Thursday, April 12, 2012

18 weeks pregnant and totally crazy

5 months since I last blogged. Sounds like the opening to a confession or an AA meeting.

I keep queuing up things I want to write about, and then conveniently storing them away to be forgotten and never written. I just simply need to stop NOT writing.

Tomorrow I'll be 19 weeks pregnant. I spent the first trimester in pitiful agony - not hungry one second and starving the next - but permanently nauseous and never satisfied by any meal. Thankfully that's been over for a few weeks now. But then the crazy hormones kicked in and seem to be flooding my system especially the week. I can remember feeling like my body was taken over by this alien inside me the last 3 times - and still somehow this time around feels even more drastic. I literally feel like I have no control over myself. First it was not satiating my appetite or being able to end my nausea. And now, on top of my already oversensitive sensibilities, I am what I consider an emotional wreck.

If pre-pregnancy I cried watching Extreme Home Makeover, this pregnancy I cry during a cat food commercial. If before, I cried thinking about the tsunami victims in Japan, lately I cry thinking about my neighbor's lost dog. I lose it over laundry or the pile of dishes in my sink. I blubber into my pillow because I'm exhausted but can't sleep on my back or my stomach.

I had to report to jury duty on Monday. I was putting together a plan for how I could get out of it. It was an inconvenience to send my kids to a neighbor's house after school. I had to put Ash in unfamiliar childcare in the courthouse. I'm 5 months pregnant and I need to eat and pee constantly. This was going to be a pain in the ass to endure for two weeks if I was chosen.

And then I listened to 20 people come forward to the judge and describe their actual extreme hardships. The young single mom next to me has 3 kids, the youngest only 3 months. She works full-time, isn't on welfare, doesn't have family to help her, has an ex who won't pay child support, and makes $24,000 a year. In any state, that's a hardship, but in southern California that seems near impossible. She graciously told her story, not as a complaint or an excuse, but just an honest person stating her difficulty and simply asking that she be able to go back to work to take care of her family.

I held back tears so I wouldn't embarrass her (or myself). I told her she's amazing and good luck, and she was sent on her way.

My turn to talk? Um... no nothing to say here. The hardest thing I have to do is sit here and try not to pee.

Whether it's due to extreme pregnancy induced emotional upheaval or not, this mom got to me. And though Bill and I donate to charities when we can, I feel like there is something else I want to and need to be doing to help other moms out there. I remember several times my own Mom, when we were barely getting by ourselves, used to buy bags of groceries for a friend with 5 kids. We'd surprise them showing up on their doorstep with the necessities, plus cookies for the kids and a big bag of diapers. I'd play with the kids and watch my Mom hug her friend telling her it was no big deal and she wanted to help, in such a graceful way so the lady didn't feel insulted or like a charity case. Just a friend helping a friend because she loves her.

I haven't figured out yet how I can be more like my Mom in this way too, but I'm thinking and figuring it out.

So yeah, I'm a jumble of emotions and my brain is racing with thoughts of people I may never be able to help and a plan to help ones I can. Plus I've got these 3 little boys in my house that need my constant attention, which I'm happy to give. As long as occasionally one of them can figure out how to tie his own shoes or get his own glass of milk. It can be a challenge to focus your attention outside of the home. I think any help you can give others financially through the multitude of online charities is wonderful. I think giving yourself and your time is harder but I'm feeling that pull. I just feel like I need to be doing more.

And that's my sappy maudlin post for the month. I'm only allowing myself one.