Confession Thursday with the Green-Eyed Monster

November 30, 2006

When I was attending my small Christian college in a nowhere town, one of the biggest social occasions for the girls was a candlelighting. I don’t know if anybody else does this, so I’m going to assume it was unique to our school. After a girl got engaged–which happened pretty much on a weekly basis–she would only tell one or two of her closest friends. These friends were responsible for advertising an anonymous candlelighting, finding a candle, and tying her engagement ring to it with a colorful ribbon. On the appointed evening, most of the girls in the dorm would gather, especially the ones who were acquainted with the various girls who were rumored to be the subject of the evening’s candlelighting.

The group would gather in a circle in the dark and pass the lit candle around while singing an appropriate love or wedding song. Each girl would peek at the lovely engagement ring, ooh and aah excessively over it, and hold her breath as she waited to discover which girl would blow out the candle, claiming the ring as her own. Once that moment happened, every girl present would give the lucky girl hugs and wait for her to tell her engagement story.

I went to my share of candlelightings, each time with a touch of envy. It was expected of me, though, so I continued going. As the candle circulated through the dark room, I would have fantasies about my own candlelighting. Sometimes I would envision the current boyfriend sneaking into the room, leaning over my shoulder as I happened to have the candle and blow it out for me, and then proposing to me in front of all my friends. That never happened. In fact, my candlelighting itself never did. I always put on a good show of being happy for my newest engaged friend, but I left the room more lonely than I had entered, and that pit of jealousy in my stomach only grew.

I graduated from college without ever getting my candlelighting. That was one of the saddest parts of my graduation. I knew I would never have another opportunity for one. That was one of life’s milestones that had passed me by. I’d lost my chance to be the center of attention for something so wonderful, and even if I ended up happily married later in life, I couldn’t regain that lost moment. Only my fantasies about my candlelighting remain.

I wonder if the only reason I wanted a candlelighting so badly was the peer pressure. We were at that stage in life when boyfriends, fiances, and husbands were most important to us. When we didn’t get them in that order during those few college years, it felt as though we weren’t a part of the crowd.

Now that I’m married, my missed candlelighting seems unimportant. I have the perfect man, so it doesn’t matter much that I didn’t get to announce it in such a dramatic way. I haven’t changed, however. My desire for that wonderful attention has transferred to the next stage of my life.

I feel exactly as I did at every candlelighting every time I hear or read of another woman’s pregnancy. I desperately want to be happy for them, and in a way I am, but I’m so jealous I could be sick. I want it to be my turn. I fantasize about what it will be like when I read that positive pregnancy test, how to tell my husband, my family. I have several different blog entries announcing the good news all but written in my head.

I don’t want to begrudge my friends, even in blogworld, their good news, but I’m ready for it to be my turn. I want that attention. I’m so scared that this will be just another milestone that will pass me by and that like my candlelighting, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to experience it.

Well, here ends NaBloPoMo. I suppose it’s good that I was so dedicated to blogging on a regular basis before the month started. I didn’t have much trouble with it, other than being out of town. I’ll probably keep blogging on a nearly daily basis, like I did before. Don’t go away!

Questioning My Own Qualifications

November 28, 2006

I’ve finally figured out that I’m really too selfish to be a mother. It might have been nice if I’d realized this before getting pregnant, but I don’t know if it would have made a difference then. I think I’ve spiraled downward into my selfishness since getting pregnant. I was able to set it aside most of the time when I was teaching because I had responsibilities that I had to fulfill in order to receive my paycheck and keep my job. And let me tell you, that paycheck is quite the driving force to overcome even the worst aspects of my personality.

But now my responsibilities are minimal, and it’s difficult for me to push myself to do anything beyond that absolute minimum. I only feel the tiniest twinge of guilt when I roll over and go back to sleep in the morning, even when I hear PJ crying in the background. It won’t hurt him to wait another half hour to eat breakfast. Or I’ll let him cry in his gated play area when he’s sick of playing while I finish whatever I was doing before.

It bothers me that I am able to disregard some of PJ’s desires in order to follow my own desires during the day. It bothers me even more that PJ doesn’t seem to mind at all. He might cry at the time, but the second I pick him up or start playing with him, he’s fine again. If he weren’t so quick to forgive me my faults, I might just work harder to get rid of them.

Yet I’m still so willing to consider bringing another child into the mix; I’m even anxious for that to happen. Do I really think things will get better with two children? I’ll have two children pulling me two different ways and doubling my responsibility every day. I’ll feel twice as guilty for not meeting all the needs of two different children.

