Tag Archives: anxiety

In a Shocking Turn of Events, I Am No Glowing Goddess

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We’re pregnant! With a girl! (Which is great, as long as she is nothing like me).

We’re definitely starting to feel the excitement now that we are entering the second trimester and I no longer want to Linda Blair vomit all over town and have stopped drooling like Homer Simpson at a pig roast (oh, you didn’t know involuntary drooling was a pregnancy symptom? Well, neither did I until I got up to pee for the 47th time one night and essentially slipped in a pool of my own saliva).

So on that note, hey, here’s something no one tells you: the first trimester fucking blows. No, I’m kidding. Tons of people DO tell you that, minus those goddess-moms who feel great and glowy from day 1, but let’s be real, I’m not friends with those people. Because ew.

So yeah, most people say the first trimester is tough but guess who sort of secretly thought she’d be different, based on absolutely zero evidence?

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In fact, not only did I have zippity do dah ZILCH reason to think I’d have an easy first trimester, every thing I’ve experienced in life up to this point perfectly illustrated that I would be literally THE WORST.  My run-of-the-mill non-pregnant existence– like, a day I’d describe as “feeling pretty good”– is essentially already a mild version of pregnancy (exhaustion, stomach issues, headaches, irritability, anxiety, moodiness, profuse sweating, overactive bladder….). So I told myself, based on whatever the opposite of logic is, that because I feel pregnant NORMALLY, when I actually AM pregnant I will feel BETTER. It’s similar to the kind of logic one uses when they’ve had 18 too many tequila shots or are Forrest Gump.

It was just hopeful optimism– something I don’t usually partake in, so I’m not sure why I chose THIS particular circumstance to start lying to myself.

Here’s the logical conclusion that a rational person would come to, and perhaps then wisely prepare herself for– If you feel sort of physically crappy in your day-to-day regular life, in no circumstance are you going to feel LESS crappy when you add a nutrient-sucking fetus into that equation (and by “into that equation” I mean “into YOUR UTERUS.” The uterus that is INSIDE YOUR BODY, GUYS! I will never get over this. The “What’s Happening to My Body Book For Girls” Mom gave me at age 14 did NOT adequately prepare me for understanding how this is a thing humans can and should be doing. It’s fucking Animal Planet over here, except I have to go to a job every day and politely respond to people without vomiting on their face).

So anyway, yeah: “Feel Semi-Crappy Normally + Fetus Monster in Belly = Feel Crappier” is not exactly as obvious, concrete and indisputable as “1 +1 =2” but it’s pretty damn close, Forrest.

So weeks 5-12 were miserable. And I don’t say that to sound ungrateful, because believe me, I know how lucky Eric and I are that this happened for us, and happened so easily (more on that in a future post entitled “My Geriatric Uterus is Wearing a Catcher’s Mitt”). We are of course thankful for that, this is something we very much wanted, and we are both beyond looking forward to being parents (in that terrified-excited kind of way you look forward to riding a super-rickety, still-in-the-test-phase roller coaster that you heard many people have died on).

But I’m not going to sit here and say this early part is magical. If you’re looking for that sentiment, I’m not entirely sure why you read this blog. Maybe this is your first time here and you know nothing about me, so if that’s the case, let me catch you up: My name is Emily. I don’t do whimsy.

So that leads us to the texts below. I was too tired, nauseous, and, quite frankly, sad to do any real writing these past two months, but I did somehow find the time to annoy/harass/alarm/frighten/disgust Eric with every single feeling I experienced as I experienced it. There was no emergency-bathroom situation that he was not a part of because A) THAT’S HOW LOVE WORKS and B) the late Steve Jobs definitely invented iMessage for the purpose of toilet updates in real time, so what am I going to do, NOT honor him?

So below is a chronicle of highlights (and I use that term VERY loosely, because I know of no society that would list “violent dry heave” as a highlight) of the first trimester, through text.

I’ll admit that reading through these was hard because, now that I am in a better place, my assessment is that I sound pretty damn whiny in a lot of these exchanges (and by “exchanges,” I mean me texting novels of complaints and Eric not knowing what to say because there is literally nothing TO say, but I just needed someone to listen and also not divorce me after listening. God bless his soul).

I imagine his face while reading was a mix of this blank-stare-gif-17.gif, this incredulous.gif and this 200w.gif , but he never let me know it, and that’s all that counts. 90% of marriage is knowing how to swallow your feelings and lie convincingly when your partner needs you to.

I actually ended up removing the majority of the sad, exasperated texts because they were just far too frequent, don’t make for great reading, and I think you can get the gist of my mental state by just perusing a few.  And the texts aren’t ALL misery– there’s humor sprinkled throughout, because I’ve done my best to try to laugh when I can, which is SUPER hard when you feel like death, but becomes possible when you have a partner with the temperament, light-heartedness and excitability of a newborn corgi.

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But bottom line– this shit is hard. For ANYONE. Is it harder for someone with mental health issues? I’m honestly not sure. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t had some seriously depressive thoughts these past couple months, but I think early pregnancy can do that to anyone– veteran mental-health-sufferer or not– because the hormone surges are nothing short of batshit insanity. Sprinkle in some isolation (not sharing this HUGE thing going on in your life straight up sucks), the removal of your usual get-through-the-day crutches (coffee, wine, Advil, vigorous exercise, writing, openly venting to anyone who will listen including the internet) and add some persistent anxiety over not having that possible miscarriage that Google (and every Jew) loves to warn you about, and you have a perfect shitstorm for needing emotional life support. I legit don’t know how anyone keeps it together in the first few months (but if you’re one of those people, no judgement at ALL. Just a lot of jealousy and maybe also a touch of spiteful resentment and hatred).

