Empty Spaces

Yesterday I went in for my 16 week baby checkup. Listened to the heart beat. Bunnyfrog still lives and is still in there. Bonus: I only gained 3 lbs. Small victories. Not that I’m like RESTRICTING my weight gain, but it is always best not to gain 20 right off the bat (I always say).

Body changes are an interesting part of pregnancy. In some ways they are the most straight forward. It’s not a shocker to grow an egg on the front of your person, it’s pretty standard pregnancy folklore that you do round out.

The part that is always so startling for me are the changes of who I am. I’m not Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde-ing it over here. I don’t hulk out or have intense mood swings. I don’t feel like I’m on one giant PMS roller coaster. That’s not what I’m talking about.

For me it’s about motivation. I mean, you see it here. The emptiness is echoing around this blog. Where is the content? Where is Lauren? Where are all of the things she is supposed to be writing about and doing? Echo echo echo.

Non-pregnant Lauren, Lauren of “Ordinary Time” (a catholic reference if there ever was one), is high functioning, insanely motivated, and a massive work horse. I am exactly the mother I want to be, making my own baby food, working full time, running around at the park, writing a ton, having adventures, taking on new and exciting projects.

Pregnant Lauren is exhausted and mentally incapable. I do not juggle. I do not where all the hats. I wear 3: I go to work so I don’t get fired, I love my child and am mostly phoning in motherhood, and I am mindful of the other human I’m growing so I try to make positive choices regarding that. I’m also married but that reads mostly like: Thank you darling for not letting the house burn down and all of us starve to death while I sit her being pregnant.

I don’t think other pregnant people are like this. I think other people are like the homesteading pregnant folk who came to the west coast via the Oregon Trail and walked 13 miles a day. When I am not pregnant I am building a house with one hand and nursing a baby with the other. When I am pregnant you need to push me around from place to place in a wheel barrow. I am a potted plant and my brain go boom.

I hate this. It is part of why I hate being pregnant. It doesn’t matter what my intentions are. It doesn’t matter how many balls I had in the air before getting pregnant. They fall. They all fall. It doesn’t matter how many pep talks I give myself about really pushing myself this week, really working on xyz, really making it happen… I’m still asleep by 10pm and I am still a walking sack of goo after 6pm.

On Tuesday I threw up at work. Just a normal pregnancy activity. I thought I was doing so much better but then guess what? I didn’t take my meds the night before and that morning barf city in the handicap stall in my office before I could even make it to my desk. Hoo-fucking-ray.

My body can come and go, but my ability to get shit done, my mental capacity for doing-it-all… I miss it. I want it back. I have so many more months.

14 thoughts on “Empty Spaces”

  1. Raising my hand to join your group because of the “I don’t think other pregnant people are like this.” Because you described my current life situation to a T. I am banking/hoping for the fact that I remember having a few weeks of motivation/energy/nesting/whatever in my last pregnancy. So I am just waiting for those to kick in. Of course feeling nauseous this late into the second trimester does suck up some of that time, so there will only be a small window before the hugeness reality of ~32+weeks hits, but thats the light at the end of my tunnel right now. If I could high five to every word in the “Pregnant Lauren is exhausted…” paragraph, I would.

  2. I was like that too! And especially since it was my first time being pregnant, it scared me. I thought I’d lost half my mental capacity for good and this was what everyone had been talking about when they were like, “Motherhood CHANGES YOU.” (insert spooky music)

    I read a book a while ago that actually goes into what all those chemicals in your brain are doing while you’re pregnant, and it was kind of relieving to see someone spell out, “Hey, you’re probably feeling this way. Here’s what’s physically going on in your brain to explain why.”

  3. My memory of pregnancy is sleeping. Going to be at 9. Taking naps. Feeling like no matter how much I slept, I could still go to sleep at any time. (And I am NOT a napper). Just constant, constant exhaustion. You are not alone.

  4. I was a pretty energized, productive pregnant lady after 16ish weeks. But the rest of the time I’m like Pregnant Lauren, wearing only three hats going to work so I don’t get fired, parenting, and sustaining my marriage. With intermittent, non-committal hobbies. I am in awe of Non-pregnant Lauren! And, frankly, Pregnant Lauren, because you’re still keeping your three balls in the air, even with the never-ending sickness.

      1. Hahaha I was like Congratulations! For 15 weeks you are a sloth! It all makes sense now. But I highly doubt you are super sloth during “Ordinary Sandy” time. A normal human would freeze to death AND starve if they were like me all the time.

  5. Lauren, I am there. Right there with you. Bare minimum at work. Couch parenting our almost two year old. Can squeeze out exactly 5 minutes per evening to plan said toddlers’s up coming birthday party. I keep telling myself that I have to start working out so I will be able to climb upstairs when I’m 30 weeks but when and how? I’m going to have to take a sick day in order for that to happen. I forgot how much growing a human is like another full time job. The vitamins, appointments, foods to eat, the trying not to vomit, the thinking about exercise. In my head, I live for this time next year when I get to be me again.

  6. I got tricked into thinking I was going to be an Oregon Trail Woman. I was fine for the first 11 weeks and then right when everyone said they started feeling better BAM. All the sickness this week.

    Thank you for writing what you do!

      1. Yes!! Full of lies!! I was getting a bit smug with myself, so I imagine I’m partly to blame, but that doesn’t make me feel any better. Also, what is modern medicine doing to aid pregnant women? I had a doctors apt today and every time I tried to voice a concern (I have a persistent headache, I’m having cramps, yadda yadda) the doctor just knowingly shook her head, shrugged and went “Yep, pregnancy”.

        Infuriating.

  7. You totally get a pass on doing anything while growing a human inside you!
    I also wanted to say, I started reading your blog regularly when you were pregnant with Gabe and I was 2 months behind you with my little boy. I enjoyed your honest down-to-earth-ness about what it is really like. And now… I’m two months behind you with #2 again. The sickness and tiredness have been so much worse this time for me; I’m just trying to make it through each day. And between that I have mom guilt about taking time away from my first baby. Solidarity fist bump!

    1. The mom guilt is for REAL. I had a really hard time with that the first month or so. Like… omg, what are we doing to our first born?!

      But then everyone reassured me with how much siblings are such a gift (I’m an only so I know not what I bring upon us). And that makes me feel better.

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