Saturday, February 06, 2016


Greeting universe - I'm a-goin'-a try to s'plain some things.

Most of these things aren't perfectly logical, so try to stick with me. The inside of one's head is never a perfectly logical place, but pack in all the baggage of pregnancy and you get extra nonsensical circles.

Today is my due date.

Due date

I wanted to let my body and the baby's body decide between themselves when he was done cooking and experience going into labor on my own.  People tell me that non-pitocin labor contractions are a little kinder on the body than pitocin ones, but I've only ever experienced piton-induced labor (4 times over now) - so it kind of felt like the final frontier for me, the part of pregnancy I'd never yet experience and was running out of opportunities to try.  Something like that.

Only now that I'm sitting around being as uncomfortable as can be and wondering why I'm dragging this out if I don't have to.  I've been kind of surprised how eager every OBGYN I've ever had has been to offer induction.  Obviously scheduling labor is more convenient for everybody.  Mr Renn is not particularly pleased with being inconvenienced by having to be available for an unscheduled labor and delivery.  It's messing with his penchant for feeling in-and-under-control.

I'm wondering if my body is waiting for me to "feel" ready, and whether that will ever happen.

I've been as open and honest as I know how to be about the extent and reality of my antepartum depression.  My brain and emotions are whacked, I don't feel the feels I'm supposed to feel, and the only emotions that hang around much are anger (the impatient kind) and apathy.  My ability to think and to feel are impaired, and while I try to be very careful to keep from making regrettable decisions on a grand scale, little regrettable interactions happen every day I'm like this.  Every one of them make me feel worse about myself.  I start out feeling guilty for being impaired by nausea and malaise, then my brain spirals until I'm in a deep pocket of self-loathing by the end of it.

I can distinctly remember thinking how nice it felt to actually like myself last Spring.  Having had a longer break between babies, and finally sleeping at night (after my comprehensive exams),  I was in a comfortably buoyant state.  It was kind of like, "Oh, hello actual self.  It's so nice to spend some time being you.  Too bad this will be cut short when the next pregnancy hits and the clouds roll in."

So yeah, among other things I don't manage to bond with my babies very well in that cloudy state.  Only after they are born and the pain-med cloud lifts do I start to feel like a mother to my own child.  At least historically..... which is (coincidentally enough) about the time that many women get slammed with postpartum depression, and around the time that people start to check on a woman's mental health in earnest.  When people are finally ready to take my mental health seriously is the time my ducks are just getting to be in a row again.  There is something kind of cruel about that.  I've never been able to get anyone to be concerned enough about me to suggest any kind of intervention, and when I'm in the dumps I'm certainly not able to navigate what kind of help would be appropriate.  My sense of scale and emotional proportion are all messed up, I become kind of impossible to live with, and it becomes easier to just avoid being around people than to try to navigate interactions.  I go from being a somewhat social introvert to being a complete hermit.  (Never mind how hard it is to muster the energy to make myself presentable for being around people....)

So yeah, just for the record.  I really struggle.  The silver lining, I suppose, is that I'm not likely to go through this many more times.  (Maybe one more, is the dominant line of thought and prayer over here).  In a way that is simultaneously totally selfish and yet really not, I look forward with all my earnestness to the day that I am forever done being a pregnant lady. Despite the parts where I never experience life-threatening complications, excessive weight gain or water retention, and have so far been able to have uncomplicated vaginal deliveries, I make a lousy pregnant lady.  I'm a lousy human when I'm pregnant, and as such I am utterly unable to write anything anybody else would ever want to read.  (So, radio silence for the last two pregnancies - EXPLAINED).  I'm a much better human, and an infinitely better mother and wife, when I'm not battling hormones that turn me into a zombie.

So, hey! Here's to timing contractions and waiting impatiently for labor to just happen to me.  Any day now I get to start turning back into my own self - the person I know I can be, and have been, and want to be.  Eventually she should stop getting smothered in the name of making humans.  (Luckily I am quite fond of my humans, I just hate getting them here.)

(And yes, I am and know I should be grateful for my fertility.  I don't think being grateful for my children and hating pregnancy are mutually exclusive.)

Anyhow - see you on the other side of labor.  I'm really hoping I can turn back into the mom who takes photos and documents life.  I miss her.


Unknown said...

Your writing is amazing. You articulate your experiences so well. Thank you for your honesty and for the "look inside." From the outside, your readers see a beautiful super woman who got her master's degree with four small children WHILE pregnant. And, who is in great shape, is very artistic with photography, flowers, Decorating, and cooking. And,who clearly loves her husband and children. Your honesty about antepartum only radiates your beauty all the more. I had it, and it is quite real. Here is wishing you an easier delivery than the pregnancy was. We all look forward to instagram pics as you feel up to it.

aLi said...

Love your writing, Em. Putting those emotions to words is not an easy task. I am so glad your little boy made it safe and sound. I look forward to reading more of your writing! Also, congratulations on your little one. I love the name you chose!

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