The Guilt Factor

I have been noticeably absent from this blog these past few weeks for a reason, one that my husband has chastised me for considering the blog is supposed to be about honestly charting my experience of this pregnancy for the sake of the future banana (that’s what size the baby has grown to according to my iPhone app, BabyBump).

Although my immediate close family may think otherwise, I don’t like to complain and I really don’t have much patience for complainers. Sure, I like to vent and bitch about things from time to time—especially about my husband’s inability to find anything in the vast black hole that is our fridge, among other things. But on the whole, I find listening to personal complaints tedious, so why publicly convey them here?

Plus, there’s the guilt factor. Simply put, I didn’t want to make Heidi feel any guiltier about having me as her surrogate than I suspect she already does.

The problem is that pregnancy really tests your ability to resist one temptation – to tell everyone to go to hell. And I’m not even in the dreaded third trimester yet. And still, I want to literally strangle people for the most minor of infractions.

Cases in point. Someone congratulated me yesterday for being “almost done” to which I responded, “Uh, no [you stupid idiot], I’m only half way through [do the f—ing math].”  Everyone asks me, “How do you feel?” with looks of deep empathy as if I just lost a beloved pet. “Great!” I respond while thinking “How the hell do you think I feel? Can’t sleep through the night without trekking to the bathroom three times, and the baby is now painfully stomping on my cervix as though she somehow manufactured special torture devices in there.” “I don’t know how you do it!” mentioned a few after two back-to-back parties I helped plan. I just smile, though I want to reply, “I’m not. I’m overwhelmed, over-committed and depleted. Feel free to bring me dinner or take my kids so I can just take a nap for once!” And my personal favorite, the people who only think to ask after they start fondling my stomach, “Do you mind?” “Yes, in fact. Do you mind if I grab your boob? Hands off!”

Most of these well-meaning people have been pregnant at one time in their life. Don’t they remember how it felt? You have little patience. You’re tired. You’re cranky. You snap more often at your kids, your husband. By nightfall, you run out of energy to do simple tasks like fix dinner. You start to have trouble bending over, walking up hills, and standing for any length of time. Your diet is horrendous. Good wholesome foods are replaced by anything you can get your hands on quickly that won’t make you hurl. Meals that seem relatively harmless while consuming later leave you up all night with gas pains and heartburn. And your stress-relieving standbys, coffee and alcohol, are forbidden.

There are good moments. Feeling this little living creature kick and move inside you is impossible to describe. It’s just a delicious feeling. And knowing that at the end of the day, this banana is going to bring so much joy to all the people I love so dearly, is what carries me through. And the compliments, which admittedly I find uncomfortable to hear, do remind me that perhaps I now have a few more karma / mitzvah points in my favor. Perhaps it will wipe away all that fast-living I did back in my 20s. And all the naughty things I still have yet to do.

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