This post is about two things relating to attitudes: mine and other people’s. I realize that’s a wide net to cast, but I just wanted to jot down these ideas before they got away from me. As most of my posts lately have been about my pregnancy, this post is certainly no exception. But in the greater scheme of things, I have to recognize that these thoughts transcend the temporary condition I’m in, because it reflects on how people see me in the grand scheme of things, and how I, in turn, see them.
I must admit with no attempt at rationalizing it, that I’ve been in a bad way since learning I was pregnant. Although I wanted to have another child, and went into this process with eyes open, I have to admit that this pregnancy has been difficult for me. Whether it was truly harder on me than the first is not easy to assess because the circumstances are very different. Still, I will comment on what I’m feeling now, because the experience is still mine, important and most of all, uncomfortable.
I suppose during my first pregnancy, I spent most of the time denying how I felt, because people made it clear that they didn’t want to hear about my problems. I remember at one point, as I was laying out my fears of the unknown to some casual friends from work, one of the snapped at me to “just relax and enjoy it!” as though she’d had just about enough of my “complaining” and wanted me to gush about how super awesome being pregnant was. I did shut up, as it was evident I didn’t want to make a fuss about it anymore. I realized most people don’t really care about what I’m really feeling when they ask about it. They just want to hear how excited we are, a few details about gender, names, etc., so they can probe into topics which are none of their business, such as breastfeeding, circumcision, and pain management.
What I’ve learned from both pregnancies is that I have to accept that I’m living with severe depression, and that this condition is extremely exacerbated by the experience of a 10 month, non-medicated gestation. I am coping as best I can, which is to say that I’m not coping very well at all. Instead of suffering in silence like I did with the first pregnancy, I’ve decided that it’s best for me to communicate what I’m feeling when people ask. I tend not to volunteer the information without prompting, but if you ask me how I’m feeling, I’m going to tell you the truth: I’m not well, I’m in constant pain, both emotionally and physically, and I literally cannot wait for this to be over.
I’ve had mixed reactions, because I’m deciding not to breastfeed my second child at all, opting for medications that will keep me from self harm, which will end up in the breastmilk. I’m over the condescending stares and clucking of tongues about it. These are choices I have made for myself and my family and I give zero fucks about what other people think about it. Unless you are part of my medical team, you have zero say.
Being judged on a daily basis, on top of everything else I’m experiencing has not helped my mental state. I don’t like the way I feel, and it’s very hard to pass anything I say or do through a filter that’s already worn thin and clogged with all the other junk that’s going on behind the scenes. I’m well aware that my patience is worn exceedingly thin, and that I’m not exactly pleasant to be around. I feel like all I do lately is apologize and explain my behavior which makes me feel even more like a jerk, because I have to constantly remind people what they’re putting up with.
Beyond the stressors of the pregnancy, my job is in jeopardy as I’ve posted about before. I’ll have less than a year to find a new job when I return from maternity leave. The toxicity of the office I work in has gone to 11 and I’m finding it harder and harder to keep those experiences from coming home with me too. My only reprieve is the happy time I get with my family, which isn’t always happy because well, that’s life, and the gym.
I’m hoping that when I see my doctor soon, I’ll have more options. But for now, the light at the end of the tunnel is the day my water breaks (hopefully at an appropriate time), and my son is born into the world healthy and happy. Until then, I’m sorry, so very sorry, for my tone. We are undergoing a state of maintenance and hope to be back to “normal” very soon.