Also bewildering is the hormonal shift in my emotional balance. I have been, how shall we say... a bit on the crazy side. It is disconcerting to firmly grasp that under normal circumstances whatever has just happened would not normally bother me that much and at the same time to be seething with anger or bawling. Whatever is going on physiologically is enough to make my feelings careen into uncharted disorder but not enough to make me unaware of how deranged I am. It's difficult to know how precisely to think about such a state of affairs. Because of my spiritual beliefs I believe that we as human beings are more than just the sum of the biochemical firings of our gray matter, so it's a metacognitive challenge to deal with the state of my physical body having such an obvious effect on the state of my emotions/soul/spirit/what-have-you.
And I'm starting to have trouble sleeping, which is no doubt contributing to my mental and emotional issues. This too is really common; hormones running amok and getting up to pee multiple times and growing larger and unwieldy all conspire to place a good night's sleep out of reach for many pregnant women. The pregnancy books seem to largely imply that the sleep issue is all in my head (worry about impending motherhood, etc), which makes me want to go all River Tam on them. I mean, yes, there is some stress in my life right now (feeling out of place here in Dallas, soon I will be mothering TWO tiny individuals) but honestly I think the sleep issues are exacerbating such stress, not the other way around. I'm experimenting with exercising more and cutting out daytime naps in the hopes that I will sleep better at night. So far, I can tell you that I am much more sleepy come 8pm but the jury is still out on whether I will end up being more rested.
So to sum up, pregnancy kind of sucks. And at the end of it, there's labor, which is also not so great. Babies, on the other hand-- babies are really fantastic. I love babies, and toddlers, and children, and all that, and I love being a mother. This has been the most interesting, fulfilling, challenging thing I've ever spent my energy and time and intellect doing. I know that we are really fortunate to have gotten pregnant twice without trouble or heartache or medical intervention, and I do count it as a huge blessing in our life. Being pregnant again does make me think more deeply about growing our family in the future, though. Rob and I have always been really open to adoption. Before we started trying to conceive, we talked about what we would do if we had trouble. We definitely had unity on this; we were willing to try something like Clomid but weren't willing to try something like IVF. We would adopt. I know that I would have mourned missing out on the life experience of pregnancy but neither one of us really cares that much about having a genetic link to our children. Heck, we don't care if we have the same skin color as our children. I know that the process of adopting a child is long and challenging and painful, as our friends James and Kim can currently attest to, so I don't mean to imply that we would adopt a child because it's easier. Rather, why would we have a third biological child when we're concerned about the problem of already-existing children without families and the environment and I don't have any desire to be pregnant again? I think my biological drive to procreate has been sated at this point and I can consider these other issues. So since this is most likely my last pregnancy (although hopefully not our last child), I will attempt to live in the moment and appreciate the beautiful things about being pregnant, to look beyond the physical difficulties and remember that there is a tiny new human being growing inside of me, a teensy passenger who I will be lucky enough to count as a member of my family and to kiss and hold and know from the first moments of her life.