Monday, July 10, 2006

Maintaining The Deception

This weekend tested me. Oh yes, I was tested. I'm pretty sure I was able to pull it off and not reveal - or even give hint - that something is different about me, but it was not easy.

It was a busy social weekend for us and all the events seemed to involve cocktails. Obviously, cocktails and pregnancy do not mix, but yet, this pregnancy is not one we're ready to share with the world yet. Even if we were happy about it, it's too early to tell people. So it goes with attempting to maintain the facade of normalcy in the face of life-changing events that are anything BUT normal, I guess.

On Friday I spent the day with my parents and my nephews/niece. My parents were babysitting them and since their house in on the market they didn't want to have the kids running all over it. So they came to my neck of the woods and we went to the water park, out to lunch (crappy Burger King, thanks Mom), and then back to my house. My mother is the uber-suspicious type, and she didn't give me any indication that she suspected anything amiss. She gave me one, "you seem tired" comment, but that was it. Then that evening Mr. Chick and I had been invited to dinner at the home of his managing partner. My first introduction to this woman was at a wine tasting event, so she KNOWS I enjoy a good wine, as does she. Dinner was lovely and there were about 5 different wines open for people to try. I nursed one glass all night, my usual gusto for wine having left me completely. It tasted foul to me and my queasy tummy.

Oh yes, I've felt like shit all weekend, and NOT from hangovers, sadly. Morning sickness is here in full force and I'm not a happy camper. Dry heaving, all-day nausea, and fatigue. The hallmarks of the first trimester. I'm not handling it well. It's hard to disguise how crappy you feel when you're around people you don't want to tell all weekend.

Saturday we had our new windows installed in the front of the house. Big, huge improvement - they look fantastic! Our contractor happens to be the husband of my good friend, E, so she came over with her two young kids to spend the day with me and mine while our spouses installed the windows. Again, I'm not ready to share this news with anyone yet, so I had to put on a happy face for my friend. She doesn't have a clue. No one would expect this of us, so why would she suspect anything? She doesn't. But keeping up the act of going to the park and cheerily packing lunches and slathering the kids with sunscreen was a toll when all I really wanted to do was lie prone on the couch. It didn't help that it was 95 degrees that day. Hotter than hell. Very unpleasant when you don't feel well.

Saturday evening Mr. Chick and I had to get all dressed up and attend the wedding reception of another attorney in his office. We really don't know her, but the whole office was invited and Mr. Chick felt it important that we go. So we did. And you know how weddings are: lots of cocktails. Mr. Chick knows how I'm feeling and covered for me when I opted for a Sprite instead of a cocktail. Just the thought of alcohol right now turns my stomach even more than it already is. I felt nasty all evening. My tummy is really poochy right now and is simply uncomfortable. At 7 weeks I can't suck it in anymore. That fact alone makes me want to cry. I had to put on my body slimmer (aka girdle), and it was the most uncomfortable garment I've worn in awhile. That kind of pressure on my delicate tummy was not a good idea, but if I wanted to minimize my pooch in my dress, it was a necessity. Beauty is pain, right? Normally I love weddings. I enjoy the food, the drink, the conversation, the people-watching, and the dancing. That night, I enjoyed the people-watching and that's about it. I was not up for dancing, not with my tummy in turmoil. The food was probably very good, but right now food sounds supremely unappealing and only serves to temporarily quiet my stomach. So I endured the evening and enjoyed the night out with Mr. Chick, but only wished I'd felt better and had been a more enjoyable companion for him.

Sunday I cleaned the house, including a bunch of windows. I needed to keep moving or I never would have gotten up again. That afternoon we went to a bbq some friends were hosting in honor of another friend who moved to Australia a year ago and was back for a visit. So, you guessed it, plenty of alcohol was part of the party. These are close friends and it was hard to not reach for a beer and settle into the fun of the bbq, but instead I had water and kept moving around to make sure the kids didn't destroy anything, hoping not to hurl. The hostess has a 5 mos old baby girl, and all the other women (none of whom have kids yet) were ooh'ing and ahhh'ing over the baby. Me? I had no desire to hold her. She's very cute and all, but I simply didn't want to get close to her at all. I saw the room full of baby gear (which my kids were loving playing with, for some reason), and wanted to cry.

Clearly, I'm not at peace with what's happening yet.

I know of others who handle a 3rd with ease and grace. I'm just not one of them
. I wish I was, but I'm not. I don't think I'm a natural mother. I love my kids and would lay down my life for them, but motherhood is not easy for me. I wanted my children and I'm glad I have them. I would never trade my life, and I don't regret my choices. But it's work. It's effort. I'm good at it, but there are days when I don't love it. When I long for something different. It's not "the more the merrier" for me. I love that I come from a larger-than-average family (4 kids), but I know myself well enough to know that I'm simply not the mother of a larger family. I'm just not. I think that I devote so much of myself to being Mom to my kids, that there are times when I think I'm losing myself to the role. And I so want to - NEED to - define myself as more. There is more to me than being a mom, and I sometimes feel swallowed up by it. So the notion of a 3rd child equates to even more of me being consummed by children and leaves less of me that lives outside of that. Most of the time the two sides live in harmony, and being Mom is intrinsic to being Me, but often I feel that I'm sacrificing parts of Me to being a good Mom. Does anyone understand that?

So this pregnancy isn't sitting easy with us yet. Maybe I'll start to feel differently after my dr. appt. today if I'm able to see the heartbeat. Because right now this still feels like a terrible mistake. A cruel joke. And I'd like to feel differently about it - I really would. But right now I just don't. Not yet.

Right now I wish it would all just go away.

I hope it doesn't just go away MP because you will never forgive yourself.
Oh, How I understand! I was telling my husband virtually the same thing yesterday.
I am definitely not the type to have a large family either; it's just not something i think I would do well at.
I know this whole mothering thing has made me lose a part of myself. Like you, I would lay down my life for my children, but I'm more than just a mother. I'm ready to reclaim myself, but I still have a one-year old; it'll be awhile.

Don't feel bad for wishing this would all go away. This is the way that you feel, and you have your reasons. I'm also so sorry that now you physically have to feel like crap. That certainly isn't helping matters much as well. Glad Mr.Chick is being so supportive. You'll have to continue to lean on each other to get through this. You will get through this all. You will. Just hang in there.
While it is hard for me to fully understand they way that you are feeling emotionally about this, I can certainly respect it.
As for the way you are feeling physically, now that I can fully understand. It is easing up for me, but that awful feeling is still so fresh.
I know it is hard to see now, but this little life will bring you and your family so much joy and you won't be able to imagine life without him or her.
Grace? Well, thank you. I handle this with grace because I intentionally got pregnant and always knew I wanted three children. That's not to say that I don't know exactly how you are feeling. I was in that state when I found out I was accidentally pregnant again with Ms. Z so soon after having MJ. You know, why don't you email me
I understand oh so well. That commercial on TV, where the Mom is walking around the house doing her thing, making lunches, cleaning, picking up things and the entire time she is invisible. THAT IS ME!!!! Sometimes I feel like I am no one but a Mom. That's it.
Like you said, I would lay down my life for my kids but somedays I feel like that is all that I am and I lost myself somewhere along the way.
I completely understand.
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