This is Clara.  I saw this picture yesterday and I wanted to be Clara right then.  Her mother posted this as they were returning home from a family vacation in Gatlinburg.  I am guessing this was taken after several hours of driving with several more to go and the boredom had set in hardcore.  Apparently, she was amusing herself by giving her toes voices and putting on a show for herself with them.  Her mother rightfully found this absolutely adorable and graciously posted it on Facebook for all of us to share.  I saw it and was immediately whisked back to childhood – or at least I wished I could be.  Last night, Clara’s mother and I exchanged a few texts about it and before long I was literally in tears.  It was just so sweet and made me miss Greta being a little kid like that and miss ME being a little kid like that – and Clara’s mother loving and appreciating her kids just made me melt…I am surprised I am not tearing up writing this now.   I just loved it and I was overcome by the emotion of it all.  Explaining my tears to Jay proved problematic, however, as I could tell he wanted to just pat my head and say, “there, there,” but I think he was afraid to touch me for fear of either causing a complete meltdown or that I might actually bite him for being condescending.  His fears were probably valid. 

It would be a tad embarrassing, but I might be able to handle it if my heightened emotional state centered on only the sweetness of childhood and a mother appreciating the little things.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  This was not the first time I had teared up yesterday, but the other time was out of sheer and immediate rage for some reason I can hardly remember right now.  I also suffered from bouts of silliness yesterday that were downright ridiculous.  And there was the irritability.  My frustration over the smallest things, like the phone ringing more than I thought it should, even though the calls were not for me and I didn’t have to answer the line, all I had to do was hear the damn thing ring. Over and over and over.  Maddening!  And some of you may have seen my posts about my cubicle neighbor playing her music and taking calls on speaker (which she is doing right now).  She is a nice lady and I like her, I really do, so I would never say anything, but it drove me crazy before raging hormones.  The hormones apparently make the irritation worse.  Needless to say, I was grouchy yesterday.  I am not sure today is shaping up much better.  I also think I literally jumped up and down clapping my hands when Jay came in and brought me Jello Chocolate Pudding mix and milk to make it with at about 10p last night.  This baby is obviously driving me insane.

I cannot stop it.  My emotions are just out there.  Constantly.  Controlling them is like having four untamed horses hooked to a stagecoach with me trying to steer them.  Once one is placid another goes berserk.  They may be fine and then all the sudden one jerks and the others then follow suit.  Before you know it that stagecoach is headed for a cliff and I am pulling my arms out of my sockets trying to reign them in.  No one can help me… they are just watching gape mouthed at this run away thing, crossing themselves in appreciation that they are not me.

I am starting to worry that I am going to actually cry at work.  A couple of my co-workers know I am pregnant, but my boss does not.  I am only 8 weeks and I want to wait a while before telling him – like 2 more months or until I am showing.  It is not that he will have a problem with it, he really is a nice guy and will be fine, but I just don’t want to have the conversation.  And, as a five star procrastinator, I can drag something I don’t want to do out for an impressively long time.  But if something goes very wrong and he finds me all teary-eyed or purple with irrational rage, I guess I may have to tell him.  And the one thing I want more than anything is to be able to show that I can handle this.  I can handle this pregnancy so well that I went through the initial suffering without you even knowing it, so of COURSE I can handle a newborn and come back to work without it affecting my abilities and my performance.  I have GOT this.  (And please, God help me, I have to come back to work because, screw my pathetic salary, I am the healthcare provider for my family and that is worth waaaay more than the little paycheck I get every other week!)

I have not had morning sickness, although I am getting very sensitive to smells – especially bad ones – and I am not having any other physical symptoms I can really point out.  But this emotional stuff is crazy!  Oh, and the dreams.  They are vivid – and I remember them in detail.  I suppose it must have to do with changes in brain chemistry.  If the dreams are good or funny (like last night), it is fun.  If they are about the death/torture of my immediate family and my powerlessness, it is horrifying.  And they don’t fade much at first so, good or bad, I have to live with the memory of it for a while. 

I was talking to a really good friend of mine a while back before I was pregnant. She and I go way back (like 7th grade way back) and I suppose she has been privy to some of my more deep seated issues.  She is a neuroscientist and can easily talk over my head sometimes, but I was telling her that I thought my personal brain chemistry must be off.  I have been off and on anti-depressants many times over the years.  I have gone through periods where I can literally remember thinking that I simply could not understand how people make it through a day totally sober or unmedicated.  Then there are times (like now) where I cannot fathom not being sober and unmedicated.  I have been treated by doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists.  I have also been through my share of counseling – and probably the shares of at least three other people as well.  I have thought myself insane on occasion and other times I have been convinced that everyone else is insane and I am the only one who isn’t.  Some of it is a dramatic personality coupled with a bit of a self esteem complex and an anxiety disorder.  Some of it is depression.  Some of it is genetic in that I come from a family of addicts going back generations – alcohol and God being the drugs of choice.   Regardless, we all have our issues, right?  And we all have personal responsibility and responsibility to others regardless what those issues are.  At some point all of us do the same thing, with different levels of success – we suck it up and deal. 

I suppose I have no choice but to do the same now.  Sure, I can easily blame the pregnancy for my hormonal ups and downs – and it is even true.  There is a certainly lack of control over my emotional state that is just as physiological as vomiting at the smell of syrup was when I was pregnant with Greta.  It would not have mattered if I had been at a State dinner at the White House, had they served pancakes, I would have vomited in my lap at the table upon first whiff, the response was that instantaneous.  There was no feeling of “I’m going to be sick,” there was no excusing myself, it was an immediate and completely uncontrollable response caused by my pregnancy.  I suppose the hormonal emotions are allowing me a bit of dignity that the vomiting did not, so I need to count my blessings.  

So please, as you read this blog, keep in mind that my sanity is a tenuous thing when I am alone in my body.  But, while I am very happy to share my body with a new little person, for the time being there is something of a possession going on here.  I am blessed to be able to feel emotions on such a visceral level, but it does have its drawbacks.  However, right now I am grateful to Miss Clara and her toes for giving me a moment of truly unmitigated delight, and I am even more grateful that I got to experience it on such an amplified level.  I really hope she enjoyed that lollipop!

  1. Bethany White said:

    This was so precious! I’m so glad my little sprite made you smile. And fyi, she loves the thought of being “famous”.

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