I've tried describing what it feels like emotionally to be pregnant, but this video sums it up better than I can:
(Hey, remember when Sunny used to be a funny show? Just thinking about how far it's fallen in the past two seasons makes me want to weep bucketloads of rage-filled tears.)
The moodiness. Oh, that word. It so fails to describe how I feel on a daily basis. Much like the morning sickness, I seem to suffer with it mostly at night. This is good for surviving the work day, but bad if you are married to me.
I'll leave work and feel like skipping. What a great day! I had a productive day at work, the sun is still shining, I have the whole evening ahead of me. What could be better? I get home and am reminded of how happy I am to be through with morning sickness. Look, I feel so great that I can get some cleaning done and start dinner before Joel gets home! If I'm feeling generous, maybe I'll take Henry the Cat out on the back patio so he can roll on the cement for a bit. Then I'll watch some Law and Order while fixing dinner and generally reflect on how grand my life is.
And then at some point, with a trigger or without, things change. I feel tired. I am tired of cooking this dinner and I don't even want to eat whatever it is any more. Why am I always the one who has to cook, anyway? I work too. What I really want to do is wash this filthy kitchen floor, but why should I have to do all the housework? Why is the stupid cat yowling, SHUT UP OH MY GOD. Ugh, now Bones is on. I hate this stupid show.
Joel is home! Yay! I love him. I'm so happy he's home. Maybe he can help me cook this stupid dinner so I can take a shower. UGH, and I have to wash my hair. And then I'll have to dry it. And before I do any of that, I have to walk all the way upstairs. Whose idea was it to build all these houses on three stories? If I never see another stair in my life it will be too soon.
We eat dinner and I have to give myself a pep talk to get off the couch and go blowdry my hair. Maybe I put it off awhile longer and watch some TV first. I start to doze off on the couch, but I can't really get comfortable because my wet hair is making me cold. I fantasize about having a personal hairdresser who could just come and dry my hair while I remain planted on the couch. But no, no. I have to do EVERYTHING myself. I feel like crying but I can't figure out why. That in turn makes me feel crazy, which makes me want to cry even more. Just go and dry your hair, I tell myself. Get it over with. Except it won't be over! I'll still have to brush my teeth and wash my face and then tomorrow I'll have to start all over again and oh my god, I just want to go to sleep.
At this point it is usually around 9pm.
So, yes, I feel like the word "moodiness" is so insufficient it actually makes me angry. At a word.
I know this is one of those caricatures of pregnancy, along with sending a harried husband out for pickles and ice cream at 2am, but it is just so true, at least for me, that it's kind of hilarious. You know, if you find things like hormonal, achy-backed hippos (oh, do I have a story for you, just wait) on a rampage funny.
Here's an example from the other night. I asked Joel if he knew when Vampire Diaries was going to come back with new episodes. Well, that's what I meant to ask him. Instead, what came out was, VAMPIRE DIARIES IS NEVER COMING BACK DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT RIGHT NOW.
I totally did not mean for it to come out like that. I'd just been thinking about how ridiculous it is that shows think they can just think these months-long breaks in the middle of the TV season like, what, no one will notice? And we're all just supposed to keep caring and waiting and filling our evenings with crappy sub-par programs because there is NOTHING ELSE ON and oh, what's that? Maybe we should be doing something more productive with our time than lying on the couch, especially since there a giant pile of laundry in the corner and a sink full of dishes downstairs? Well, we're TIRED, so shut the hell up. And speaking of couches, this one we have is so uncomfortable and no one is doing ANYTHING about it and I would throw it out the window into the street and run it over with the car if only I weren't so damn TIRED all the time.
And... that's more along the lines that came out of my mouth.
Anyway. Guess what! Vampire Diaries will be airing a new episode tonight!
(About damn time.)
I hate feeling so volatile. And I hate feeling sad and angry a lot of the time while knowing full well that there is no actual reason for my sadness and anger, other than hormones run amok. I try to apologize to when I catch myself reacting in an unreasonable manner, but I also feel frustrated that I feel compelled to apologize at all (oh, this is getting ridiculous, isn't it?). You think it's bad dealing with someone like this, friends? Try actually feeling this way.
It's part of the process, I know, and it won't last forever (I hope). And hey, it IS better than feeling like throwing up all the time.
It's not all tears and horror, though. I try to relish the moments of irrational elation as much as possible, and they do exist and feel just as real and the directionless rage and sadness. It was eighty degrees out earlier this week and we went for a delightful walk after work. All the spring blossoms were in bloom and I felt like shouting ATTENTION EVERYONE, IT IS A GLORIOUS DAY! as we strolled through the crowds of people in Orioles gear by the waterfront.
That made up for the fact that, for no reason at all, I almost burst into tears later that evening over the borderline rude comments a gang of ghetto children had shouted at me on my way home from work. Highs and lows, I keep telling myself. Just hang on and don't let the waves toss you out of the Emotional Rowboat.
I am now feeling the baby kick on a daily basis. I thought I felt twice during week 14, but all the websites said that was too soon and I was half-convinced maybe I just imagined it out of wishful thinking. But then the next week I felt the exact same tiny thumping sensation again, only stronger. By the end of that week Joel even felt one particularly big (but still tiny) thud. By that time I was pretty damn sure what I was feeling was the baby kicking, not some sudden onset of intermittent gassiness.
I used to feel it only while lying quietly in bed or watching TV, but now it's surprising me in the middle of talking to a coworker or answering the phone. It's such an odd sensation, and such a lovely reassurance every day that the baby is still alive and well in there. I absolutely love feeling it, but I am a teensy bit scared. If the baby was kicking hard enough for me to feel it at 14 weeks, what is it going to feel like at week 30?
(I'm having visions of that scene in Breaking Dawn where the baby claws its way out of Bella's stomach.)
(We do not have nearly enough vampire venom stockpiled to deal with that kind of situation.)
Okay, I am going to tell you guys a story and then I am going to officially Let It Go. The stupid comments about how it must be twins in there, gosh, you're so big! actually pale in comparison to one I got at work last week.
So, at a meeting last month we all got these little African-themed souvenirs. Some had giraffes on them, some had zebras or birds or lions. I chose one with hippos on it because I think hippos are cute.
Last week a colleague who shall remain unnamed brought his souvenir out to show me and lo and behold, out of the 50+ designs, we had chosen the exact same one with the hippos. Funny, right? We remarked over just how funny it was. It was funny. Oh, how I wished the conversation had ended there.
The he noticed that I also have a little hippo-shaped paperweight on my desk. (I swear, I don't have a weird obsession with hippos. We do work in Africa, people bring things back and you know what, FINE, I like hippos.) "Yeah, I like hippos; they're cute," I said, ending the conversation.
There was a brief pause, and then he said, "Well, good... because you're starting to look like one!"
And then he chuckled his way right out of the room.
I, on the other hand, spent the rest of the day alternating between trying not to cry and wishing that I WAS a hippo so I could bite him in half.
So if we're starting a list of Things You Should Probably Not Say To A Pregnant Person, "You must be having twins" can be #2 and "You look like a hippo" will be #1. In fact, I'd venture to say that you should probably never tell anyone they look like a hippo. Even if you're at the zoo, standing in front of the hippo enclosure, talking to an actual hippo.
OK, I'm over it. Even though it was especially insensitive since we pregnant people are kind of KNOWN for our "moodiness" and OH MY GOD WHY WOULD HE SAY THAT. That's it. I. Am. Over. It.