Friday, November 6, 2009

This Sucks.

Being knocked up sucks. Anyone who says differently is either extremely lucky or is suffering from a mental disorder characterized by delusion.

At first it's all, "Wow, holy shit! This is amazing, I'm so excited!" And then the hormones kick in.

I'm not even SICK. I have been lucky enough to escape the morning sickness, which is probably some function of my evolution, seeing as I am such a wuss about nausea that I would have already drowned myself in the bathtub if I were unable to stop vomiting.

Even without THAT, this completely sucks balls.

The exhaustion is unbearable. Have you ever seen a 2 year-old that is utterly wiped out and hasn't had a nap in like forever? That's me - a whining, miserable, exhausted, weepy mess. I have never been this tired in my life. There is no such thing as "enough" sleep - I could nap all day, get 10-12 hours of sleep at night - doesn't matter, still feel like shit. Worse than that, it is nearly impossible to get comfortable in bed at night and I have to get up to pee at least twice. Why on earth is it so hard to sleep at this point, before my physical shape is even a factor in my discomfort?

And the cramps. Oh my god, the goddamn cramps. No one tells you about this until AFTER you're knocked up. I have been down on all fours at 3am on my kitchen floor with tears in my eyes because apparently my uterus decided it would be a great time to play twister with my ovaries. The stupid cramps come and go constantly - it's not like PMS or your period, when you know they'll go away. And to add insult to injury? You can't take anything but fucking Tylenol. Not even extra-strength Tylenol. Definitely not Vicodin, though the situation seems to merit it more than others I've experienced.

But probably the worst thing, for me, is the stupid pregnancy brain. Becca pointed out in my previous post that I kept referring to swine flu as "H191" rather than "H1N1." Fucking DUH. This is your brain: :) This is your brain on progesterone: O. Yup, big empty space. I have been missing exits on the highway, leaving bags of stuff I just purchased at the checkout counters of stores, leaving my coats/jackets in places I visited for work, forgetting words in the middle of conversations, forgetting CONVERSATIONS in the middle of conversations. Saying "Yeah mom, I'll email that info over to you right now while I'm thinking of it," hanging up the phone, and having no recollection of what I was supposed to do or why.

I'm not exaggerating. In fact, I'm sitting here right now thinking "There were way more examples than this, but I've completely forgotten them." Dammit! I am so frustrated that I can't get my brain to work properly I don't know what to do with myself. For those of you who did this while in grad school, or while conducting research that required cognitive effort, or while simultaneously raising another little one at home - you are my heroes. Because I can't even fucking load the dishwasher these days. I don't like feeling dumb. I don't like worrying that there are typos in my emails and blogs, or that I'm saying the wrong words, or that I'm forgetting something important. This is not me, and I hate it. I hate it a lot.

Not being able to drink also sucks. But that doesn't suck as much as not being able to smoke. I'm not resentful about it - I should make that clear, seeing as this was a choice I made. But there are times when I'm just like "Fuck. I could use some damn nicotine" and it becomes apparent how much my little routines have already been changed.

I think the hardest thing about being only 8 weeks is that there is nothing to show for it. Not that I'm in a big hurry to blow up or anything, but there are no flutters, no ultrasound photos, no heartbeat, no knowledge of biological sex, nothing. It's like I have to get up and remind myself every day - "Why am I not smoking a cigarette with my cup of coffee? Oh. Oh yeah. Damn." I ordered a non-alcoholic Strawberry Fresco with dinner tonight, and immediately felt like the waitress assumed I was underage. When I go to work and there are bags under my bloodshot eyes, I feel like my clients assume I have a drug problem.

Which leads me to the last thing I want to bitch about - not being able to tell everyone. I mean, yeah, you CAN. But given the risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks, it just seems really stupid to tell people you wouldn't tell if something went wrong. So I'm not. But then you have to try and remember who knows and who doesn't, and try not to slip in front of those who don't, and hide pregnancy books when acquaintances come over, and explain the Tigger puzzle you've been working on that's sitting on the dining room table as nothing more than a diversion to keep you from thinking about Marlboro Lights.

So far, the only thing even remotely entertaining about pregnancy is the food cravings. Though in my case, I won't call them "cravings." They're more like food fantasies. I don't "need" them, I just "want" them. Up to this point they have included spicy food of all kinds, frosted strawberry pop-tarts (which I hadn't eaten since I was 11), hot dogs, baked chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes, and lasagna from Olive Garden. Not even that weird in general, but very weird for me.

