Overload or self-isolating

Ok. I’m done discussing it now, she says, as she opens a new blog entry to discuss it. I’m overwhelmed by people’s opinions on my experience, my body, and my ride. Comments about how motherhood might soften me make me feel misunderstood and misrepresented. I’m the softest fucker out there when it comes to me fur and feather children. I’m soft with my friends, and I’m (getting better at being) soft with myself. Don’t tell me that “it’ll all be worth it” as if i get a prize at the end of this. Don’t tell me “once you hold that baby you’ll be ready to do it all again” umm no. I won’t. Because I don’t repeat patterns of behaviour that are of clear and direct detriment to my mental health… anymore…

Boomers telling me to chill out. To relax. As if I’m not meditating more than I have in my entire life. Suggesting I’m a snowflake for struggling and EXPRESSING my struggle, honestly and candidly. I’m trying to be open, raw, honest, as I am with everything in my life, but apparently now is not the time. So I’ll retreat a little. Mention it less. Share less. And just experience it. A depressive episode every 10-14 days is becoming the norm, 3-4 day migraines are just wiping me out completely, and I’m beginning to get very selective with how I spend my spoons.

I’ll reiterate… For myself more than anything because I’m not encouraging a lot of people to actively read this; I’m pumped as shit to meet this dude. I’m super excited to parent. Good times and bad. No, I will not “wait until they get to toddler age and start answering back” or until “the teenage years” I’ll simply try to remain whole and woke, and connected as I prepare this old soul in a new body to take on this fragile and volatile world. I realise that lighthearted remarks like these are probably an attempt to make me feel better about pregnancy. I get it. Cheers guys. But it’s not helping, so I’m going to remove myself from it. What I need is acceptance and understanding of the eb and flow. Awareness of who I really am and, therefore how deeply this has impacted on my mental and physical health and motivation. I know I’m not the worst off. I know because I’m walking alongside an incredible woman who is having major complications so early in her pregnancy that she’s spending nights in hospital almost weekly, with health complications galore. BUT that doesn’t mean that my experience is any less valid, any less important. I think I’m especially struggling because of the timing of this. I had really started to create this beautiful and ideal life for myself, and I had to stop. I mean, I get it. I’ve already learned about my motivation and that I probably need to appreciate my strongest physical form more when I have it, cool, but I can’t help but tantrum a little, every now and then, that when things started looking cool and a road mapped out for me, I got a detour sign.

So I don’t want to isolate. Because that won’t help. I was helpfully informed yesterday that when I have post natal depression, I won’t want to be around anyone. Thank you. Thank you for your valid and most useful opinion. However, post natal depression will just be another type of depression for me, I believe, and I know what I’ll NEED (not want. I never said I’d WANT visitors) to keep me from falling in the hole. And, unfortunately for me and depression, it’s people. I isolate so rapidly and definitively that I’ll NEED people ignoring my foul mood and sitting with me regardless. I’ll need to be force fed probably, and definitely have many many cups of tea made for me. God I hope I don’t become a nightmare for Paul. He assures me I’m fine. I always believe him when he says anything because he’s never lied to me once. But I’m… no, my self-doubt is dubious about his level of tolerance for my rubbish for too long.

I have 4 months to go. I feel a little like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m getting there. So maybe if I can just keep my mouth shut a bit, for a bit, I’ll make it through and not feel completely bombarded by opinions. My ever-insightful best friend laughed yesterday when I told her I’m done being open about the whole process. She said “I’m surprised you’ve lasted this long to be honest”, it reminded me that I knew this was coming. I knew I’d be inundated with opinions. And that I’d struggle with it. Because I struggle with the asleep population to begin with. Not to mention when they begin to comment on my experience of something they have completely different paradigms on.

Dreams on sleepless nights

I don’t want to share this with anyone, so I’ll share it with everyone.

I had my first miscarriage dream last night… when I say last night, I mean this morning, because I definitely wasn’t asleep before 2.30am… and there’s our first clue as to how I will logically process this.

I dreamt that I was a guest, on a game show? Anyway it had that feel. I was nauseous as all hell (but what’s new) and some boomer-aged host was explaining that if I couldn’t eat something by the time the countdown finished, I “would no longer be pregnant”.

So I obviously picked up various foods that had been offered to me and proceeded to vomit all over the table, all over my hands, all over the food. What I vomited, I have no idea, because I hadn’t eaten all day apparently… so the timer is counting down, and I’m running out of things to attempt that don’t already have vomit on them, and even those that did- there was a whole selection of foods I haven’t been able to stomach from the very beginning.

