Bi-polar. Mood swings. Mentally unstable. Melodramatic. Unfuckingbelievably bitchy. These are all ways to describe being 37 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I am afraid.
It was last night that I said I was smiling, right? That was me. I am almost certain of it.
Because that girl that slid her back down the wall, crumbling in to hysterical tears because her husband mentioned there was shitty water pressure and almost no hot water, that girl that shrieked that she won’t be treated like a second class citizen who isn’t even allowed to take a god damn nine minute long shower… she wasn’t smiling. And maybe she had a right to have her feelings hurt a little, maybe he didn’t use the nicest tone of voice, but he had just woken up, too. And she is not the only one with a lot on her plate right now.
The smiling girl was watching her from the outside. Powerless to stop her hysteria.
Pregnant with Emily I had the full blown Crazies from time to time, but my life was so upside down then that it felt justified.
The last time I can remember feeling just like this I was about 15.
This feeling, like no one has ever been this tired or this scared or this overwhelmed or this unsure what could possibly make her feel ready to face the next chapter…. it can only be likened to being a teenager. The belief that NO ONE has ever had it THIS BAD. That NO ONE understands you. Somehow in the moment I am sure that other women have had babies without ever feeling like THIS. Just as I was sure that every adult I knew as a teenager managed to become one without EVER having to be 15 the way I had to experience it.
Only as a teenager I was totally self-absorbed. This time it is like there are two selves. The Crazy Pregnant Self and the Mom/Wife/Kelly Self that desperately wants to shake the Crazy Pregnant Self and say “Stop yelling at this man and let him help you!”
And I can hear it echo in my head now. “help you, help you, help you….” I don’t know how to do that. And yet in the darkest hours of the night I slide my head on to MQD’s shoulder and say “Promise me you will take care of me.” And always, always he says “I will.” And for just a few minutes I really sleep.
When Em was tiny I poured my heart in to her. And I stopped taking care of me. This time I hope I can do a better job of looking after me, too. And not in that Cosmo/Redbook/Glamour magazine “Light a candle and take a long bubble bath, pamper yourself with luxurious bath products. Get a manicure.” way. Just in a simple take my book with me to the bathroom and sit on the toilet with the door closed and the seat down and my pajama pants still up and read my book and drink a cup of coffee and ignore the “Do you know where my book bag is?” from the other side of the door. And trust that MQD will find it. And feed Em breakfast. And brush her hair. And the baby won’t develop a flat head if it sits in a swing for nine minutes.
Because that nine minutes can make the difference between sliding my back down the wall and crumbling to the floor come mid-afternoon or not.
For about eight months I have worried off and on that I won’t know how to love Emily and a baby and MQD. That I will not have the strength or the stamina to love enough, that somehow I will let them down. And now in the final hour instead of finding an answer to that question I am just adding another person to take care of in to the mix. Me.
I have a knack for making simple things complicated. All of this “Love yourself, let people help you, take care of you…” I think it is simpler than that. Sometime I think I just need to grow the fuck up. Because I am not actually 15. Even if it feels like that sometimes.