February 26, 2013

Shifted

It's been so long since I've written. First my computer broke, then we moved and didn't have any internet access for a week or so. I've been desperately trying to catch up on blog reading, and apologize for my lack of commenting. It's been absolutely hectic around here, and the end feels nowhere in sight.

Yesterday I had an appointment with my midwife, and per usual, I completed my depression screening while they checked my weight and blood pressure. If I mark even one have-you-felt-X sentence as "sometimes," it warrants a talking-to, and I had two "sometimes" sentences marked off. They were the usual, feelings of depression and sadness, as well as feelings of failure and feeling as if I let myself/my family down. Of course, I assured them that I have no intention of hurting myself or the baby, that it is mostly situational, and they remind me that the clinic has therapists available if I ever want someone to talk to.

It's interesting how my outlook has shifted lately. I've somehow managed to let go of the body image related depression - I have accepted my body and its current state, and will worry about repair when the time is right. I still have tough days, days when I get a bit sad that I really, really don't look pregnant - the number of comments I get about it is incredible. Even when I wasn't pregnant, I never wanted to have a celebrity body - but the inundation of media coverage on every pregnant actress or singer and her "bump" is overwhelming sometimes. It matters more to me that I don't look like any of my pregnant family, or real-life friends, or any bloggers even. I don't have a very prominent bump. I just look big. Still, I'm trying to focus on the numbers that matter - like my baby's size, which is absolutely perfect and right in line with where we should be at 31 weeks. I may not look pregnant, but laying in bed with my hands on my belly, feeling him move around ... it's reassuring.

That said, though, I've still had a few stressed and depressed thoughts. About a week or so ago, I had a pretty bad meltdown around 3 a.m. - I woke up in a state of complete panic about a million different things, and couldn't fall back asleep until nearly 8 a.m. As always, I am exceptionally grateful for Katie and for her friendship, for her reaching out to me after seeing me falling apart on Twitter, and for always knowing what to say to make me calm down and realize that, yes, I can do this. She has always offered so much love and support with running, with weight loss, with binge eating. This time, my panic was mainly related to parenting, particularly with regards to my job and our financial situation, and her experience-based wisdom, once again,  brought me back down to a calm state and helped me relax enough to sleep.

The day before, I'd met with the Human Resources guy at work to check how many hours I'd worked so far. The number was good for a part-timer (they weren't hiring full-time when I started), but still, I won't accrue enough hours by the time my due date rolls around to qualify for time off.

That was very tough to hear. I don't even qualify for unpaid time off.

It's exasperating. I'm not even looking for time to spend with my baby, just enough time to heal, and they don't even need to pay me. Still, I can't get that. I'm not sure if this means I will be terminated or what will happen, but in any case, it's stressful.

It's frustrating, also, because right now, the company is doing a huge donation drive for their favorite cause, a program that gives small loans to women in developing countries so they can grow their businesses and become financially independent. And we had to watch a slideshow on it, and it was difficult to sit there and read about a woman who, thanks to this small loan, now owns her own clothing store and "can make her own schedule to spend time with her children," because the same company won't let me have a few unpaid weeks with mine.

So I came home, cried myself to sleep, and then woke up in the middle of the night, panicked.

Every evening before falling asleep, and every morning before rising, I lay in bed with my hands on my belly, and I have a good talk with my son. I tell him everything: from how much everyone can't wait to meet him, to what I think he will look like, to the story from the Bible/Torah about the man for whom he will be named. (It's an interesting story, one I've found a lot of meaning in lately, and I'll share it as soon as he's born, since we're not sharing the name beforehand.)

Most important, though: every day, I tell him that Mommy loves him, and Daddy loves him, and that we're not perfect but we're trying our best, and that we promise that things will be alright. Because I know that as hard as this all is, as difficult as it feels most days ... it's temporary. It may not feel like it right now, and it will likely get more difficult before it gets better, but bigger picture, things will be okay. The job stuff will work itself out - hopefully, I'll hear back from a teaching position soon, and we won't have to worry too much about what will happen with my current job as far as maternity leave is concerned. For now, we are happy, we are healthy, and we have enough to survive - food, water, shelter, and a few small extras. It could certainly be much worse than it is, without a doubt.