Not At My Best

I don’t know what changed. A due date is really no different than any other day late in pregnancy. But since my due date passed, I have hit a wall. A switch has been thrown and I seem to have reached a breaking point.

I don’t need this baby to be born right now. I can be patient and let this baby stay snug inside until we’re both ready for the big entrance into the world. I know that while pregnant, I maintain a special connection with this child that I will never again experience. Everywhere I go, this child is with me. Every time this baby moves, I am moved too. This baby knows the sound of my heart, this baby relies on my body for protection. While pregnant, I am the most important thing to this child. I am this child’s everything.

And until this baby is born, I can also be my bigger boy’s entire world. Although my love could never be divided when this new baby enters our family, my time certainly will be. So here I am faced with this perfect opportunity to drink in all the time I can with my boy. I am reminded each day that it is my responsibility to make these last Mommy-Cameron only days be as special as possible. Our family will soon change, and it will be a wonderful change, but it will also be different.

 

And yet, I feel as though I have nothing left. Exhaustion is taken to a new extreme most days. My patience, which I usually pride myself in, is nearly non-existent. The level of discomfort in my body has sky-rocketed. Pregnancy, motherhood, and life in general just seems so overwhelming right now.

I am overwhelmed with a side-order of guilt. Biggie sized.

Guilt every time I sit down. Guilt each time I turn on the television to entertain my son. Guilt that the kitchen isn’t clean and that supper hasn’t yet been started and the playroom desperately needs to be swept. Guilt that I can’t pick up my son each time he asks to be carried. Guilt that I can’t play with my son like he wants to be played with. Guilt that when he says “[c]‘Mon Mama!” that my initial reaction is to snap and stay right where I am. Guilt that I’m not taking the time to sing and snuggle and pay attention to this baby in my belly like I did with his older brother…

Guilt that there is always more to be doing – more that I just can’t find it in me to do.

Upon hearing that today was a hormonal, emotionally charged day, a Twitter friend replied:

This is such a perfect way to describe how I am feeling. Like a mother animal who just needs to sneak away and be left alone right before giving birth, I find myself desiring an escape. Just a simple, dark, quiet retreat until this baby decides to emerge. Is that so hard to ask?

It is. It is so hard to ask. Because the reality is, life goes on. My family goes on. My role as a mother and a provider goes on. I can’t simply run away from it, even if my attitude already seems checked out. I may feel like I need a break, but my little boy needs me. My baby needs me. My family needs me.

Even when I’m not at my best.

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About Laura ORourke

Laura is a working Mom of two (but soon to be three) living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She juggles work, blogging, and life at home with her husband Dan and two sons Cameron (age 4) and Gavin (age 2). When she has time, she can be found reading, writing, snapping photos, or awkwardly running. Laura has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 10 Mom Bloggers by multiple publications, including Reader's Digest. Keep up with the fun by following @LauraORourke on Twitter or liking Mommy Miracles on Facebook. Like what you see? Have something to add? Be sure to leave a comment!

Comments

  1. Tweepwife
    Twitter:
    says:

    I think you’re being hard on yourself. Your body and mind are turning inward, getting ready for the labour and intensity of experience that birth requires. The floors will wait. You are gathering strength for what lies just ahead. Rest.

    • Thank you. This post has a million “side posts” that are written in my mind – how I know a lot of this is purely hormonal. This entire pregnancy I’ve remained quite level-headed and haven’t felt the emotional tug of hormones like I did all throughout Cameron’s pregnancy. But yesterday and today, when life kind of weighed down on me, everything just started getting really overwhelming. This afternoon I bawled for no apparent reason. I just needed to get it out. So, I know that part of this is just the stage I am at in my pregnancy. I also know that I need to slow down and allow my body the rest and relaxation it needs right now – in fact, my body pretty much insists on it. But it is hard to slow down MORE than I already have. It is a mental tug of war between my will and my body. It is hard for me to feel physically restful when I see clutter all around me.

      I think this weekend will be good for me. My family will be down. Maybe the baby will come. Maybe not.

