Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome to my Self-Pity Party!

Hi, I'm Amanda, and I have a terrible attitude.

I have a job, a roof over my head, and a terrific family... but I thought I'd spend the evening on my blog complaining and relishing in some whining.

I'm a huge bundle of nerves and tears and fatigue.  Pull up a chair, lend me your ear (erm... eyeballs), and let me unload to all of you.  First -- a disclaimer:  I know that this is the third trimester emotional freakout.  I know this.  It doesn't make it any less depressing, but I hold on to the fact that last pregnancy I called the university counselor sobbing about stupid bitches at work.  Yup... those were my exact words.

First off, I feel like shit.  I've gained nearly 15 pounds since December 13th.  Persephone -- at 35 weeks -- is measuring 8.6 pounds.  I'm eating reasonably healthy, but large portions partly because I'm starving because in addition to growing a baby I'm nursing a 33lb toddler 3-5 times a day. 

A great deal of the weight gain is fluid retention.  My ankles are huge, my legs stiff, and my maternity clothes are barely fitting.  My midwife thinks I will have the baby in two weeks.  TWO WEEKS.

On one hand that means the physical suffering from swollen legs and an achy back will be gone, but that also means juggling a tot and a newborn.  More nursing.  Possible incision scars.  bleh... yup... I was crossing my fingers for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), but I don't know if that is possible because Persy is transverse (lying sideways) and huge.  There is speculation as to whether she will even be able to turn herself upside down before delivery day. 

I wake up to pee 5 -7 times a night and I have trouble sleeping.  I sleep for an hour, wake for 20 minutes, sleep for 30 minutes, wake for an hour.

I am so bone tired, but not sleepy.  Does that make sense?

Hope is a great kid, but I'm impatient with her.  Atticus is being terrible. He is a sweet, smart boy and then he tries to beat the hell out of my stomach, or claws his fingers over my nipple, or rips up his books. 

Sam is the current voice of sanity.  He is calm and helpful and I'm a constant ball of weeping.

Oh, and I can't drive the van.  My stomach is too big and my legs too short.  I'm braking with my toe which is bad because my feet are so stiff I have a delayed reaction.

The house is a wreck. The crib is not yet assembled.  And I am awfully, sinfully, horribly jealous of my SAHM friends.  I know being a SAHM is no walk in the park; there are days of messes, headaches, no lunch, no coffee, and nary a pee break or shower.  At least at work I can pee by myself and finish a meal (most days) or a cup of coffee.

But those damn mommy blogs are killing me.  I want to be the top textile designer pregnant with a seventh kid, in a rambling but cozy house, and spending my days in a well-lit studio embroidering.  I want to have wonderful glowing photos of a chubby quiet baby looking outside at a snow drift while mom has her cozy knitting and cup of tea.  I want the kid's room to have actual curtains and homemade blankets and storybook sketches on the wall.

I want to be home in my nest and it isn't happening.

Work is killing me. I hate hate hate my job.  I've hated it for a long long long time.  I do enjoy my actual work task (Interlibrary Loan) but GOD Almighty the meetings and emails and stats and documentation and gossip and laziness and chatter are too much to bear.  My days stretch out filled with dullness and stupidity and frankly if I have to deal with whining and temper tantrums I'd rather it come from my 2 year old rather than a 45 year old with a Master's degree. Don't even get me started on the inefficiency and rule breaking going on with my coworkers.

Basically I work 40 hours a week AND I try to cram in the cooking and baking and mothering.  WTF?

I need to make tons of dinners for the freezer and most of them dairy free.  Which means I need to figure out the bills to have the money to make the food.  Which means I need to look at my scheduling to check the bills and make a menu and then a list and then go shopping and then cook everything and then freeze everything so I'll need a day for shopping and prepping and a full day of cooking and there goes my weekend.

And I still need to buy more underwear and a few baby things and figure out and buy a baby carrier.  Oh, and I haven't done all the knitting and sewing I'd like to do. 

And time is slipping by and my children and growing and my house is a mess and I'm at that stupid desk every stupid day and dealing with idiots. And I'm impatient with my children and it hurts me to think I'm not slowing down and drinking in this life because there is so little time and so much to do.

I'm just tired and overwhelmed and lonely.  Sam is working a lot and doing all he can but I really wish I was in some hippie dippy community with a doula who would help with cooking and cleaning or play with the kids so I can sleep or help me choose yarn colors to make a beautiful blanket for Persy.  And she would tell me that I'm not a spoiled brat and that these tears are natural and instinctual and I should drink some red raspberry leaf tea and listen to the river and breathe deeply and enjoy my ability to have children and enjoy my children and husband and wee owl-besotted home.

Since that isn't an option I'm going to opt for a very long, hot shower, a good cry, a cup of cocoa and a Wilkie Collins novel. 

Thanks for listening. Feel free to pour on the encouragement because I could use some right now. 


Eva said...

*hugs, hugs, hugs*

You're not a spoiled brat! You're incredible, managing everything that you do. I'm in awe of all mothers, but I'm especially in awe of those who work. And I'm envious of those lifestyle blogs you mention to, which is why I don't look at them other than the one I mentioned in a comment the other day because I adore her photography but now I feel bad about that in case it contributed to your stress.

