I’m Whining and Ranting, But I’m Seven Months Pregnant So PLEASE SHUT UP (or, HUGS NOT WORDS)
I’m feeling the urge to write something, but I can’t decide what. Not fiction, not right now. Something that shares some feeling or insight on my own life, I guess, but, again, what? I used to find this much easier, just going off on a random thought or idea. Now it just feels like I’m in way too much danger of repeating myself.
I feel emotionally raw right now. I have the intense desire to nest coupled with the frustration that I don’t have the time to do it. And no, this isn’t a side effect of pregnancy, or not completely. I have always been a nester. Keeping my home clean and organized helps me to stay sane and peaceful, and it feels anything but clean and organized right now. Of course, part of this problem is the total chaos that the room that will be the baby’s—currently the catch-all junk room, apparently—is in. When we lived in the duplex, the problem was always space and time. Now we have the space—I just need the time, days and days of uninterrupted hours to which to devote to organization and deep-cleaning. Then I might start to feel human again. But, I have this thing called a job that, maybe ironically, both pays for me to live in my house and also keeps me away from it for 40 or more hours a week. Even when I work from home, like I did yesterday, I still have to work. Then I find myself trying to multitask in impossible ways. You can’t actually proofread and sort socks simultaneously, in case you wondered. Or, I mean, you can try, but it’s really more efficient to just finish the one thing and then do the other, as both require your eyes and your hands, if not the same segment of your brain.
Evidently this blog is going to be mostly me whining, so be forewarned. But maybe whining is what I need to do right now. Just for a few minutes, okay? I haven’t been sleeping that well—all that side-sleeping business and then having to pee every couple of hours. Then my mom calls me yesterday just as I’m getting ready to venture out to the grocery store—which I desperately didn’t want to do, because none of the stores I prefer are close to our house—and tells me to turn on ABC because they’re talking about babies. As I fumble with our ten (okay, three) remotes trying to remember which one turns on which necessary component of the television, feeling completely outsmarted by technology, she laughs a little and says, “One of the things they were talking about is how horrible sleep deprivation can be in the beginning…” or something to that effect.
Thanks, Mom. Obviously I love her, and I know she loves me and doesn’t do/say things like this intentionally—necessarily—and it’s not like she was telling me something I hadn’t heard approximately a million times before. I know I’m going to be desperately sleep-deprived and overwhelmed in ways I probably can’t imagine now—but keep in mind that I’ve got a pretty good imagination, as well as a knack for paying attention to other people. And, honestly, there’s a reason I waited until I was thirty-one to have a baby. Or several reasons. I know that my life is going to be plunged into several degrees’ more chaos and disorganization in a few months—all the more reason that I want to go into it organized. I will still have my six animals and my 20-mile commute and everything that goes along with that plus SO MUCH MORE. It’s going to be very, very hard. Still, perhaps perversely, I’m excited. I can’t wait to meet my little girl. I know we’ll figure it out. I’m an optimistic problem-solver, and typically, after some glooming and dooming and huffing and puffing, Jake picks up on this attitude and helps me achieve whatever solution I’ve devised. Heck, sometimes he’s even the one to come up with the solution. In the end, it’s just nicer to be positive. It makes life a lot more fun and bearable. Like last night when I was sitting on my knees in the bathtub, wearing gym shorts and a pajama top, with my 12-year-old cat wrapped in a towel on my lap, just the at-least-not-quite-so-gaping hole in his side exposed so that Jake could spray it with lukewarm water from the detachable showerhead—the “hydro therapy” suggested by the vet when the abscess was not wanting to heal. But you know what? After years of not being able to get pills down this animal, I discovered that when it comes down to a battle of wills, when I know that the only way he’s going to heal is for that damn antibiotic to go down his resistant throat—my will is stronger.
You might wonder why Grimalkin has this nasty abscess. Well, see, after I got pregnant, both of my oldest cats decided that, heck, the whole laundry room could be their litter pan. Whiskey got moved to the garage once it was officially converted to Jake’s climate-controlled man cave, so now she has her own litter pan and never has to interact with another cat, and that problem seems more or less solved. Because Whiskey had started the peeing-and-pooing-outside-the-litter-pan game, we thought that getting her out of the house might solve the problem. No such luck. Grimalkin had, prior to Whiskey’s removal, branched out to bathtubs (we have three) and the bathroom floor upstairs, including our brand-new bathroom rugs. He was once an indoor/outdoor cat and had been campaigning to go back outside for years, which was never a real possibility in our busy Dallas neighborhoods, but now we live on a quiet cul-de-sac with woods directly behind us and a dead-end street just before the woods start, another cul-de-sac street in front of us…he’s current on vaccinations and micro-chipped and still has all his claws, so we finally gave in and let him out. He’d gone out with me before and just stayed right there in the backyard, and I really didn’t think he’d venture much beyond there. Then he goes two doors’ down to the neighbors who put food out for strays and apparently plants himself in the path of a territorial neighborhood tom. Jake and I cleaned the wound as well as we could, but Grimmy is long-haired and we didn’t see all of it. Grimmy’d had an abscess before when he’d gone outside, nine or ten years ago, so I was even mindful of the danger, to no avail.
So, yes, there’s that. My pets seem to be using my pregnancy as an excuse to stress me out way more than necessary (there was also Slim’s major illness back in—I don’t even remember—January or February). And still, I know that the human baby will trump all of that. That I’ll possibly never feel sane or organized again. But, still, I just want to scream “PLEASE SHUT UP” when people start in with their perfectly well-meaning snide condescension. Because that’s not what I need right now. I need hugs more than words, I think, and maybe just the sense that they believe that I can do this, and do a decent job. That I’m as ready as it’s possible to be, and not an idiot. Because I believe that I can and I am—not ready in the sense that my house is organized but in the sense that this is what should be happening in my life right now, if that makes sense—even when I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and a little freaked out—but, you know, true support is always nice. Not the “part-of-me-hopes-you’ll-have-a-breakdown-so-I’ll-feel-better-about-my-own-shortcomings” type of support…unless that’s the only kind. But the “I-know-how-strong-and-smart-you-are-and-you’ll-be-great” type.
Is that too much to ask?
Maybe my point is this: I believe you. I’m a fast learner, a quick study. I get it, as much as I can right now. The only way for me to get it any more is to experience it, which will start to happen in approximately three months. Until then, continuing to give me the same advice and warnings 20 more times is only going to annoy me, and possibly make me hate you a little bit. That’s all…
And gosh, I just went to lunch and was totally cranky to the poor girl at Which Wich—then karma got me back by them not putting avocados on my sandwich—but I had thought of a much more positive and possibly brilliant (though probably not) way to end this blog…and I completely can’t remember what it was. Oh well. Perhaps the take-away, in the highly unlikely event that you’re even still reading, is this: When the woman who’s seven months pregnant starts looking like she wants to shoot somebody, it’s time for HUGS, NOT WORDS.