      Anyway, thank you for your comment. I’m just trying to bring myself to that point where I can rest and gather strength. I’ll get there! :)
      Laura recently posted..Not At My BestMy Profile

  2. I know exactly how you feel – except not as bad. I know the feeling of desperation and almost panic that the baby will NEVER come out and you will stay pregnant forever and you will never be a good mother ever again. And I never even REACHED my due date for either baby! So taking what I remember feeling and multiplying it by due date means that you are extra on my thoughts and prayers these days Laura. I can’t wait to hear your wonderful news!
    Emily recently posted..Asian [Inspired] Noodle SoupMy Profile

    • Thank you so much Emily! I definitely appreciate the thoughts and prayers! Going through it once already, I KNOW that there will be a baby in my arms very soon (even though it seems so surreal), but man-oh-man do I feel like this pregnancy is compounding with everything else making me feel overwhelmed with simply everything! It is like everything in my life is 40 weeks, and 50+ lbs pregnant.

      Soon. It will be over so soon. And then I’ll just have to deal with different challenges! :D
      Laura recently posted..Not At My BestMy Profile

  3. Awww you have every right to feel that way…it’s so hard at the end of pregnancy and especially after your due date has come and gone…I hope the baby makes an appearance this weekend!
    Natalie recently posted..The Bond of MotherhoodMy Profile

    • Thanks Natalie! Pregnancy takes SO much out of a person, even early on in a pregnancy. No baby showed up on the weekend, but I finally feel *now* like it could be any day! :)
      Laura recently posted..AmbiguityMy Profile

  4. Let go of the guilt. You are not neglecting your son or your family. You are awaiting the rhythm of your body, and that requires a level of patience that none of us fully understand. Cameron will not be scarred because you’re not playing with him the way both of you would like, or because you’re not singing or snuggling with him as you usually do. He won’t even remember this very brief moment in time before his younger sibling is born. You will, but hopefully, not with guilt at all.

    Cherish your time with him, absolutely. I understand where you’re coming from. As I snap at my 4-year old because my patience is waning (at 34 weeks, mind you), I hear in my head a similar voice you’re hearing “Oh, Kate. Your time with just her is so short, can’t you find the patience?” And I try to. But, those moments won’t be lessened simply because you snapped or weren’t on the floor, or left dishes in the sink or didn’t pick up the toys, or missed out on a snuggle opportunity. They’re still there. And they’re still cherished.

    Rest your mind, Mama. You’ll need it very soon, if not already. Safe travels to your little one, and safe delivery for you.

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement. Definitely the hardest thing I have been dealing with is how short my fuse has been lately. Things are great and then Cameron doesn’t listen, like a two-year-old is apt to do, and I lose any patience I had. I am glad I am not alone. I also know this is just part of the process and eventually I will learn how to be a mother to two and how to be patient with two. So many learning opportunities for me! :)

      These days, I turn on a movie for Cameron and together we sit in the chair and snuggle. I am given an opportunity to sit and rest, I don’t have to be on the floor or running around with Cameron, but we can be together. In fact, I am doing that right now! :) It won’t result in any Mother-Of-The-Year awards, but I’m spending time with my son.
      Laura recently posted..AmbiguityMy Profile

  5. Oh Laura, I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re body is tired and aching and of course you don’t feel your best. It’s so normal not to feel like an A+. Push the guilt away, you’re still a terrific mother. There are many more days of fun and time with your children ahead.
    Rach (DonutsMama) recently posted..Life’s Lessons: The Tired, Whiny EditionMy Profile

  6. I remember being at that point when I was pregnant with Noah. I was so miserable it was unreal. And he came early, so I can’t imagine how you’re feeling right now. Hang in there and remember that your family loves you and that they really do understand how exhausted you are and what you’re feeling right now. :) Let your husband take care of things if he’s offering, because he loves you and he’s doing it to help out. Hang in there mama!!
    courtney Kirkland recently posted..Week 9 Bump UpdateMy Profile

    • Thank you! I am trying hard to hang in. My mood literally changes by the minute. I go from feeling excited to anxious to guilty to discouraged to content to stressed to exhausted to energetic…. I feel like those emotional and mental things I am feeling come in waves just like the contractions. Sometimes I do a really good job of hanging in there and other times, I just don’t.
      Laura recently posted..Splash!My Profile

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