Either that, or having twice the responsibility would force me to set aside my own desires and selfishness twice as often. A second kid might just push the selfishness out of me altogether. The way I see it, another kid will either make my problem twice as bad or twice as good. I’ll play the optimist this time and hope for the second option. I’m too anxious for another baby to consider the first. I’ll overanalyze myself right out of a baby if I do that.

Under the Wire

November 25, 2006

I had all day long to blog, with plenty of free time to write something, and here I am with ten minutes left in the day, finally sitting down to blog. Vacations throw me so far off my normal routine that even things I love, like blogging, get neglected.

I’ve been debating what to write about tonight. I have something absolutely perfect for Confession Thursday, but I don’t know that it can wait that long. Maybe I’ll just write about it anyway.

We’ve only been trying to conceive–sort of–for a little over a month, and already I’m starting to feel that incredible jealousy of those who are pregnant. I just found out that a friend of mine is pregnant with her third child, apparently a surprise pregnancy. I was reluctant to comment on her blog when she wrote about it because I was afraid the envy of her would be obvious.

I don’t want to dislike women who are pregnant. I’ve been very blessed already, getting pregnant the first time so easily. Why should I begrudge others getting pregnant at all, even if the kid was unexpected or the conception was easy? Why do I always have to be so special all the time? It’s not good enough that I had one easy conception; I want two, or three. And two years-ish isn’t close enough together; I wanted them a year or less. And I had one easy birth; now I want another. And PJ wasn’t preemie enough for me; if I have to have a preemie, it had better be the life-threatening kind.

I’m hoping I was taking that mindset a little too far there. But I’m afraid I’m not. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing kind of girl. It’s not good enough unless I have the best, or the worst, or any other extreme. Then I feel like I’ve failed if I do something great, but not the best. That’s where this inappropriate envy comes from.

I suppose it’s a good thing that I recognize this trait in myself. I can contain it and laugh it away instead of letting it eat me up. I did finally leave a comment on my friend’s blog congratulating her. It only took me about a week. Eventually my turn will come as well, even if there’s nothing extraordinary about it. At least I can be comforted by the fact that my son truly is the cutest kid ever.

I Hate Being Right

November 13, 2006

At least sometimes I do. Go back and read yesterday’s post really fast so you’ll know what I’m talking about today.

The good news is that the hormones have settled down some from yesterday. After a night spent in ultra-hormonal dreams, obviously an extension of my emotionally hormonal day, I woke up to discover I had started after all.

Yes, just as i had predicted.

So…that means I’m not pregnant, which I’ve been saying for weeks. It’s also six weeks on the dot from last time, which verifies my hesitation to test so early. This is actually right at the interval it’s been the last few cycles, so the erratic cycles since PJ was born were a result of breastfeeding, not the birth control. That means once I wean, I should hopefully go back to my pre-pregnancy regular cycles, not these weird six-weekers. I guess at least they’ve been regular these last few times, even if they’re not the regular intervals I want.

Anyway, it’s slightly disappointing. I was sort of hoping yesterday that the hormones were pregnancy hormones after all, even though nothing else felt pregnant. I’m glad I know either way, though. And I get another month (six weeks?) of trying.

I’ve been trying to figure out what I should do. I don’t want to get more involved with determining exactly when I ovulate. M still wants to leave it up to chance, so I need to use logic, not relatively invasive procedures, to figure out when I’m most fertile. I know if I go back to my normal pre-pregnancy cycles, then I’d ovulate about 2-2 1/2 weeks after starting. If I’m still on this weird cycle, though, then I guess it’s closer to 4 weeks after starting. Should we just try at both of those times? I’m betting whether or not I arrange it that way, that’s probably what will happen. I guess it can’t hurt to cover all my bases anyway, though.

In the meantime, I think I’ll work on weaning PJ a little faster. He’s getting less and less interested all the time. Maybe by the next cycle, that will all be in the past. So maybe another two months before I find out I’m pregnant, if I get pregnant at the first ovulation after weaning? Ugh, that sounds like an awful long time to wait all of a sudden.

Hormones from Hell

November 12, 2006

Today I have been more hormonal that I can remember. M claims it’s comparable to when I was pregnant, but I don’t even remember being this crazy then.

It started with having to wake up earlier than I was hoping. I’m already cranky when I’m tired, and throw in feeling slightly under the weather, and I’m impossible to deal with.

Then add a liberal dose of hormones. I’m surprised no gory murders took place around here today. I’m probably not fully responsible for any actions I make today, and M might as well have turned on me in one of my worse moments.

