Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Pregnant Brain Rant

So there's been this wonderful little side conversation in Maude's comments (okay, between three people one of whom is yours truly) about how my hate-filled rants while writing my dissertation (aka Horror 2007) were helpful and inspiring to others. This has made me feel much better about my writing generally because I've basically felt like I've wasted my life, having dreamt the dream of being a writer since I was seven (and found out that Judy Blume was alive and dividing her time between New York and Taos, rather than dead with all her manuscripts found neatly in a series of drawers) but not having really done it -- that is, not having managed to get a book out ever despite dreams, hopes, and an infinite number of plans to do so. I realize that this is a very product-oriented way of looking at it, but the fact is that despite that my much-younger sister (who has two children of her own) told me to journal about this "magical time," I'm not writing a thing, except right now, to y'all. So the idea that my blogwriting could be helpful and inspiring (especially by being my hate-filled self) has been very uplifting. Especially because my dissertation did not place in the big national award my advisor nominated me for (can you put a nomination on your CV?) and Grad City U did just give the big dissertation award to a creative writer rather than a person who is doing, I don't know, stem-cell research. Don't get me wrong. I love creative writing. I got an MFA myself. But I don't think that it quite makes sense to give a diss award to creative writing when in any given year there's important social science and science research going on. (I certainly don't mean that my diss, which is more or less traditional, should have won. In fact, I don't think my advisor nominated mine.) Anyhow the worst thing about such crapola is that it makes me feel even more like I haven't ever pursued my dream adequately. This is especially bad because I feel as if I'm already a bad mother -- the kind who tells her kid to dream big, but then doesn't provide the concrete example of what that looks like. Of course, the kid whose life I have ruined is merely blueberry-sized, so maybe I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. There may be time to fix things.

This is a perfect example of my pregnant brain at work. Basically, my brain is MIA. Note the circular reasoning and inability to finish a thought in a coherent and straightforward way. But the short version is basically that I'm heartened that people (okay, two people) have found my rant writing useful, because I have more in store. I realize that many of you have had children, but for those of you who haven't and still think it's a magical process, well, I'm here to tell you how miserable the first trimester is.

I'm very lucky. I'm not actually vomiting. And I wouldn't exactly call what I have nausea. But I do know that saltines are my best friends. My tummy area is almost always either crampy, painful, or bloated. Either because I'm eating every bad food I want to or because of "bowel distention," none of my pants are comfortable and some don't button. I'm already pooched out. My back hurts in two places. I can't concentrate on anything. Reading hurts my eyes after a while. You may have heard of a book called Blue Highways. This is all about my swollen and painful breasts. And then there's the bone-crushing tiredness that one very cute book called "bionic fatigue." I'm rarely not tired. Waking up in the morning, I'm tired. If I take a nap, I'm still tired. It's insane. I'm barely doing anything! I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow when I start my SAT prep job training. They are going to think I'm narcoleptic or something. I imagine going off to pee and falling asleep on the john. Needless to say, I have not yet jumped on the social services bandwagon because. . .well. . .I'm too tired. (I know, bad. The candy bars and ice cream I'm eating? Also bad. I don't care. I'm exhausted. This blueberry is sapping my energy. Last week I was out of breath doing my laundry.)

I did, however, manage to call and find out the procedure. First I have to get verification that I'm pregnant. I think I should just bring Absurdist Lover. He can verify that I 1) feel like shit; 2) am totally unreasonable; 3) cry hysterically at just about nothing. That should be verification enough for anyone. Apparently, they prefer more conventional but less reliable confirmation. Like my going to a free clinic and getting a pregnancy test. I have an 800 number for that now. Then I have to go to the social services office with my ID, social security card, and either paystubs (yeah right -- by the time I get paystubs from Adventure U, I'll be sending this kid off to college) or an account balance (in the event of "living off savings") or a letter from those family members who have been loaning me money. I really feel like I should be able to waltz in there and say: "look, I realize you don't get many PhDs here and certainly I have decent income-earning potential at certain times of year, if I'm willing to move across or out of the country, but right now I'm living in a small camper in a campground trying to make ends meet out of practically nothing. How many pregnant women in here have recently had to flush out her camper's clogged waste system with a stick and a coat hanger for three hours?"

I'll let you know how that goes.

Basically, I'm just a freak, trying to just slog through this trimester. Exercise is a total joke. I'm exhausted if I walk to the corner and back. I spend a lot of time on mental discipline, trying to not think about how Absurdist Lover's first wife (if I even get to be the second wife -- lack of money has stalled all plans) was probably angelic and glowing and uncomplaining through her entire pregnancy and whole fucking life. Why he loves me I have no idea. Things were good before yesterday because I was in this cloudy dreamy high (the crest of the hormone rollercoaster), when I totally flipped out over (lack of) money (Adventure U's final paycheck coming into my account days and days inexplicably late). Money problems make me crazy. Pregnancy makes me crazy. So I was double crazy last night, crying hysterically and totally taking Absurdist Lover's smallest comment the wrong way. Even when I realized that I was being totally insane that just made me more upset and insane. Oh yes. I'm a glowing happy mother-to-be. What a crock!

I woke up this morning at an unbelievable 7am, the time my grandmother's surgery was scheduled for, panifully tired, but unable to get back to sleep. My mother has already called me this morning and told me Grandma is in recovery and wanting to go home. Her nickname with her doctors is "tough lady," and she has a reputation for being difficult. So despite that Mom has been trying to round up people to be there and has brought Sees Candies and stuff to lure the nurses and hospital staff to treat my grandmother well (what can I say? she's got that crappy insurance that is basically the assembly line of medical care), they'll probably be glad to get rid of her. Then Mom's fun with dressing and cleaning the wounds and stuff begins.

Can I just say that Mr. Tabby is adorable? He's sleeping on a perch of many piled up boxes and coats with his legs hanging off the side. He also sat and purred on my belly today, though it hurt and I had to get him off me.

Absurdist Lover is out paying late bills and will one day come back with a lox and bagel sandwich. If he's smart, he'll run off and not come back. I hope I can fall back asleep soon. I'm craving Taco Bell again. A burrito supreme. I ate one yesterday. Whatthefuck?!


Maude said...

i believe you can put nominations on your c.v. i see it all the time--"nominated for this, finalist for that..."

our favorite male friend (you know, former officemate of my ex-boyfriend, lived below me for a while), he put his diss nomination on his c.v. i mean, i think it's entirely legit to put down nominations because you can trace back to the person who nominated you, so it can always be checked out.

yeah, i meant to post that comment like a week ago.

Earnest English said...

hey, I meant to blog like a week ago!

okay, next time I get to my CV, if my damn laptop ever works again (my battery went out and now it's backordered -- gah!), I'll write something like: "nominated for Field Big Award by ever-hopeful Advisor but all I got out of it was yet another rejection from Big Field Person who always seems to be in charge when it's time to reject me for something. "

Then again, maybe I won't.