Peace Like a (muddy, muddy) River

So I mentioned in this post that right before I found out I was pregnant this time, I had a profound sense of peace with the size of the family I already had.  The very peace, in fact, that I had been longing for, for so long while David and I disagreed about having or not having another child.

How or why did I suddenly feel so peaceful about NOT having another?

Here’s what I think happened:  For whatever reason, I had a strong… biological desire to have another child.  Even when I didn’t particularly WANT another (like when I thought of all the practical reasons that the three was had was PLENTY, THANK YOU VERY MUCH), I still had a… I don’t know… urge, maybe is the best way to describe it, to have another baby.  Like, I LONGED for it.  My arms actually ached and felt empty.

And then, sometime in December (and while we had both kind of decided that we would try for another, we were both also still feeling ambivalent about it, so our attempts in December were so pathetic that we’re both a little shocked that we actually conceived) ( and I feel so incredibly dumbfounded by our extreme luck in fertility– I have no idea why or how it’s so easy for us, especially considering that David has Type 1 diabetes, which is infamous for causing low sperm count– that I don’t even know how to express my gratitude and relief adequately) anyway, sometime in December I became pregnant.

So here we are, in December– pregnant but still totally unaware– and my body is suddenly no longer craving that next baby… because that next baby is already on board.  BUT I don’t know that.  So I am suddenly NOT craving another baby, and my body has a secret it’s keeping from my brain, so my brain has no option but to try to explain it without that crucial knowledge.  Therefore, I am left to believe that I am at peace with not having another child… but that child is ALREADY PRESENT, in its own special (secret!) way.

Does this even make any sense?  (Ha!  Welcome to my brain.)

Anyway, so sum it up, I think instead of it being a case where I changed my mind too late, it’s a case where I had a  sense of peace that I attributed to the wrong thing.  Basically, if you have a strong sense that your family is complete, take a pregnancy test before you make any loud declarations.  It’s probably a sign that you’re already knocked up.

Or, at least it was for me.

Also, each time that I’ve been pregnant– and all were “planned” and wanted– the moment I found out I was Actually No Shit Pregnant was a moment of panic.  Like, I WANTED to be pregnant, but when I actually WAS, I was all “BUT!  BUT!  BUT…. CRAP!”  This is not a lack of gratitude for the pregnancy, nor is it a lack of wanting the pregnancy… it’s more of a PANIC THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING PANIC sensation.

Additionally, people tend define certain emotions as opposites, but I’ve found that most emotions are far to complex to be truly opposite of each other.  For example, one would think that “wanting a baby” and “not wanting a baby” were OPPOSITE emotions; that a person has either one or the other.  However, in reality, both of those things are quite complex.  I’ve found myself both wanting a baby AND not wanting a baby at the SAME TIME.  As in:  those emotions were not opposites AT ALL, but instead, they existed on the same parallel plane for me.

The same goes with “thinking I’m pregnant” and “being shocked to find out I’m pregnant.”  I emailed Jennie to let her know that I would not be participating in the Biggest Blogging Loser because I *thought* I might be pregnant.  And perhaps for an instant whilst writing that email, I DID think I was pregnant.  However, I mostly believed– up until the moment that I actually found out– that I wasn’t pregnant, and that any thoughts I had about it were merely wishful thinking.  Again, two opposing emotions, existing together.

I’m currently experience an especially fun mind fuck.  See, I’ve been really sick this time.  Really sick.  Not keeping food down, canceling social plans, sleeping on the bathroom floor sick.  I’ve never thrown up before during pregnancy, so this is all new territory for me.  Barfing, recovering from barfing, thinking about barfing again, B-6, Zofran, red veins in my eyes from barfing so much… you get the picture.  However, amidst all of it, I’ve had little pockets of time where I’ve felt better.  My prevailing emotion during those times is FUCK, THE BABY DIED.  In fact, in the last day or two, I’ve had a few eating experiences where the FOOD tasted… dare I say???… almost NORMAL.  I have to admit to enjoying the shit out of those meals… but at the same time feeling worried.

