I'm just hoping to recover from a few days of bad sleep and bad nausea.  I usually feel worse when I don't sleep.  The good news is that nobody chose the last three days to say to me "Get your sleep now! You won't be able to later!" because I probably would have hurt them.  The bad sleeping was my usual insomniac tendencies, magnified by not being able to get a deep breath when lying down.  I don't think I have actual diagnosable restless legs syndrome, although I do feel twitchy from time to time.  I think I just get restless and frankly, a little panicky, when I can't get a deep breath.  

After much middle-of-the-night experimentation, I have the right combination of pillows and can mostly breathe.  I have been able to sleep when I drink some kind of bedtime tea, which surprises me.  Before this pregnancy I would have sworn that I can't sleep unless I take Benadryl (or Vicodin or Valium or any other Rx meds I can score), and that chamomile tea is for wusses.  But this tea, which happens to be Trader Joe's Bedtime Tea and has only the basic herbs (no raspberry leaf or valerian), is helping me get through the 2-6am time slot that gives my "donut" insomnia its name.

I've got probably nine-ish weeks left of this pregnancy and I'm looking forward to it being over, but also don't want it to end.  Pregnancy is a state of grace, like being engaged.  All the possibilities, all the hope and anticipation, none of the actual responsibility or real life.  I don't remember my engagement being so physically uncomfortable, so that's where the analogy ends.  I cried a lot in the last few days, sometimes because I couldn't imagine taking care of a baby when I felt so horrible.  I know that the sleep deprivation is rough, and worse than any insomnia could be, but I also can't help thinking that life without nausea sounds like a picnic.  I'd like to say life without heartburn, too, except I have heard that heartburn continues because of breastfeeding, so I'm thinking I might not be rid of that symptom anytime soon.

I'm getting ready to gear up to send a lot of Christmas cards. We're definitely going to be fair-weather Christmas card people, only
sending out when we have something nice to say, but too bad.  I made a small effort to be honest with a few friends over the years, but Christmas cards are a hard place to do it.  I now have to
send my cards out soon so we can receive cards via the boomerang
effect.  Boomerang is when people who didn't have an address or any
intention of sending a card to me get one from me, and then they turn
around and send one because they now have my address and/or they feel
obligated, but this all has to take place before the 25th so I have to start writing.

I'm really noticing how lucky / grateful we are to not be childless infertiles at Christmastime.  I remember how much it sucks!  Even going to church is about somebody having a baby.  I really treasure all the family parts of Christmas, and we finally can feel less excluded from it all.  Feeling excluded is such a habit that I have to be careful – sometimes I feel touchy or insulted or afraid, and I  need to realize that every family is different, and there isn't some magical Now You Have Kids place where we enter in, and live happily ever after.  

I'm sure I miss many, many opportunities to be grateful, especially when I feel ill so much.  It's not easy to remember that pain that is not now jabbing me in the heart, especially when so much is new / scary / wonderful and generally overwhelming.  I have many small occasions for joy which are specific to infertility… seeing a pregnant woman gives me a little smile because I'm one too, and I don't have to hurt.  Seeing a cute baby means I can really enjoy him, rather than looking away. So I don't hurt.  Feeling the baby kick makes me smile with relief and gratitude, knowing that I can rest easy that he is – well, alive and kicking – for another few hours or a day instead of trying to be strong until the next ultrasound. 

Feeling the rush of love for this baby, our baby, makes me smile knowing that going through all the treatments, the longing for pregnancy and success, wasn't just about me.  It wasn't just some selfish quest for self-fulfillment.  It's about me, oh yes it sure is, but it's also about him, the little boy who kicked me so hard this morning that it hurt.  I never knew before how much it was going to be about him, the mystery of who he is and how lucky we are to be a part of it.

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