I was able to go from perky and chatty to sobs in a matter of seconds. Poor M. He couldn’t say anything right, as I was likely to take any comment personally and lash out at him.

I hate myself when I’m like this. I hate hurting those closest to me, especially when they’re doing everything possible to help me feel better. Instead of getting rewarded for that thoughtfulness, M got punished–repeatedly.

If I’m really not pregnant–and I don’t feel like I am–then I’d better start pronto. I doubt either M or I can take any more days like this right now.

This’ll Jinx Me

November 8, 2006

I hate to say anything. I may not be particularly supersititious, but occasionally I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to that stuff than I’ll admit. For that reason, I’m hesitant to say what’s on my mind. Any other time I’ve confessed my hopes, they’ve been dashed shortly thereafter. So I begin to wonder if saying something ruined my odds of said event happening.

This event, of course, is the conception I’m anxious for. Even though we only started trying–sort of–this month, I’ve let my hopes get up repeatedly in the past year. The moment I’ve let myself think that I really could be pregnant, that sealed the deal.

So of course this morning I was randomly hit with a severe case of nausea, unlike anything I’ve experienced in over a year, since I was pregnant with PJ. It hit shortly before a necessary diaper change, naturally, and even the thought of poop nearly sent me running to the bathroom. It passed when I was able to take a short nap and didn’t return all day.

That hasn’t been the end of pregnancy-like symptoms, though. I’ve been having dizzy spells all day. I’ve had a low-grade fever on and off for several days. I haven’t started yet, of course. I woke up with the worst headache of my life yesterday. When I add all these symptoms together, it makes me suspicious yet again.

I’ve learned from my past experiences, though. I’m still not testing yet. If my cycle does like it has the last two times, I shouldn’t expect to start for another week. After that, maybe I’ll test…if the symptoms continue. I’ve been trying not to say anything to M either because he’ll either support my suspicions and get my hopes up more, or he’ll say he doesn’t think I’m pregnant, which will devastate me too that he doesn’t agree with me. I’ve learned there’s no pleasing me in that situation.

So I’m left wondering. And trying to decide whether or not to hope the nausea returns tomorrow.

I’m Over Myself Now

November 4, 2006

Sorry about last night’s post. Can you believe I actually used such lofty words as “integrity” and “responsibilty” in reference to my blogging? Sheesh. I’m actually embarrassed. Thanks for not saying anything to put me in my place. I’m tempted to delete the post and get my humiliating words out of public view. I won’t, though. It might violate the integrity of my blog. Yeah, and don’t miss that sarcasm.

Really, though, I’m not deleting it because I find it interesting to have proof of my ever-changing views of myself. The more mature me of today always blushes at the naive and immature ideas I had yesterday. I’ve recognized this since elementary school even, and now I finally have concrete proof of my increasing maturity, from one day to the next. It’s kind of cool really, even though I am still embarrassed about yesterday.

Well, I was supposed to start earlier this week. I’m a bit amazed at my nonchalance about the whole not-starting thing this time. I haven’t been analyzing every little detail, wondering if that’s the first sign I’m pregnant. I haven’t gone out to get a test. And that’s all with not ever acting like I really expected to start this week.

I have three possible reasons for not starting. Either my body hasn’t readjusted back to normal yet from the birth control, or I’m off because I’m still breastfeeding (although only barely). Or I’m pregnant. I don’t feel pregnant, so I’m betting on one of the first two. It’s just too bad I’m still so hormonal. Maybe I’m not really hormonal, but because I expect to be about now, I’m using that as an excuse to give in to crazy emotions.

I figure I’ll give it another week or two before I do any testing this time. That will give my body time to start if it sticks with the intervals it has the last few cycles. I just can’t bear to test any earlier and be disappointed. I suppose if lots of pregnancy symptoms crop up sooner than that, though, I’ll cave and test early. Still, not likely. I predict that I’m in for another month of lots and lots of sex.

It’s Quiet…Too Quiet

October 28, 2006

Seriously, the quiet is unnerving tonight. M went to bed early, and of course PJ is sleeping, so I’m the only one still awake.

The temperature outside is that perfect balance between hot and cold, so our a/c isn’t running and we don’t have any fans on either. I have all the TV’s off, and even the refrigerator isn’t humming at the moment. The crickets have stopped chirping with the cooler weather, and the neighbor’s dog is inexplicably silent.

I’m jumping at every creak and crack. I can hear M’s snoring/heavy breathing all the way across the house. It’s that quiet.

This is creepy. Almost makes me understand why Halloween happens at this time of year.

