Monday, August 28, 2006

How Much Pregnancy Whining Can The Internet Handle?

Raisin's birth story isn't where I thought it was. I was present at the birth, so reasonably I could reconstruct it out of my own head. But why do that, when I KNOW I saved it somewhere and I just need to find it again? Also, I clearly cannot post the "Where Raisin is Now" story without the "How It All Began" story, and that is why instead of those posts, which are only interesting to me, you are all getting more pregnancy blather which is, um, only interesting to me. Gosh, this is an awesome blog. (The other choices for blog topics today were a debate about whether capris can be formal and Why I Hate My Bra. Really, I think you should consider yourselves lucky.)

I thought I had learned about upheaval when I was pregnant with Raisin. Well, that was the river, this is the ocean, baby.

What surprised me most about pregnancy, version 1 was the way my primal self took over. I shook my head over emotional outbursts that could not be tied, even tenuously, to a Reason. I marveled, especially during the birth itself, at how my body just knew what to do. I have always tended much more toward the cerebral than the physical (read: I sucked at four-square), so it was bizarre for me to dwell so thoroughly in the world of the physical.

In version 2, this immersion is even more complete. I can vaguely recall a time when I could write a to-do list or pack a suitcase all by myself. I would even have gone so far to say that organization was one of my strengths. Now, not so much. I make attempts, I grasp at the straws of logical thought. But then somebody kicks my ribcage, or I have another contraction, or I am just so bloody tired that my shopping list peters out because I have started to sing something I heard on Sesame Street.

My brain has bowed so completely to the needs of my uterus that I actually find it hard to overdo. (That sound you just heard was the Jellyman snorting in disbelief, since virtually every evening I collapse, groaning, as soon as Raisin goes to bed. "How is that not overdoing?" he asks.) But I know better; if my brain were still in command, those piles of baby clothes would all be washed and folded and put away. I also know this is for the best. It is the Triumph of the Uterus that has kept my babies safely inside me this long. Oh, the loss of independence, it chafes, though.

And that, too, is vastly different from my first pregnancy. During the last trimester with Raisin, I certainly wasn't climbing ladders to clean cobwebs from the ceiling, but for the most part my activities weren't all that limited. I cooked, I cleaned, I worked, I managed my life the way I was used to doing.

I'm a Christian, and the church we attend focuses a lot of attention on ministry. There's a whole class, which I've taken, on finding one's personal ministry. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? How is God calling you to use those gifts in service? They don't teach you how to be the recipient. They don't tell you what to say when friends and acquaintances say, "be sure to call me if there's anything I can do to help." (I'm guessing they're not really interested in cleaning our gutters, for example.)

It seems simple on the surface. Fact #1: my friend has offered to help. Fact #2: I am drowning in laundry. Unfortunately, the simple equation fails to account for fact #3: I seem to be incapable of allowing someone outside my family to help me unless I am also gainfully employed. I cannot let her help with the baby clothes unless I spend that time on another project, like Operation Assemble Baby Swing. And then I apologize for the state my house is in, and explain that I'm dressed like a slob because I have to save the maternity outfits that fit for work days, and generally wear myself out faster than if no help had been offered in the first place.

Now, some single parent out there is reading this and wishing they could deliver a swift kick to my ample booty. And they are right. I'm swimming in blessings and complaining that the water is just too wet. My only defense is that the Uterus is in control, and she's temperamental.


Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Please, take the help. You are going to need it.

You are full of people. Just getting clothes OUT of the dryer will be harder for you right now than doing five loads of laundry would be for someone without a bunch of people growing inside of them.

I know there is no way you can bend.

Let people help you and then after your kids get older make it a point to help other pregnant people or people with infant twins.

Rude Cactus said...

It's always hard to take help but folks wouldn't offer if they didn't want to do it. Give it a shot!

Julie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.