At the very same time, I feel very confident that this pregnancy is fine; that I will deliver a baby in early September as planned. (Though writing that out makes me feel LESS confident, because SHIT, did I just JINX MYSELF???)  These two emotions SHOULD be opposite, but instead they battle it out in my mind all the time, each one taking up equal head-space.  The same goes with worrying about having a healthy baby.  I can get myself into a REAL LATHER about all the possible health complications my baby could have… and yet at the same time I feel like everything will be fine, that my baby is and will be healthy.

It’s all very exhausting, as you know if you’ve been pregnant before.

Basically, the bottom line is, none of this– ttc, being pregnant, staying pregnant, labor, delivering a baby, or even adoption or surrogacy– NONE of it is for pussies, that’s for sure.  Throw in friends that have struggled for years and years with infertility, or friends that have lost babies, and the emotions get even deeper, muddier, and more complex. There’s not much we can do, except own our own stories and ride it out, supporting each other along the way.

[P.S.  Do you think Tom Cruise would lend me his at-home ultra sound machine?  I would relax so much if I could just SEE this little blueberry everyday…  at least until I can feel it.]


21 thoughts on “Peace Like a (muddy, muddy) River

  1. Things I wish I would have known when I was given Zofran (but couldn’t figure out at the time because the doctor didn’t mention these things, and who can think clearly when you’re that sick?): 1. You’re supposed to take it every 8 hours ALL THE TIME, even if you aren’t sick at that moment, as opposed to, just take it when you’re feeling sick. 2. They can actually give you 8 (is it mg?) every 8 hours, as opposed to the 4 mg my first doctor tried. 3. They can give you Zofran and either Phenergen or Reglan at the same time, so that you take the Zofran, and then the Phenergen or Reglan 4 hours later, then 4 hours later it’s time for more Zofran, repeat…. And 4. It works INFINITELY better if you are hydrated, which really sucks if the only way you can stay hydrated is with an IV, but is GREAT NEWS if you can keep water down and can just try to drink more, knowing that it really helps. Hope this is helpful and not just assvice =); I just wish someone would have told me! I would have GIVEN EVERY LAST CENT I HAD to anyone who could have made the misery stop! I hope you feel better soon so that you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!
    And yes to all the rest!

    • UGGG! This would have been so helpful a few weeks ago! Zofran had NASTY side effects… and I WASN’T able to keep even water down, some days. I was told to stay hydrated, and I was all “…..WHA? ARE YOU NOT HEARING ME???” Anyway, I only take it now if I’m desperate, and I think I’ve turned a corner this week with re: to barfing.

      • Yes, Zofran can have nasty side effects =(, and they get worse the more you have to take it…which would be mostly worth it IF IT WORKED! I had the same problem with hearing-impaired providers. Hello?! What part of “I CAN’T EAT *ANYTHING* OR EVEN *DRINK WATER*” can’t you understand? How is telling me to “eat small, frequent meals and make sure you drink enough water” helpful? SOOOOOO frustrating! That’s wonderful if you are finished with the barfing!! I guess NOW you can try staying hydrated and see if that helps =).

    • Yes, I’m hopeful… however, I had a particularly bad night on… was it Saturday?… so it’s all still SO FRESH that I’m not *too* cocky yet that it’s really over. Also, I’ve pretty much stopped taking Zofran… I found it helped me not to puke by not allowing me to puke when I needed to. Like, I wanted DESPERATELY to, but COULDN’T. Worst.

      But to imagine… life without dry, chapped lips!

  2. YES, I agree with all this. I DO think the being pregnant is what made your baby cravings stop, in exactly the way you describe. It’s a scary thing about the brain, to me, that it makes up explanations and then THINKS THEY’RE TRUE. It’s like in dreams, when the brain has to explain the alarm clock sound so it quick makes up a subplot that includes a loud noise. Our brains are not…reliable.

    I also like everything you said about “not being opposites.” YES. I feel like I’m going to be thinking of that periodically for a LONG TIME.

