Tag Archives: Anxiety

30 weeks and getting my inner house in order

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30 weeks and getting my inner house in order

30 weeks. I feel like I’m over the hump and the countdown has begun. I’m working on my thoughts at the moment though, and have caught myself out in some unhelpful thinking. I have found there’s some early mother guilt setting in. I often think that I wish I enjoyed pregnancy, I really do, but I am working too hard, too far from home and all I feel is exhaustion. I feel like I should be the serene mother, taking time to sit quietly and “commune” with my unborn baby, sending loving, positive vibes her way, practicing deep breathing and generally being calm. In reality that might have happened maybe twice in this whole pregnancy. I wish I had time to do yoga to help my back, instead of spending so many hours a day at a computer ruining it. I feel like I’m already a bad, busy, overworked mother and she is a neglected baby. 

Really, that’s ridiculous. By dwelling on this woe-is-me attitude all I’m doing is robbing myself of the little joy that is available, and that’s all. It’s a picture of an ideal world and while some of us are lucky to live in it many of us aren’t. I’m busy, but I’m busy because I’m supporting my family and building my future, trying to change and adapt it to one that doesn’t have to go back to the office – a two hour commute away – five days a week, way too early in her little life. I’m busy because I’m planning to be there for her future. I’m generally eating well, getting moderate exercise and trying to manage my stress the best I can, and that’s all she needs right now. I’m not a bad mother before she’s even born, I’m a strong, capable woman, looking towards and planning for her future while not neglecting the other commitments in my life. Right now that’s the best I can be, and it is enough.

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…or not

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…or not

It wasn’t the pregnancy itself that was the problem, that was something we said we’d like in an ideal world, the problem was that we were not living in an ideal world. Far from financially secure I had just invested every cent I had in a Sydney sized mortgage and already had two kids to support, and Mr Z was still a couple of months from graduating from his master’s, after which would follow an internship type year that paid next to nothing. At 43 we had decided it would not be possible for us before time ran out. Apparently the universe had other plans. 

It wasn’t only the finances that concerned me, there was the issue of my previous miscarriages and the emotional rollercoaster that early pregnancy brings, every day waking to wonder if today would be the day it would happen. There was a lot to get my head around if this baby was going to hang in there, but I didn’t want to think about it too much and get too attached because the chances of it working out seemed so slim. Even if I didn’t miscarry, at 43 the chance of there being a serious genetic issue is 1 in 30, and what then? Add to that the hormones, the 24×7 nausea, the exhaustion, the stress of moving house, managing university assignments and still looking after kids through it all and it was a recipe for emotional volatility and copious amounts of tears. Hello relationship strain – just what we needed with our past history! 

I couldn’t even bring myself to go to the doctors at first, I was 7 weeks before I did. We were in the midst of the move and I didn’t even know which doctor to go to, I had to find a new one. I had been experiencing pain and assumed it was just a matter of time, but it was pain, not cramps, and after the previous miscarriages I was well aware of the difference. Finally I made an appointment. The doctor was lovely and sympathetic and sent me of for a scan. It was still another 4 days before I had it, but it was a relief when I did. There was the tiny little jelly bean with a clear heartbeat, and a giant fibroid that evidently was the source of my pain (an inconvenience but not really a risk). I felt so much relief. Finally it became real, finally I started to allow myself to think, what if…?  

It was weeks before I started to feel better, but even then every day that I wasn’t horribly ill I wondered if it was a sign that the hormone levels were dropping and I was going to experience that loss after all. I told my eldest about the baby because he had been causing me a lot of stress by fighting going to school (every day) and he didn’t understand my volatility and lack of patience with him about it, which I felt extreme guilt over. I thought he would be better if he understood, and he was. In fact he was delighted with the news. I waited until after the 12 week scan to tell my youngest though, he is a much more emotional soul and I didn’t want him along on my rollercoaster ride if I could help it. 

The stats on the genetic risk after the scan came back low so finally I told my youngest, that same day. I had told very few people that I was pregnant and clearly needed a bit of practice because I struggled to get it out. Or maybe I subconsciously had anticipated his reaction. Let’s just say he needed a bit of adjustment time before he could say he was happy about the news, not least because he was concerned someone was going to have to move out to make room! For a good three days I can say I crashed and burned from my position as cool mother to the most embarrassing mother on the face of the earth, but finally he came round to being as happy about it as the rest of us were. Thank God. 

Finally, out of the chaos that had reinstated itself in my life with renewed force, there came a little bit of joy.

Off duty!

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Off duty!

Today marks the the first day of my two week holiday, holiday from motherhood that is. I’m officially off duty! My kids have gone on their annual dad and son trip to the country with a number of other dads and sons. I have mixed feelings about these trips because while they allow me a bit of rest and time alone with MrZ, I do miss the kids and I worry about them too. 

The property they go to is quite remote, it’s a two hour drive to the nearest hospital and the nearest town isn’t much closer. They take off road bikes but luckily they no longer take quad bikes. Quad bikes are quite dangerous and my ex shattered his knee coming off one a few trips ago. Each year someone always seems to end up going to hospital for some reason or another. The adults do a bit of hunting of wild pigs and roos while they’re there too, and while I know they are a pest to the farmers and there is valid support for culling, I just can’t bring myself to be a supporter of it. Nor can I stand the thought of my kids holding guns.

I worry less now that the boys are older although in past years the stress would overwhelm me and typically I would have a shingles outbreak. I know they really enjoy these trips, that it’s an opportunity to lean independence and life skills, and they’re old enough to look after themselves a bit more now which is a good thing because I gather that the adults get drunk every night. I also have support now (in the form of MrZ who has come a long way and actually knew to hug me rather than reason with me when I burst into tears this morning), so these days I don’t get shingles, I tend to just get a few digestive issues. 

Given all this it is really important for me to plan lots of distractions for while they are away, because it is far too easy for me to curl into a little ball and spend most of the time hibernating in bed. Today I woke to rain and a breakfast in bed treat, leading to a lazy morning and late start which unfortunately meant that I missed my opportunity this weekend to join the local gym. I learned when I arrived at the door that the office closed at midday today and opens again on Monday (what a shame). I did go and do a bit of shopping though and managed to pick up a few pretty summer bargains. Change room trauma solidified my resolve to join the gym though and also was the final push I needed to commit to a few days of juicing, which saw me stop by the local market on the way home and buy enough fruit and greens to start my own store.

Before I go though I’ll leave you with a photo of my two budding Crusty Demons, just because I need more trauma 🙂 Enjoy your weekend.