A few days ago I had a good friend ask me, “So how are you doing, aside from your pregnancy?” The question seemed surprisingly impossible to answer. It seems like pregnancy affects every aspect of my life right now: my physical state, level of energy, activities I participate in, my relationships, my job situation, my schedule, etc. Any way that I might answer the question, “How are you doing?” would have something to do with my pregnancy. If I say, “I’m good!” it is in large part because I am so excited to have a daughter and am enjoying this phase of eager anticipation: getting baby shower gifts, setting up the nursery, learning a lot of new things, connecting with God over the issue of parenthood, having Jordan read to baby girl every night and dreaming about this next season with our little one. If I say, “I’m tired” it’s because growing this little person is very exhausting and I feel tired 24/7. If I say “I’m feeling insecure” it’s because I’ve honestly struggled with my ever-growing body or because I get nervous feeling like I don’t know how to be a parent. If I say, “I’m lonely” it’s because I wish I had more peer friends in this current life stage. I have really great friends who are single, some that are married but not thinking kids yet, or others who are married with kids but they’re a little bit older than us and typically have toddlers. The later category has been especially helpful in preparing for this next stage of life and have given very valuable wisdom and advice! But often I wish I had a peer friend who was pregnant that I could just call and vent and relate to with all these crazy changes happening inside (and outside) of me. I will say that this has given me a new appreciation for social networks and blogs, as I have re-connected to old friends who are in this phase too!
For most of my pregnancy I haven’t experienced extreme emotions (even my husband attests to this), but lately they’ve been creeping up on me. It still hasn’t been as bad as I had expected, but some days go something like this: one minute, I’m convinced that my life is falling apart and everything is so hard and I’m not going to survive the day. The next minute, I’m wrapping my arms around my husband’s neck exclaiming that I am happier than I’ve ever been, life is great, and we are just so blessed! One minute I’m happy as a clam and telling my husband how wonderful he is. The next minute I’m snapping at him for no good reason, because I just feel so dang irritable that all it takes is for someone to breathe beside me and I cringe.
Another interesting thing has been anxiety. Pre-pregnancy I would not have considered myself a worry-wart, but lately I worry all the time. Talk about maternal instincts kicking in, mine have just straight knocked the sanity door down and taken over completely! I think about safety all the time. In the past few months I’ve started having driving anxiety, something I have never experienced before. I literally pray for safety every time I get in the car, and don’t do well if a trip is longer than 25 minutes. My heart rate increases, and I feel so scared and unsafe on the road, mostly because I don’t trust other drivers. My poor husband, I have become quite the annoying passenger seat driver and sometimes yell or tense up just because we’re going through a yellow light or something silly.
Something else that I wonder if other parent’s-to-be experience is comparison. It’s been really difficult for me not to look at other’s in this life phase and compare our situation to theirs. It has been particularly hard for me that so many around us in this life phase have bought a house before having a baby. Part of it is my own covetousness, I am jealous. I always thought we would have bought a house before baby, and I want a house so badly! But part of me just feels like we didn’t do things right or our situation is somehow inferior since we live in an apartment. We don’t really have a choice right now, but who says that you have to live in a house to have a baby anyway? I see how easy it is to get wrapped up in the “American Dream.” The world around us revolves around “working your way up” until everything just keeps getting bigger and better. This is not what I want to value or how I want to live my life. But I’ll admit it is hard when we visit other couple’s with babies in their cute little (or not so little) houses, with their nice SUVs and we just bought our family car used from a wealthy family who was selling it for their son who just graduated from college. His college car is our family car. And that’s ok! But sometimes I believe it’s not, and I get discouraged.
In other news, our daughter is now about 3 lbs and the size of a cabbage! I’d like to think my growing appetite is due to her growing body, right? 🙂 I haven’t had any weird cravings, and don’t have cravings too often. Just Chipotle last week, Japanese this weekend, and cereal every single day all day long. Seriously, there is no food I want more often than cereal! I want it for breakfast, for 2nd breakfast, afternoon snack, and night time snack! As a matter of fact, I’m about to go get a bowl of Special K with berries as soon as I finish this post. Good thing I’ve been couponing lately and not paying much for cereal… Oh and speaking of “growing,” my weekly pregnancy update said: “Your feet might be growing and you might find yourself needing to buy a bigger size in shoes.” Which I actually did have to do last week, by the way…