On the bright side, it’s only midnight and I’m starting to get sleepy. I’ve already gone through the first few stages of the last few nights’ sleep routine. I fell into a drowsy nap without meaning to about 9:00, then spent my second wind reading. When M collapsed into bed early, I followed him to make sure he was all right. I couldn’t go to sleep, of course, so I headed back out here to do my nightly blogging. If everything follows the usual schedule, I should be asleep within another half an hour or so. Imagine that…falling asleep before 2! I can only dream.

I have been so incredibly tired the last couple of days, like if I let myself stop moving for even a few minutes, I would fall dead asleep. Yet I can’t fall asleep at night–insomnia. I’m still getting enough sleep throughout the day, so I’m not exhausted for lack of sleep. Hmmm, what other reasons are there for such extreme fatigue? One jumps to mind. I hope I’m not reading too much into it, but when I consider the sleepiness in combination with the sore boobs (even though I’m still breastfeeding, they’re more sore than normal), I have to wonder. Those were the first two signs I was pregnant with PJ, and I’m hoping they mean the same thing this time.

I won’t know anything until the middle of next week, though, so I’m trying not to get my hopes up. I’ve had too many false alarms already.

Sure Wish I Was Asleep

October 27, 2006

Here I am again, already breaking my own rules. It’s the middle of the night, and I’m blogging. Don’t worry; I’m not going to attempt any profoud thoughts. I’m just going to complain instead. I should be able to do that while exhausted, right?

I don’t know why it happens, but every so often I get in a rut where I can’t go to sleep at night. Bedtime comes, and I’m dead on my feet…but the second the light is off and M is snoring beside me, I’m wide awake.

Tonight I even fell asleep on the couch for an hour or so while M was working on his computer. I missed the evening news completely. I can’t remember the last time I was so tired (ok, so I can…I was always that sleepy with an infant who didn’t sleep through the night). When I woke up enough to realize I’d been sleeping, I made myself get up to get ready for bed and crash.

Apparently the movement woke me up again, and here I am, hours later, still struggling to get drowsy enough to sleep.

It doesn’t help that the stupid leg problem I’ve been having on and off for the past few weeks came back with a vengeance tonight. I don’t want to move, but not moving makes them hurt worse. So I move, and then they hurt worse anyway. I think the legs are part of the reason I can’t sleep.

Of course, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure the last few times I had these insomniac episodes, I was PMS-ing. My mom has suggested the insomnia may be a result of hormones. I don’t know what I think about that, if it is the case this time. I’m not scheduled to start for another week almost, so it’s a little early to be feeling the effects of those hormones. Unless, of course, there’s another reason for my hormone levels to be screwy. Man, I hope so! I’d take insomnia over morning sickness any day!


October 23, 2006

M and I finally talked frankly last night about this whole trying to conceive thing. Although we are kinda sorta trying, it’s not quite as I’d assumed it was. M admitted we’re not taking precautions not to get pregnant because he knows I want another kid and now is a good enough time for another. In other words, he’s not excited by the thought of another, but he agreed long ago to have another so he’s following through with the promise. I think he also thinks that if he fulfills the obligation to have another now, then I’ll stop pressuring him about it.

I’ll stop pressuring him when he stops pressuring me to go back to work.

I strongly suspect at some point after having a second kid, I’ll feel ready and even anxious to have a third. I’ve always wanted a large family. At one point I thought I wanted more like six kids. I doubt now that I could handle that many, but I also know two probably won’t be enough for me. When we were dating, I told M I wanted four. He said two. We agreed to compromise on three. Now two is the compromise? I don’t get it, and I don’t like it.

I keep hoping that PJ and the next one will turn out to be such wonderful and charming kids that M will decide he wants another. Or maybe this next one will be twins and he won’t have a choice about a third kid.

As much as he claims sometimes that he doesn’t want more than two kids, he still slips and mentions what-ifs about the next pregnancy. For example, if the next one is as bad as the first was and if the next one is early too, we’ll definitely stop at two. Doesn’t that imply we might not stop at two? (By the way, I agree with him. I’m not suffering like that if it looks like it will be every time, and I’m not going to knowingly endanger any more kids’ lives with prematurity.)

So I’m left not knowing whether to be aggravated that we’re kinda sorta trying for what will possibly be my last baby or to be hopeful that a third isn’t altogether ruled out. I suppose that’s looking too far into the future. I guess I’ll take my own advice (to M even) and play it by ear, focusing on one kid/pregnancy at a time.

By the way, how weird is this? If my cycle returned to normal right after quitting the birth control, I could be pregnant even now and not know it. I’m crossing my fingers!