As I near the end of my pregnancy, you think I’d be jumping for joy at the impending conclusion of this cankles and carbohydrates portion of life. There is a combination of both joy and sadness in knowing that I won’t be pregnant again, but to be honest, those are not the feelings taking over.
Aside from the typical rom-com canon of pickles and ice cream, pregnancy is not all sunshine and roses. Many women love being pregnant — the loose clothing, the excuse to eat ad nauseum, the obliging help of strangers — there’s a lot to like.
But what they don’t tell you during that first sonogram is how isolating it can be to grow another person. Granted, as a mom already, I don’t get a lot of time to myself. But as I write this, I’m awake after a 30-minute nap so desperately needed my head almost hit the keyboard before I took a break.
During my last pregnancy, I spent most of it embracing Texas’ mild winter. Sweaters, scarves, and layers upon layers. Plus, the winter months lend themselves nicely to the hermit feelings that set in as your belly begins to swell.
This time, things are different. Not only is it approximately 147 degrees outside, but we've moved into a new community. Goodbye social circles, hello small talk with semi-strangers. Add to that the fact that the third trimester ushers in a slow decrease in anti-anxiety meds that have helped me immensely since becoming a parent plus crippling exhaustion and I’m basically my own version of Grey Gardens, except instead of Little Edie, I’ve got my dog by my side.
It doesn’t help that I’ve fallen into a bit of a creative funk. While the freelance/contractor life has provided me with flexibility that’s perfect for a working mom, as I’m approaching delivery, I realize that it’s not ideal to have a job that doesn’t make room for maternity leave.
So here I am, feeling a little blue, and not the baby kind. I’m decorating the nursery and making the most of the rest of the time we have left as a family of three, but I’m struggling a bit to smile through.
Surely, hormones play a role (though if my husband ever suggests this, he may as well be signing his own death certificate), but I think part of it stems from knowing and anticipating the emotional roller coaster that’s to come – the sleepless nights, the engorged breasts, the c-section recovery. And this time? There will be two of them.
I know it’ll all be great. I know that my boys will be buddies, and my husband and I will settle into a groove. But right now? Right now, mama’s struggling, and I’m looking for it to pass.
While I wait, at least I’ll have my buddies Ben & Jerry to pull me through. Pickles optional.