Generally speaking, I try not to feel sorry for myself just because I’m pregnant. Not only have I been blessed with a relatively easy, healthy pregnancy, but I’m acutely aware of how lucky I am to be pregnant at all, let alone free of all the nightmarish complications I’ve watched friends and family members go through. So I try not to complain. I know what a tremendous gift I’ve been given to carry around in my belly. Even if it kicks a lot and causes major heartburn. Pregnant=blessing. I try not to forget.
But there are some days—dark, whiny days—when all I want to do is curl up in a ball and feel sorry for myself. Today is one of those days. I want to be movie-pregnant, all sweet and cute in a dress with a bow on it, eating a giant ice cream sundae with pickles on top while my husband rubs my still-slender ankles and reads aloud from a baby name book. Or how about celebrity-pregnant, where my back doesn’t hurt because I do Pilates every day, every item in my maternity wardrobe is fashionable and makes me look ten pounds thinner than I was pre-pregnancy, and sugar-free cuisine tastes amazing because my personal chef can make steamed spinach taste like pumpkin cheesecake. Basically, I want to be anything but me-pregnant.
Me-pregnant is a tough kind of pregnant to be today. My heartburn is so bad it feels like my chest is on fire. I’m starving all the time but too busy to prepare adequate protein-packed meals, so I’m subsisting on E’s stash of string cheese and baby carrots. I’m achy and crampy and my back is killing me. But instead of being able to lie down and take it easy, I’m trying to manage the household and meet freelance deadlines while running to the bathroom every eight minutes holding a squirmy 25-pound toddler who’s just starting potty training. Then there’s the 17 daily loads of laundry (potty training again) and the constant cleaning of the carpets, upholstery, and bathroom rugs (yup, still potty training.)
I hate complaining. I like rising above it all. I like being invincible. So what is with my sudden, urgent need to put on gigantic sweatpants, flop down on the couch and throw myself a pregnant pity party? Things aren’t actually so bad. I’m healthy (and feel better than ever thanks to my no-sugar diet.) #2 is healthy, making his presence known by kicking away at my ribs and jumping up and down on my bladder.
The upside to E deciding she’s ready to use the potty is that at least we won’t be doing this mad-dash-to-the-bathroom thing when there’s an innocent newborn around to suffer casualties. The impending deadlines mean I have to force myself to sit and write, which means I’m off my feet. And even if I don’t have a husband around to rub my ankles or lift E in and out of the bathtub, I get the DVR and the bed all to myself.
Still, aren’t I allowed one major whine session per pregnancy? I can’t remember if I had one with E, and that one involved moving 10,000 miles, having 5 different OBs, and unpacking boxes while going into labor. So surely I’m owed at least one pity party, plus maybe a bonus mini one for unusually trying circumstances?
I’m doing the sweatpants thing, and eating celery with peanut butter and sugar free chocolate pudding, which is the closest I can come to comfort food (it’s nowhere near as good as the Kraft macaroni and cheese and chocolate chip cookies I’m really craving.) I’m giving myself a one-night pass to feel sorry for myself. Tomorrow I’ll go back to being invincible. But for tonight, I’m going to go ahead and whine about not being movie-pregnant, celebrity-pregnant, or any other kind of pregnant except me-pregnant. And then in the morning, I’ll go back to feeling lucky. I swear!