Things I need to remember:
(1) Just because I’ve got no control over it doesn’t mean it’s not going to be okay.
I’ve been growing increasingly anxious about this pregnancy: the baby’s growth, the number of kicks, my belly size (seriously, it seems to be shrinking – and I recall I went through the same thing with the twin pregnancy, so maybe this is just something that happens in pregnancy to me).
I’m finding myself wishing the weeks away at the moment. I want to get to my hospital appointment next week to raise my concerns and get checked out. Although I’m worried about the fact that there’s no scan scheduled and at this point I just want them to check on the baby and see him in a picture and make sure that he’s growing according to plan.
I’m trying to fake a feeling of control over stuff by engaging in ritualised action like measuring my fundal height – which is an absolutely pointless exercise for someone who doesn’t know where their uterus stops. I’ve been estimating it occasionally by using the doppler but that’s directional so I could be way out there.
I need my own personal midwife to check me out each morning and reassure me. Except I absolutely do not need that; that would just feed the anxious beast and make it think it was behaving in something of a reasonable way, when it’s not, not at all.
So. Stop measuring? Not sure I’m ready for that step just yet. Try to have faith? I am, I really am. But anxious-mind is very much front and centre at the moment. Practice the self-care exercises such as writing here, getting some exercise and meditating? Well, yes, finally I can do that.
(2) I probably need a lot more sleep than I’ve been getting.
My doctor has signed me off work for the foreseeable. Ostensibly due to SPD (google it if you don’t know it – it’s a painful pelvic girdle thing that happens to some people during pregnancy, and I’ve got it bad enough that standing /walking was becoming impossible by lunchtime each week). So, on paper it’s for that reason, and that’s a good enough reason, but in reality the anxiety caused by the pain and my own general heightened state in pregnancy anyway, coupled with my inability (due to lack of time and tiredness) to do any self-care meant that she felt I’d be better off stopping working now.
I went back to sleep this morning for a blissful extra 2.5 hours once my children had gone off to school. I feel orders of magnitude more human for the experience.
I also feel guilty about it because the house has been descending further and further into disarray as tiredness and pain claimed all of my evenings. So I feel a bit of an onus to get everything back under control and a lot less dusty as soon as possible. However …
(3) I don’t need to perform life.
Our house is messy, but it won’t be forever. I will have time now, and even some energy, to slowly roll the ball of yarn back in. But I don’t have to get it done in the next two days. And if G. picks up the ball and starts some rolling when I’m tired, I can let that happen too. There’s always more to be done. Just because I’m home doesn’t mean I’ve got to do it.
I have a list of things I want to attend to for the internal self – writing here being one of them – and that’s kind of like my new job for the next few weeks. I have to accept that I haven’t somehow “fooled” the doctor into signing me off work when I don’t really need it. And then I have to take responsibility for getting the rest – both physical and mental – that I claimed I needed.
People might see me out and about and they might have thoughts about my supposed illness and absence from work and it’s not my duty to educate them on what I can and can’t do. I have (a) valid reason(s) not to be working and I’m struggling enough with accepting them for myself. I don’t owe anyone else an explanation.
(4) Life will go on.
Whatever happens. For good or bad. House, baby, money, children’s growth and personalities, creative expression, time for self – all. There will be new opportunities and I can start each day from wherever I find myself. There is no end, no crashing devastation that draws a line under it all and renders it all worthless. There is always always infinite possibility.