Saturday, November 17, 2007

I am not the only Bozo on this bus!

I had another appointment with the counselor at the end of the week, which proved to be an hour of great conversation. Let's be honest, I was originally averse to the idea of seeing a counselor because 1) I used to think of it as a sign of weakness, and 2) there was a part of me that was ashamed that I "let" my pregnancy sickness take hold of me so completely. (If this doesn't have "control hog" written all over it...) What I have come to understand is that there are probably more newly pregnant women who end up talking to someone than I ever imagined. Each time the counselor would say, "I have talked to hundreds of pregnant women who..." Hundreds? Really? You mean I am not the first? Oh, how narcissistic my perspective was! Especially when you are keeping the pregnancy a secret from anyone and everyone during that first trimester, it is nothing short of a God send to have dedicated time to talk to someone about your struggles and concerns. And our sessions are honestly akin to two girlfriends talking about shared experiences and finding a safe space to emote. Of course, there are moments when she will provide some great techniques for enduring my undulating nausea and managing my anxiety. I doubt that if I wasn't dealing with such extreme morning sickness that I would be seeing a counselor, but I have to acknowledge that in the midst of such unbearable sickness, that I have been given the gift of self reflection.

One of the concepts that we chatted about that really stuck with me was the idea that our bodies can be fractured between wanting to be unique, but also just wanting to be another Bozo on the bus. There are parts of everyone that yearn to be different; that we stand out in a crowd and separate ourselves from the masses for some talent, idea, look, etc. We want to be the first, and the only. Yet, there are times that we want to be "just like everyone else." And it became clear to me that when it comes to sickness and illness, I want to be that unremarkable Bozo. Early on in the pregnancy when I was just starting to feel nauseated, I spent what felt like hours on the Internet, looking for confirmation in regards to my symptoms. The danger in the Internet, as I have said before, is that you can find confirmation for just about everything. Honestly, my symptoms were indicative of everything from cancer to hyperthyroidism. Now, this didn't help in my quest to want to "feel" pregnant, and with my experience and symptoms diluting into what felt like either nothing or everything, I didn't feel "just like everyone else." But, when I saw the midwife, she ran through a list of symptoms, and as I answered "yes" to each, her face would settle more and more into "saying," "yup! you're preggers!" Given that I am really the first of my friends, and the first in my family, to be pregnant, I don't have the ability to call those close to me and ask, "did you feel? did this happen?" My mother has been trying so hard to recall those first few months of her pregnancies, but I think the aches and pains have slowly decayed over time. (I also think that women strategically forget how awful things can be, or no one would have more than one baby!) Additionally, I don't think she suffered from as much nausea...and that is when I am frustrated that those genes didn't get passed down. Perhaps upon our "reveal" in December (barring another healthy 4 weeks), I will have a number of new ears eager to listen, and will be surrounded by a bunch of "counselors."

I may be the only Bozo on the pregnancy bus in regards to my family and close friends, but when the bus stops (and I hope sooner than later!), and one of those girls gets on, I am more than ready and eager to share in the experience (we'll just have to sit in the front; the bumps in the back aren't the best for nausea).


I am grateful for our dryer! For as long as I can remember, I have always made sure my pants make a b-line for a drying rack after the washer, even if it meant going to high school on occasion with crunchy jeans. There is something about tight pants that makes my skin crawl. That, and shoes that are too tight. It is almost a sense of "claustrophobia." Recently, with the advent of my rapid weight loss, I have realized that instead of buying new pants that I will never be able to fit into again after I get over this hump, I can just take my closet full of pants, and run them through the dryer. They don't get "claustrophobia" tight, and tend to loosen after a few hours, but when I first slip on a warm pair of almost fitting pants, I feel happy.

I am grateful that Eric is getting to spend the weekend in North Carolina with the ATC guys for a mini running vacation. Of course I miss him, but I think it is important that we both continue to engage in activities by ourselves that make us happy. Of course, I have already made plans to go shopping and take a few walks with friends.

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