I don't have any advice for you, obviously, as a singleton with only a low maintenance dog dependent on me, but I'm happy to lend an ear (eye) to all the venting you need to do and tell you that all those feelings don't make you bad or selfish or whiny, just human. And I will say that I have to monitor my non-book-blog consumption carefully, because I find it terribly easy to go from content with my little life to dissatisfied and feeling like an unlucky, deprived, little failure due to some of the blogs out there.

*more hugs* And I wish I could come over and help you out. Let me know if you could use some vegan soup recipes; I have a few mainstays that I often freeze so that when I have flare-ups and can't cook I still eat fairly healthily.

Debi said...

Sweetie, you're not just entitled to whine, you *need* to. What would be the point of keeping all that inside you, right?

I wish I had magical words to make it all better, but I don't. But know that things will get better!!! These completely overwhelming times will pass. I'd like to say you'll be stronger for them, but more likely you'll just be grateful to have survived. ;)

You know, one of the absolute worst periods of my life was the months surrounding both sides of my third kiddo's birth. He was in the NICU an hour and a quarter away, my 5-year-old daughter was in the hospital in our hometown with an asthma episode that almost killed her, my other son not quite 2 yet at home, and I was so physically weak from 10 weeks of bedrest (its own special brand of hell)...I honestly just didn't think I could do it all anymore. I cried from sheer exhaustion, sheer frustration, sheer overwhelmedness every. single. day. for 6 months, long after the kiddos were back at home. And then things gradually got better. And they will for you. And in the meantime, you'll keep doing what you need to do. You'll keep going. Pretty soon you'll have another beautiful babe snuggled in your arms and those moments of joy will be all the more treasured because of the shit you're pushing through now.

In the meantime, beg, borrow, and steal every single opportunity, no matter how small to give back to yourself. Grab any little bit of pampering you can find. And go ahead and let it all out here. There is something very therapeutic in just letting our troubles flow, and there's lots of people around who are more than willing to listen. Sure wish I could do more than listen...I'd love to at least be able to fill that freezer for you and take one thing off that overwhelming to-do list, if only you weren't 1,000 miles away.


Suki said...

I'm not normally a huge fan of blog vents, but when those moans happen to coincide with my own in some way, it makes me see it in a different light, haha!

The two previous commenters, clearly lovely, lovely people, have said it all beautifully and I agree with them: you don't have a bad attitude, and when things get overwhelming it can be really helpful to let it all out and call in some moral support from others.

I sympathise, I really do. I am 30 wks pregnant with boy No.2, also working full time (luckily for me in a job I love - but which is a pretty stressful one), feeling uncomfortable and tired of being pregnant but freaking out about how I'll cope with everything when the baby's born (and how I'll get everything done before then). I am struggling with all the vomiting, which is happens every evening and in the night, but also sometimes every couple of hours during the day. I'm constantly on the verge of dehydration.

I just want to lie in bed and knit!

Seriously, with two kids already to look after as well as your job I am totally not surprised you are feeling exhausted and pushed to the limit!

I usually try to live in the moment, but sometimes I think it's OK just to say, "this too shall pass" and focus on survival!

Take care and good luck!

katie @ Mama the Reader said...

Oh, Amanda! I get it. I do. Vent away. You are not bratty at all, but pregnancy, mothering, or working full-time is a big deal ALONE, much less together.

The previous comments have some really good advice. I'd say maybe make a priority list of what absolutely MUST get done and the order of importance. Get those few things off the list - with Sam's help of course - and after that, what will be will be. If you have time to add a little, fine. But as long as the bare essentials are done, you can survive the first weeks of babyhood.

And work can suck it right now. I mean, really. You are clearly doing the best you are capable of and have been for years and BU is lucky to have you there, so if you get a little less done in the next month, so be it. You are due so soon, and anyone with half a brain knows it's hard to continue efficiently at this point. Put some music on, shut your door, and ignore the dumb people.

Last piece of advice - I wish I'd done this with my kids and heard about a friend of mine doing it. Choose a day of the week - maybe Friday since work is done, maybe your official "due day of the week" where you change over to the next week of pregnancy -- and set aside time to reward yourself. You have anywhere from 2 to 6 of those weeks left. Maybe it's buying a new album or indulging in an afternoon at the coffee shop. Maybe it's new yarn or new bubble bath and a long soak. Whatever it is, that can be your reward for making it through that week. Pregnancy is beautiful but HARD work, mama.

Oh and PS, last but not least, ditch the mommy blogs. I had to do that for a few months after N was born and I was drowning in my responsibilities and feeling guilty after reading them. It was a much-needed break.

Oh and PPS, I hear epsom salts can help with the swelling?? No idea for sure, but so I hear. Plus a good soak is always good.

Hang in there!

Amanda said...

@Eva -- Don't feel bad! That blog is not what sent me over the edge. Hormones, fatigue, and obsessive perfectionism are the culprits! Vegan recipes are appreciated!

@Debi -- Thanks so much for the kind words. That is what I need to remember, all mamas go through rough patches that seem like they will never end. Things get better. I felt better immediately after blogging and the next day was lovely.

@Suki -- thanks for the support and good luck. The vomiting sounds awful.

@Katie -- the rewards sounds great. Luckily I have some great things planned for the weekend and I should get a chance to decompress.

Eva said...

I'm glad you're feeling better!

Here's one of my fave vegan soups that's online:

I'll type out a couple more (Butternut Squash & Tomato) and e-mail them to you. :) They're all blended, so in my head that makes them kid-friendly, but I also know my super picky 6 year old niece refuses them all. So your milage may vary there.