Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last Week of Pregnancy

I'm usually the type that loves being pregnant. It's not that I have no discomforts or pains, or exhaustedness. It's really just that I think pregnancy is such an amazing thing. It's such a miraculous circumstance to take part in. And really--no one wants to listen to someone else whine all the time.

But towards the end of this pregnancy, I felt like I was definitely doing more than my "normal" amount of whining. Mostly to my mom, my sister, and my poor husband.

One reason was just the unpredictability of Nature. With my first pregnancy I naively assumed I would deliver a week early, since all my mom's babies had come early, as had my sister's and my sister-in-law's. So I planned everything around that assumption. When he didn't come, it was frustrating, but really didn't cause any problems since my mom was in town, I'd already graduated, and my job had ended for the summer.

With my second pregnancy we planned on inducing a bit earlier than that last time to avoid having another 9 pounder-or larger. So I knew I wasn't going to go quite to the end.

This pregnancy I really wanted to go into labor spontaneously--I didn't have some huge natural birthing plan, but I just really wanted to go into labor on my own. The frustrating thing is--that gives you almost an entire month of possible dates you could have the baby on. And my life is more complicated now. I have things going on. A boy to take to and from school. Jeremy's end of semester projects I'm trying to support him in. Kindergarten Open House. Jeremy's birthday. Book club. Stake conference. A number of appointments to schedule like Jonas' 30-day post op appointment (the date of which falls directly on my due date) and an overdue oil-change on the car.

So how am I supposed to schedule my life and the life of my family if at some point in there, we'll have to drop everything and, well, put the rest on hold for an indefinite period of time? It's just hard to not feel in any control about an event so significant that it will change everything that comes after it.

Then there was the discomfort, pain, and flat-out inability to perform certain physical tasks towards the end. The hard thing was how much this affected my ability to do the things I felt I should be doing, particularly, taking care of my boys.

Jonas decided--with impeccable timing--to stop taking naps my last month and a half of pregnancy. This was exactly when I was needing to take afternoon naps. I tried to help encourage him. I would try to go in his room to read him books, or I would go lay down by him on his little bed, but within three minutes I simply couldn't take the pain in my back any longer and would have to get up. Then I tried just letting Owen and Jonas play or watch a movie while I lied down. That was not very successful either.

I had a few breakdowns the last week or two of my pregnancy and this was one of them. I was trying to lay down and the boys were just causing problems. They were just bugging each other. But my back was killing me and I was so tired I just wanted a little nap. I could hear some sort of commotion going on. I called out to Owen to come here. I was not getting anyone in trouble I was simply trying to break up the issue. I called to him, then I yelled to him, then I screamed at him. He didn't respond to me in any case, so I just broke down and started crying. Because this is not the kind of mom I want to be. This is not the kind of parenting I want to do. And I knew that it was because of my physical state in pregnancy that I was feeling so overwhelmed and frustrated, and that I was simply physically unable to parent like I wanted.

One afternoon I was trying to be productive and work on laundry. On the way back to the laundry room carrying a basket, I tripped over something and fell. (I still have the bruise, but don't worry, Mom has the whole area cleaned up now-no more fall-hazards.) I stood up and brushed myself off, but as I stood over the washing machine, loading my clothes I broke down. What a way to live, with this belly that blocks my view to see where I'm stepping, and makes me clumsy and throws off my balance!

And I just felt done. I felt like I was at my limit, and had to take it literally one day at a time. That's why I couldn't believe I'd actually gone into labor a week early on my own. I didn't want to get my hopes up and then have to wait another two weeks until it was actually over.

I don't know about first or second trimesters, but this was definitely my hardest third trimester so far. I don't know how things will go next time. I feel like our family is not done yet. I've felt this whole pregnancy that it is not my last. But I don't know how many more. Maybe one. Maybe three. And who knows how it will be next time. Maybe easier, maybe harder.

One thing is for sure though. Life is not a cake walk. There's a lot to deal with. There's a lot of sacrifice involved in parenting. I'm not saying it's not worth it--it totally is, but that doesn't take away the hard parts.

I'm grateful to my husband for being so patient with my complaining. And I hope that amid all the love and fun surrounding the birth of their brother Wyatt, Owen and Jonas will forget all about the way I acted the last month.


Brian's Wife said...

I can TOTALLY relate!! Just remember kids are resilient and more than willing to forgive and forget!! It is good for them to learn that life is not always easy. My kids have been the witness of mommy breaking down in tears a few times in recent weeks, and it is good for them to understand that it is OK....sometimes we just have to cry!Good thing Heavenly Father allows us to forget all of the crummy parts of being pregnant...or else I think Mr.C would have been an only child!! We are so happy that Wyatt has made it here safe and the real fun part can begin!!

Anonymous said...

I love you more than comments can say, Jeanette. I never believed you to be unreasonable during your last month, and in fact I was always so impressed that you did everything that you did, and so well to. You are a warrior, my love.

Mindy said...

I'm so glad you went in labor early for your sake. And I'm sorry it was so tough. Melanie and I decided pregnancy might get harder, not easier, as we get older!

Anonymous said...

This is where post-partum blues come from. We return to our former selves after the baby is born, and when we remember back to the "Mr. Hyde" that we were when we were pregnant, we feel like "Why/How did I act like that, so unlike me?" But like Brian's wife says, your kids are forgiving. I think you all forgave me for going completely psycho the last two months of my pregnancy with Mark. And you kids were old enough to see I was acting strange!! I still remember Evelyn saying to me one day, "Mom, soon your little baby will be here and you'll forget all about it." She was only 10, but those words helped me through and helped me to forgive myself. So when you have #4, #5, #6, and/or #7, just remember that families are here to help and support one another, including children supporting their mother. They will become more independent and self-reliant as they take a turn being responsible for themselves a bit. Good luck!!


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