The timer made it to zero and the studio screens displayed a triumphant “NO LONGER PREGNANT!” It was confusingly celebratory, while simultaneously indicating that I’d missed out on the million dollars and was going home with nothing…

So I have emotions about that today, but let’s see… I’ve had a total of maybe 4 hours sleep, after an enormous day where I probably did too much, but definitely wanted to use my first good day in 10 days…

I’m really looking forward to meeting with the midwife formally and hopefully, feeling less alone and isolated.

Dissonance

My body is battling with my mind…

I tell myself that I’ll take control and get things done and stretch, and train lightly, and eat good food (not just tater tots and cereal)… but then I wake up- groggy, slept but not rested, nauseous-again-still-always… and forcing toast down my throat then requires an hour or 2 rest to digest without regurgitation. By which point I need to eat again, because the nausea is worse on an empty stomach.

I’m trapped on the couch. I’m tired beyond comprehension- I’ve only been awake for 2 hours!

None of my clothes fit. I feel gross in just about everything, but I’m not pregnant enough to need maternitywear- and I have no desire to purchase any anyway. On that- having my priorities shift for the sake of a new life and becoming a mother- I can handle. But I don’t buy myself new clothes anyway. Never mind for a couple of short months never to be used again (probably). I can’t justify that expense. That consumption of resources. That effort in trying on goddamn clothes.

These 40°+ days have added up to migraines- of course- and still, no way to treat them. Motion sickness bands are my best friend. I have permanent indents in my wrist over the pressure point.

“Is it getting better at least?” Look, yes. It is better than the first 2 months. But listen, they weren’t much to compare to. That was the sickest I’ve been in my life. My feet are itchy, I want sushi, the baby is barely bigger than an avocado and the sensation of crushed stomach and fullness after not having eaten for 2 hours… is… well… stupid. Gaviscon can only do so much.

Finding the positive in situations usually reserved for negativity has become my super power, after years of only seeing the darkness. To have this challenge that so brutally has been disheartening, exhausting and confusing. I don’t feel like myself.

A glimmer

A good day! My kingdom for a good day!

Today I felt relaxed, and alive, and healthy. I definitely also still felt nauseous on occasion. I slept in, I sat with my horses, I even lunged Slurpee a little.

I watched paul play his ridiculous, but actually amazing online Tank game, and made a brilliant lunch. 

I played in the studio, it rained a little, I cuddled my horses again, and saw Rizzo. My cup is full, I have a few extra spoons, I’m ready for whatever happens tomorrow.

Unpopular opinion

So, so far I really hate being pregnant. There’s no joy in hyperemesis gravidarum. There’s no joy in all day every day exhaustion. There’s no joy in needing other people to get you a drink, or a cold pack, or a bucket, or drive you to work because you physically cannot. And shouldn’t be at work to begin with.

There’s no excitement in waking up to vomit all fluids consumed during the night and then a bunch of bile. There’s no joy in apathetically half-chewing dry toast because the next vom session will be better if you have something to bring up. Why bother even buttering it.

For me, there’s no joy in slowing down, in asking for help, in being on this journey. I’m so excited to be a mum. And even more excited to parent with my incredible other half. But shit. We’re gonna need another way to build a kid. I don’t wanna do this ever again. China’s old one child policy looks GOOD to me!

Migraines without medication are NEXT level. I’ll never put off medicating by choice again. I just watch it coming at me. Like the bushfires. I’m just waiting for the wind to change and it to hit me and only have damage control as an option to combat it. For 3 days…

Fabulously, my run with positive comments and support from mum has ceased. Now I’m being irresponsible if I don’t eat healthy things because I “need to consider the baby’s health too”. Yes mum, I’m choosing empty carbs and fruit only, because I hate my unborn child. Not because I can’t keep much else down. In stark contrast, my mother-in-law is laughing with me saying things like “not fucking glowing? Not ’embracing the fucking joy of pregnancy’?” As I teeter on the pool table suppressing heaving motions. We laugh and she gives me a hug and tells me how happy she is, proud of me she is, and excited she is to be a grandmother for the first time. What a difference.

If I had more time, I’d dive into how mum has made me feel. I didn’t even mention the comments to paul for days. Trying not to let them in. Trying not to break the positive flow between her and I, which had come as a surprise when I initially told her. But they’re in. And now I need to work through them. But who has the energy for that when I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed some days. Still. At 15 weeks…

The migraine limiter

So I feel great. I’ve had a week of no vomit, almost normal energy levels and have really made the most of it. I’ve worked extra days with clients, I’ve covered other carers time off, I’ve been super involved in my teaching classes… then comes the shit bit. I haven’t slept enough, I’m pretty tired after doing all that extra stuff, and still have 5 days of this week to go, since it’s my on weekend with my client.

