On Leave

I am now in my first full week of leave and I have to keep reminding myself that part of the reason I’m taking this time off is to rest. That this pregnancy has been very physically demanding, that I am sore and exhausted and I don’t feel well 9 days out of 10. Like, it sucks. I want to be able to say, “I have all of this time… FINALLY! Now I can get so much done!” But then, like yesterday, I try to finish a cooking project and standing in the kitchen makes me woozy so I have to stop.

Two pregnancies later I am coming to terms with the fact that some people function amazingly well while pregnant, and some don’t. It has nothing to do with how active you were before or during, it has nothing to do with what you eat or don’t eat. I’m sure those things can help in some capacity, but just like the end result – do you have a 30 hour labor? Do you pop a baby out and jump in the shower? Do you have a C-section? – It is out of our control. None of that is due to choices I make.

But it’s difficult. We are programmed to feel like we have the ultimate control over ourselves when we don’t. We can overcome anything! Mind over matter! And sometimes, yes. But I can’t make myself NOT feel like I have the flu, not even t 30 weeks pregnant. I can’t make myself not out of breath when I’m huffing up a hill. I can’t motivate myself to chase after Gabriel, to hold his 30+ pound frame for long periods of time. I guess if I had to or he would DIE, I could… and it would hurt me, fuck up my nerves and my hips and my back even more than they already are. I wish I could just will myself to sleep through the night, I wish I could sleep propped up just right and make my swollen sinuses back off so I can breath. I wish I could make the bloody noses stop.

And in 10-ish weeks it will get better. (And then my nipples will crack and bleed, my hair will fall out, my stomach will sag.) And I will no longer have the time I have now to get the things done I need to get done. The baby is here in one form or another getting in the way of all of my plans. Cheeky.

But it’s hard, because I want to be enjoying this phase just as much as all the other phases in my life. Ok, there were definitely some phases in my late teens, early 20s that I just gritted my teeth through – but you get me. This of all things should not be nearly a year of, “just get through this.” It’s all the time we get, it’s the last pregnancy I’ll have. And god I can’t WAIT for it to be over.

11 thoughts on “On Leave”

  1. Lauren , 10 weeks will go fast, even if now it does not seem so. Take it a day at a time and maybe make yourself a little advent calendar of treats you will be getting each day to make it better (like nail polish, a donut, some resting time where you only read, getting flowers). Make Kamel do these things, you work on the list of the things you would like.
    You are so right, we do not control any of these things. We just get to live with them and do the best that we can. But think of your beautiful, so longed dreamt of daughter that is coming to join you soon. And for the record I I know there are people who feel strongly about the pregnancy glow being bullshit, but I think you look truly beautiful. And I am sorry that you feel like sh*t and that this is so so difficult. Wish I could do something to help like come and take Gabe to the park or make you food so you don’t have to.

  2. Yeah. That is just HOW IT IS. (And I don’t even know that the 10 weeks will go fast… though I hope so!! My last 10 weeks are always fucking awful and slow as hell, and I’ve just decided to own it.) But yes, it’s always nice when people point out that you don’t get an easy labor because you ate a lot of lettuce or went to the gym. That’s a false correlation. Like how my first pregnancy I ate super healthily and went to the gym to swim several times a week and put on 70 pounds, and this time I’m delightfully small and am eating ice cream. Or how it doesn’t matter how healthy I am, I had a C-section to save my kid’s life, and mine, you know, not because I didn’t work out. Which: GOOD PLAN SELF, also!!

    Anyway, yeah, here is to surviving pregnancy. It’s so amazing to get to have kids and also so awful to be pregnant so much of the time, and that’s just the way it is. (But at least everyone thinks we’re glowing…? Even if it is just sweat from vomiting…)

  3. “But it’s difficult. We are programmed to feel like we have the ultimate control over ourselves when we don’t.” THIS! It obviously applies to pregnancy, but I think it applies to so many things. Jobs. Writing. Raising kids.

    Also, remember how you went to school full time and worked full time and wrote? That was HARD. And you did an awesome job. You’re doing an awesome job at this, too.

  4. Yeah, I’m with you. Pregnancy just sucks my husband thinks I am a giant baby about it but it just hurts all over and most of the time I don’t feel sick everyday so I don’t know how you do it. Except that this is it and we are strong enough to overcome. I’ve got 3ish weeks left and then I CANNOT WAIT to have my tubes tied, so there’s that.

    Good job momma, one day at a time.

  5. I had a bad pregnancy too and once I gave birth (which was thankfully the quick pop out, shower, and nap in my own bed!) and bounced back to feeling happy and awesome, I hated SO much that I, well… hated pregnancy! I love my little boy to death now and I wish I could go back and enjoy my pregnancy, knowing he’s all cozy inside me and the birth will go better than I expected, but when you’re in the middle of it (or even the beginning or end, with pregnancy) it just seems so daunting and so much and so uncertain, that I’m sure I wouldn’t enjoy it if I could re-do it. But damn do I really want to, somedays. I know I can love him to bits now but I still wish I loved the pregnancy.

  6. I remember why I stopped reading your blog.

    You are so unbelievably whiny! About everything.

    Your kid, your husband, your job, your writing, being pregnant, not being pregnant, traveling, California, Seattle, the weather, your apartment, your free time, your no time…

    Doesn’t this even bore you??

  7. I think the thing is here that it’s obvious you have not lived a lot of life. Your writing has become so dull and repetitive. Are there no new things going on inside your head? You’re a nice writer, it’s just soooo cliche and white and middle class of you to complain about your maternity leave, your job, your husband, & healthy child with another on the way. I guess if you expressed some gratitude instead of being so bitchy in your posts all the time… You would have more followers or readers or sponsorships. Because I’m sorry, have you posted anything worthwhile lately? Oh wait, no one noticed. Yawn.

    1. Why would anyone be so mean and take so much time and energy to write something like ths is beyond me. It is so sad. But kindness is stronger. (All the love Lauren)

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