  3. You are so insightful, my dear friend. And I completely get what you’re saying about working your way through two conflicting thoughts/emotions at the same time. TOTAL MIND FUCK! Hang in there, and let me know what I can do. Perhaps a bag of Funyuns would help? 🙂

  4. I wish I lived next door to you, because we are eerily alike in so many ways, especially in terms of parsing out thoughts and emotions.

    I think it makes complete sense that you were at peace because you were already pregnant! The body and mind are strange, wonderful things.

    • Oh, I would love you next door! The house next door to me is big and really well cared for… Of course, there would have to be an adjustment period of you getting over how CHEAP it is to live here… My bff that lives in DC always jokes that she could sell her house there and buy an entire city block here. 🙂

  5. Totally accurate. We had trouble conceiving our second and a miscarriage along the way and yet, when I finally got pregnant I still thought “Whoo hoo! . . . Oh shit!” It’s never just been one emotion or another, always the two together for me. Then through the long weeks of morning sickness in which we told no one I was pregnant because of our past bad experiences so I had to attempt to fake at least seeming normal, I’d have thoughts like “oh man I can’t take feeling sick like this anymore, when will this be over? . . . Crap, no I don’t want it to be OVER over panic panic panic.” Pregnancy is such a brain scramble it’s a wonder I didn’t get fired because my work product certainly went down hill in a hurry.

  6. Oh, that last part sounds just like me in pregnancy. Half of my head is FUH-REAKING out, and the other half is all zen, and “things are fine.” Mind boggling.

    I’m glad you’re feeling a little better!!

  7. Your explanation of feeling like your family was complete because your body was keeping a secret from your brain – made complete sense.

    This line: “Basically, the bottom line is, none of this– ttc, being pregnant, staying pregnant, labor, delivering a baby, or even adoption or surrogacy– NONE of it is for pussies, that’s for sure. ”

    ACK. I better toughen up, I suppose.

  8. I was very sick this last time too. Actual throwing up was a new experience for me. Luckily I found the Zofran helpful, and I wasn’t so sick I couldn’t keep down ANYTHING, so I managed to find a balance between the Zofran and eating and drinking enough to make the Zofran actually work.
    So how technically far along are you? Is the end of morning sickness probably in sight, at least?

  9. I GET IT NOW. Not that it matters if *I* get it, but before this I was a little…. worried for you, I guess. Because you were finally, after SO MUCH work, feeling settled with your decision to not have another baby and then BAM you’re pregnant and I just hoped it was all not just okay but GOOD.

    Your body KNEW. It KNEW and was FINE because it KNEW. I get it.

    (Hope you’re feeling better and better.)

  10. I also agree with those parallel feelings being possible and the weird mind/body stuff.

    BUT I’m mostly commenting to say I was much sicker my second pregnancy than the first – throwing up a lot vs. just feeling vaguely nauseous a lot – so maybe you are having a boy!

  11. Thanks for writing this. Not surprisingly, I was hoping for a different explanation, one that would help *me* feel at peace. But it all does make sense, in a weird mind-body connection way.

    So sorry you’ve been feeling so awful. Explains the weight loss that you mentioned a while back. I really hope you turned the corner. You’ve got to be getting close to the 2nd tri, yes? Hang in there, my dear. And congratulations again.

  12. Congratulations, missy! So glad this has come about and all is well in Tiny Town house. You were obviously meant to be a mother to four – and will no doubt do an amazing job with the new baby.

    And so sorry for the sickies. I was had morning (afternoon, evening, all times except middle of the night) sickness for the first 6 months of both of my pregnancies. I was really a lousy pregnant woman and jokingly say that I had about 15 enjoyable minutes at about 7 months in. There were only two things that helped me at all – ginger candies (natural ginger flavoring in a hard candy) and ginger ale. I consumed my body weight in those two items during those months. The ginger candies were especially helpful (placebo? maybe. Whatever it was, I was grateful for it!) during the day.

    And if you’re vomiting as much as it sounds like you are, be sure and see your dentist. That stomach acid can do a real number on your teeth!

    Joy abounds in Tiny Town – even with the nausea!

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