Monday, November 28, 2011

Digging Out (and Managing Expectations)

Somewhere around Labor Day when I started feeling what I called the daily blurgh of pregnancy, I let a lot of housework go. With the help of other family members (especially my heroic husband) the dishes and laundry were washed, the bathroom got cleaned, and we still ate most of our meals at home, but the rest of the house fell into a state of epic disrepair. At first, it didn't bother me so much. I counted out weeks on my calendar based on my previous pregnancies and figured I'd feel better by my birthday and would pick things up again. Then my birthday came and went and while I felt "better," I didn't feel BETTER. No real second trimester perk up came and daily gagging and mega-fatigue remained my constant companions. "Holy crap," I thought, "Am I going to feel like this the whole time?"

Then I got sick and was congested, and as if it were possible, more tired for weeks. Then it started getting dark at 5:00 p.m. Then it started to seem like everything happening in the world was very very bad. November has been a confluence of suck. "Well, at least it's temporary," I thought. And then I thought, "I'm just going to go lie down." My dreams of heading back to my regular workout schedule and tidying up the house dissolved in the gray sludge of my mood, which now matched my physical condition in extreme blurghiness.

I'm digging out now, though. The key has been to acknowledge that it's not an all or nothing proposition. I don't have to be my normal crazily active self or lie in a big lump. Some days I can only do one thing. Some days I feel great and can do lots of things, and then the next day I have to sleep for 12 hours to make up for it. The holidays have spurred me on a bit. Thanksgiving was easy. Since it was only us, it came down to cooking and clearing off the dining room table. Christmas presents more of a challenge. Charlie has begun talking about Christmas trees, and it's going to take a bunch of good days for house cleaning to make room for that. The thing is, I'm starting to have a vision for how it's going to happen, on a manageable scale, with lots of room for naps and feeling baby kicks growing stronger inside. There will be happy children (and happy parents) in our house this December.

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