What a humbling experience pregnancy has been for me. I physically cannot push through. My limit is lower.

It’s making me re-evaluate how much I pushed for other people’s benefit, when I probably should have been looking after myself. How I learned that. And what I could have learned differently.

There’s an event I’m trying to pinpoint in my youth. A time where I decided to turn inwards and ignore the lessons of the world, and follow instructions from generations. I’m trying to work out how early that happened, because there’s a lot of gunk coming up as I work through who I am as a pregnant woman. And who I want to be as a mother. Of course, I’m going to be precisely and unapologetically me as a mother, but what are my priorities? How do I break cycles without starting new ones. And how do I stay grounded and present.

I’ve felt neither of these things lately. The physical changes have been so overpowering and all consuming, that when I’ve tried to tap in to my higher self, she’s been too far away.

Using my body in classes the last few nights has helped me be back in touch with it. Reclaiming it from the first trimester. And being in touch with my body has helped me connect with my spirit again. With my heart. With myself.

So as I sit with my decision to cancel my client today and go to bed with a migraine instead, I welcome the migraine limiter as a lesson. A lesson to be more honest with myself about my limits. So I can impose them on myself, rather than need the brutal stopper that is a migraine without medication.

Down with the sickness

Well then… the sickness.

Lordy, the sickness. I said to Paul last night that this is the hardest thing I’ve done. Reading that “your body feels alien to you” doesn’t make it feel less alien. I’ve always had so much control over my body. Whether starving it, gorging it, or pushing it to its physical limits while training… this is all completely out of my control.

I’ve lost weight, but gained fat around my middle, I can have the best intentions of having an even remotely productive day- and wake up vomiting violently and uncontrollably instead- throwing every plan but staying sane, out the window.

What an absurd thing to go through. And it be normal. I look forward to meeting this sass ball. Who will apparently be worth it.

I’ve never been this out of control with my health, my body, my well-being. I’ve never been forced to rest so much. And not be ABLE to push through.

None of this is necessarily negative. Just difficult. I’m a passenger on this journey, the baby is already taking over my life. I’m tired.

The initial

People do weird things when you announce a pregnancy. It’s usually a scream. Or a squeal.

“They’re screams of joy” mum assures me… of course they are. But why so much joy? As someone who’s never been clucky, never attached to babies, had fleeting moments of wanting to be a mum but never enough to make any efforts towards it; I don’t understand the joy?

Why don’t people squeal when you start a new hobby? Or a new eating lifestyle?

None of this makes sense. What I’m writing. None of it. My brain is already fucked from hormones. I don’t know what day it is, I don’t know what words are, I’ve probably consumed 2400 calories (my usual daily intake) over the past week and thrown half of it up.

But people’s reactions are really blowing my mind. Why do other people find so much joy in pregnancy? Why is it so exciting? It’s just the thing you do in order to have kids (generally speaking. I’m never intending to offend of trigger anyone who is having or has had trouble conceiving)… also, it’s just one of the most natural things that we can do as a species. One of the most primal things we do. Have sex: make babies. I wish I could be bothered researching different cultures and the way they receive news of pregnancy, because while mum defiantly says “women in remote African tribes DEFINITELY scream with joy at pregnancy announcements” when asked, I’m not so sure. I think it’s a super westernised response, and conditioned through generations. Which is fine. But why. What happened historically to make people scream in 2019 when I say “I’ve just found out I’m pregnant, so I’ve been struggling with nausea a lot”.

I’ve told more people than many women probably would. Because this has changed my demeanour so much that people are noticing and asking if I’m ok and saying they’re worried. My energy level is usually through the roof. Especially at work, at the studio, with friends. So for me to be sleeping ALL day, and throw up constantly- having to excuse myself from my students to vomit mid class- something’s different. So I’m just telling people. And I don’t know what future chez will think about that. But I’d rather have everyone on board and know where I’m at so I don’t bail on something without an explanation when my mental health is doing so well.

Anyway. Here’s that. There’s that. Why do people scream?

Signposts

So as all the fog clears and my feet touch the ground again, messages from the universe start to trickle back through in a language I understand.

Having to physically stop due to illness gave all parts of me time to catch up with each other. And the unison it creates is safe, and still, and resoundingly powerful. Mind, body, spirit are a team again, and I’m trying to bottle this feeling so I might recognise when it starts to slip away again. Of course, I won’t; that’s the nature of this cyclic existence, but the more aware of this state I am, the less time I might spend away from it in each cycle.

I want to write more about this. But the words aren’t here yet. I might edit this post. I might just write another one later. Stay here. Stay present. Stay in touch. This moment. Not future. Not past. This is the only one that exists.