Hopefully the next 4-5 weeks will pass quickly, I'll start to feel better, and I can stop bitching about this thing I did to myself. But in the meantime I feel somewhat responsible to let any other clueless young women out there know what they're in for. I wish someone had told me.


Professor in Training said...

This might be a stupid question but is severe cramping at 8wks normal/typical?

Becca said...

Yeah, the cramping sounded weird to me. You've gone to the doctor, right? Because I know they do ultrasounds (trans vaginally. Tons of Fun *eyeroll*) at that stage, so you *could* get pictures, I think. Better yet, you might get a video. If I remember correctly, the heart is beating at this stage, but your raspberry is very bloblike other than that, so still photos aren't that interesting if you're not an ultrasound tech.
I actually had the opposite problem early in pregnancy- I couldn't stop thinking that I was pregnant. It kinda freaked me out, honestly.

The exhaustion and empty-headedness *is* totally normal. That is to say, it's abysmal and weird, but par for the course.

The only things I can say on an encouraging note is to joy your weird-for-you food (lol on the spicy food- I got cravings for mexican like you wouldn't believe) and try to get some exercise, those things helped me a lot.

It's too late to warn you away from pregnancy, and everyone is different, but I wish I had known about the GI weirdness (prunes became my best friend) in the third trimester. On an encouraging note, the second trimester was way better than the first, at least for me. You get more energy, or used to the tiredness, or something. And the first kicks are really wonderful (even if they can be hard to be *sure* about at first)... though if your raspberry is like my roo, it will have ginromous Michel Phelps style feet and kicks and by the third trimester you will be plotting to take your 13 year old child to tae kwon do so you can kick them back. (Revenge will be sweet. Mama is patient and shall bide her time... *evil look*)

Isis the Scientist said...

I had some mild cramping at about 8 weeks and was exhausted my entire first trimester. I think I slept 12 hours/day everday. Then my second trimester hit and I felt GREAT!

JLK said...

@PiT - apparently the cramping is normal as long as it isn't continuous or accompanied by bleeding. Why it's been so severe a few times with me I have no idea. First doctor's appointment is Tuesday, but they didn't even hesitate when I called to tell them about the cramps and ask about pain reliever options.

@Becca - you're going to be like my new best friend through all this. I have no one in my life who is pregnant or who has new(er) little ones at home. Your insight and advice is invaluable to me at this point. :)

@Dr. Isis - here's hoping my second trimester (if I make it) is that way too. It's amazing how some days right now are really bad and others are okay. Actually, the weekends when I don't have to do shit are okay and the weekdays completely suck. lol

Cloud said...

Hi! I saw that you added me to you blogroll. Thanks!

I definitely felt much better during the second trimester in my first pregnancy. In my second... well, the less said about my second pregnancy the better, probably. It was hard to get enough rest with a toddler running around, I hadn't weaned said toddler until AFTER I got pregnant and I just never could get my energy back. I did feel better in the second trimester than in the first, though.

I think the emptyheadedness of pregnancy is an excellent chance to prepare yourself for the emptyheadedness that comes with sleep deprivation. Figure out your coping strategies now! (Mine involved lots and lots of lists.)

Enjoy your pregnancy, and don't worry- motherhood is really, really hard but it is really, really awesome, too.

(@Becca- my own personal revenge fantasy involves calling at 3 a.m. my daughter when she is living on her own, and telling her that I lost my socks.)

PhizzleDizzle said...

yikes! i hope your 2nd trimester is smooth sailing since this one seems to be a PITA! :)

Nicky said...

I'm behind in blogworld, so I just heard your news -- congrats! I did the pregnant-in-grad-school thing, so I'll just say that pregnancy is all about ups and downs. Just when you think "this totally sucks!!!" things get better, and everything seems manageable again.

For me, the walking-dead exhaustion gradually improved. I kept waiting for my 2nd trimester dramatic increase in energy, but instead, it was very very gradual. I barely noticed it until my energy level took a nose-dive in month 8, and I thought, "Hm, I guess I *had* been feeling better!"

The airhead thing definitely cleared up. And I agree with Cloud -- it's good prep for the sleep deprivation, which starts in pregnancy and continues for a year or so. You'll get better at coping with it.


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