazing times as our kids grow together.

4. I've had the chance to spend a lot of time with Evelyn lately, since I haven't been "working" quite as much.  Mostly, we've been watching movies together.  I can't believe how good her movie attention-span is for her age.  We've been watching Totoro and The Cat Returns, but tonight we watched Babe.  While we watch movies we talk to each other about what's happening and she says hilarious things (her language is completely exploding).  In her mind, her world is intertwined with the characters', so there is no reason why Totoro shouldn't know who Nos is, or why her favorite stuffed companion New Kitty wouldn't be a character in the film.  Tonight while watching Babe she kept correcting the narrator whenever he would talk about the duck:  "No, s'a goose," she'd say.  It was a duck, but I could see where she was coming from.

She also has such a caring, nurturing soul, and she knows that I'm having trouble.  She rubs my arm and says, "it-otay-mommy" when I have a deep sigh.  She kisses and hugs my belly and talks to the baby, who she may or may not think is a baby dog.  She has also been really into brushing my hair lately, and she is so proud of herself, "I brushin' mommy's hair!!" she exclaims to her daddy whenever he walks into the room.  It hurts sometimes, but I don't even care.  We also have rough moments-- the ones where she throws a fit and  since my last nerve was gone like 3 weeks ago, I just walk out of the room and let daddy deal with it.  I feel guilty, but I seriously don't know that there is another option.  He is full of forgiveness with me and patience with her.

When we get some things settled in the house, I will post some photos of the interior of it for you to see.  I don't know quite when that will be.  Actually, I'm not even sure what I mean by settled... ;-)

Along with all the complaints, let me just say that not a moment goes by when I am not grateful for the life we're living.  I am overwhelmed and I am tired, but I am most certainly blessed.

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