And so if one struggling woman reads this and can relate and feel a bit better about the fact that her early pregnancy is/was no walk in the park either, then I’ve done the job I always set out to do– reach someone with the ugly, vomit-ridden truth.

So here’s what you missed– enjoy!….?

(note: Days refer to when we found out– so Day 2 is the 2nd day we knew we were pregnant)

Day 2 (while at a dentist appointment):

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 Day 3:

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Day 3, later:

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Day 4:

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Day 4,  (meeting my girlfriends for dinner): 

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Day 17,  (once daily vomiting commenced): 

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Day 19

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Day 20

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Day 23:

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Day 25:

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Day 28 (After finding out that my blood type is negative, and if Eric’s were to be positive, I would require an injection)IMG_4723.jpgIMG_4724.jpg

Day 35:

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Day 49 (after a lengthy ultrasound):

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Day 50:

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Day 64 (after finding out it’s a girl):

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Day 65:

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YES, PLEASE!

Me: “I just haven’t been feeling great for the past month. I’m exhausted and unmotivated and just want to hibernate.”

Therapist: “Wine or booze?”

Me: “Oh my god, yes! Please! Both!”

Therapist: “Excuse me?”

Me: “Huh?”

Therapist: “I said ‘winter blues?'”

Me: “Oh….”

Therapist: “What did you think I said?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Just thought you were offering an ACTUAL CONCRETE SOLUTION FOR ONCE.

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But…How?

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Real Story: A guest at our wedding is a friend of Ben Platt’s parents. This guest told Ben’s parents that “You Will Be Found” was our first dance song, and Ben’s parents told Ben, who then very graciously offered to autograph a photo for us.

Story I tell myself: Oh, NBD but Ben Platt reads and loves the blog. Huge fan of mine. He knows I love Dear Evan Hansen and that “You Will Be Found” was our wedding song, so he contacted our photographer and arranged this whole surprise for us because, you know, that’s the kind of thing celebrities do for their fellow celebrity friends.

Story I tell others: One of the two above, depending on how well I know you and your ability to fact-check.

 

Reaching

Therapist: “So it seems like all those travel anxieties you had leading up to your Africa trip were, as usual, in vain, because none of them happened.”

Me: “Ummm….were you listening? I got a violent stomach bug,  vomited across two separate countries/airports/airplanes, spent the whole last leg of the trip exhausted and achy– and I in fact STILL don’t feel like myself.”

Therapist: “Right but your fear is always that you’ll feel sick for no real reason. This was an actual REASON.”

Oh you are really fucking reaching today lady.

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The problem with being crazy is that when you do something “crazy,” everyone thinks you’ve gone crazy

And yes, I’m allowed to refer to my mental illness as crazy but no, you are not. Unless you too have a mental illness, and if so, well then, my crazy kindred, I suggest pouring yourself a specialty drink I like to call “The Crazy Kook’s Cocktail” (spoiler alert: it’s wine straight from the bottle) and enjoying the following texts because I’m sure you’ve had to have similar conversations with your loved ones, which are on the one hand extremely sweet because you know they care, but at the same time make you want to throw your wine-bottle-cocktail against a window because AREN’T I JUST ALLOWED TO BE QUIRKY WITHOUT BEING INSANE?!

For context, I have been weaning off my Prozac (with the VERY close monitoring and responsible care of my therapist) so I think everyone around me is on extra high alert. But (remarkably) I feel totally fine. Well, totally fine for ME. I have an innate baseline functioning status of “meh.”

For more context, please know that I did not just wake up this morning and arbitrarily decide to hack off my hair (although if I did, I still don’t think that’d be insane). The decision to donate my hair is one I made over 5 months ago, and I have since been growing it out, itching for the day I could finally make the cut because I was starting to look like a mermaid (the washed-up on shore, tangled in slimy bramble kind, not the Ariel-singing-on-a-rock kind). So while the “do it yourself” aspect was somewhat spontaneous, the intention to lop off almost a foot of hair had been planned for a while now.

Finally, for clarity, I don’t blame Eric for being initially alarmed. (He also wasn’t the only one– I got an immediate text from Zack, and the only reason I didn’t get one from Mom, I’m sure, is because she is golfing/mahjonging/chardonnay-ing and hasn’t seen the post yet). I know Eric’s concern comes from a place of love (and straight up alarm, because he sort of committed to a long life with me– sucka!). But it is a frustrating byproduct of mental illness that if you do something “kinda weird” while feeling good, it’s a sign you’re losing your goddamn mind.

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So in the end, all is fine, espeically beause we got to remininsce about Eric’s mullet.

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Also, in hidsight and in fairness, I suppose my intial presentation of the situation in that first text was confusing and alarming, but I guess I overestimated how immune Eric is to my eccentricity.

Regardless, in the future, I’d like to spend less time defending my crazy and more time enjoying the fact that what I did was kind of weird, and being weird is awesome. I feel great!

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#ShorthairNOWdontcare (thanks to Jose at Aveda Salon, who actually said I did a pretty decent* home job so SUCK IT).

*He reined in the word “decent” and replaced it with “not terrible, and next time don’t” after he saw how excited I was by his compliment.

 

 

I’m Sure This is Normal

Two days ago, beloved Grandma dies: stay surprisingly positive. Recognize that she was 96, lived a full life, and I was lucky to have had her with me for as long as I did. Feel nostalgic but optimistic.

Tonight, wait over 30 minutes on platform for a subway train: have complete nervous breakdown. Cry in public. Throw shit. Feel like world is ending and nothing is fair. Curse at ceiling.

So yeah I’m fine.

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