Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Hitting Bottom

All day, all I think about is going back home and curling up in bed. On my right side, naturally, because lying on my left side for some reason makes me incredibly nauseous. I'm at work right now, and I just got caught with my head down on my desk. Fortunately, this isn't the kind of thing I'll get in trouble for - just get asked questions that I'm not ready to deal with yet. Last time - yes, here I go again talking about "last time", I'm like some awful company transfer who can't get through the office orientation without saying "At my last office, we did things this way" - well, last time I managed not to tell my co-workers until I was 11 weeks along. They were shocked and amazed that I'd gotten through all the rough parts of the first trimester without them noticing anything, because another co-worker had gone through pregnancy recently too, and had called in sick at least one day a week for the entire nine months. I was really proud of myself for being able to hold it together. Well, guess what? It's 9am, I'm 5.5 weeks pregnant, and I was pseudo-napping at my desk. Guess I'm not holding it together quite as well this time.

But what I really want to talk about today is this couple I know who have a 7-week old baby. They seem, by all appearances and from their own admittance, to be having a really rough time. The baby isn't sleeping much, and when she does it's only for a few minutes at a time. For example, this past weekend, she decided to get into a charming little pattern of nursing for a minute, sleeping for 2 minutes, and then screaming until she was fed again. All day and all night long - no rest for anyone. Mom and Dad look really exhausted and fairly unhealthy, and there's just so little anyone can really do to help. They came over on Saturday and Mom took a brief nap upstairs while we looked after the baby, but to really get back on top of her sleep deprivation she'd have to do something like that every day, and that's just not possible. I'm really starting to see the value of nannies.

What bothers me about this situation is that I can't look at it and point to what this family is doing wrong, or what they need to fix in order for everyone to be functioning better. They are having a really rough time, and there isn't really a solution - it's just something to be endured. That's pretty scary to me, as I can see myself completely falling apart in the same situation. And let's face it, it's likely I will find myself in that same situation, and I won't know what to do! There is no prospect more frightening to me than the blank terror of "not knowing what to do". If I know what to do, I can usually do it (or work towards it), even if it's hard. But to have no solution at hand? To be barely functioning and feeling trapped and lonely and exhausted and maybe resentful and to see no end in sight?

As I re-read that, I see the parallels to how I feel right now.

It's similar - there's nothing I'm doing wrong, nothing I can fix - I just feel lousy, and I'm going to continue feeling lousy for (at least) nine more weeks. That thought just deflates me. There's no solution to this problem, either. There's not even the imagined deus ex machina of a nanny to come rescue me, because who ever heard of a nanny for a woman who hasn't given birth yet? It would sure be nice, though. She could make meals (not for me, since I can't stand to eat anything, but for my husband), tidy the house, do the laundry, maybe rub my feet and encourage me to get my vitamins down despite the nausea. Maybe she could even come to work for me and nap at my desk while I stayed home and zonked out in bed, too. Know anyone who's interested in such a job?

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