Sunday, September 18, 2016

30-ish days, high stress

Four weeks to due date! Getting there!

Of course, I'm a complete and total wreck, which at least this time around I knew would be the case. What I posted to Facebook the other day:

30 days to due date! 

...and I'm having a tough time. 

Last pregnancy at this time I had to deal with both Darcy's death and the TOTAL PACK OF LIES that women are sold about pregnancy: that it's the strongest, sexiest, most existence-validating, time of your life. This time at least I knew to expect the enormous physical discomfort/pain, the peeing every 15 minutes, the inability to sleep AT ALL, the throwing up from heartburn, the explosion of anxiety and hormonal madness. At least I'm not beating myself up for not wanting to take 10-mile hikes or pose for professional glamour photos.

But this time I'm parenting a toddler. 

And Bingley had a seizure a few weeks ago - all his blood tests came back fine and it hasn't happened again, but of course the thought that my remaining dog might be sick is one I can hardly stand. 

And the diabetes thing, with the accompanying need to police my eating and deny myself foods I want, is beyond triggering and miserable. It's so hard to feel like the competent, patient, organized adult that I absolutely need to be right now at work and as a mother, when food and the scale are the enemies again just as much as when I was seventeen. (And no, telling myself "it's for the baby" doesn't help, because narratives of maternal martyrdom make me itch.) 

I forgot to add that last time the political situation was not like this. The energy reserves that are tapped by being frightened every moment of every day would drain me even if I was not pregnant, not parenting, and able to eat a damn carbohydrate now and then. As it is, I always feel like I have more or less just satiated a vampire (ha! joke's on him! I'm anemic!). It is the worst. 

This morning I went out to the store for something I had already ordered on-line. Love pregnancy brain.  

Read since last posting: 
The Eagle Catcher, by Margaret Coel. Mystery set on a Wyoming Indian reservation. Not at all bad for the first in a series.  

The Fallen Leaves, by Wilkie Collins. Hilarious! Victorian novel coincidences may be my favorite thing ever: in this one a character hears about a long-lost person who has been the object of professional searches for sixteen years. He then goes for a walk through London and no prizes for guessing who literally the first person he talks to turns out to be. Also there are long digressions on socialism.  

Our Man in Charleston: Britain's Secret Agent in the Civil War South, by Christopher Dickey. A pretty good non-fiction book about a British diplomat and his attempts to stop his country from siding with the South during the American Civil War. Interesting, accessible, but felt somewhat non-comprehensive at times and I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe because the diplomat himself disappears for long periods of the narrative?  

The Short, Strange Life of Herschel Grynszpan: A Boy Avenger, a Nazi Diplomat, and a Murder in Paris, by Jonathan Kirsch. Odd little book about a Jewish teenager who shot a diplomat at the German embassy in Paris and then got caught up in the propaganda machine as the Nazis tried to decide how to try him and how to frame the incident. There isn't much more to the story, and Kirsch isn't always successful in making it represent the Jewish experience as a whole, so it felt a little unsatisfying. 

Circling the Sun, by Paula McLain. A fictionalization of Beryl Markham's life, complete with people telling her every other page how beautiful and "unlike any other woman in the world" she is. How do we get across to writers that we don't need that in a heroine? Petitions? Seriously, I need to know. The "A Unique Snowflake Is The Only Worthy Snowflake / Not Like Other Girls" narrative is honestly fucking toxic for female readers (especially young ones), and I am sick of it. 

Dark Fire, by C.J. Sansom. Mystery set during Henry VIII's reign. Both gripping in its own right and does a really good job of bringing across how absolutely terrifying it must have been to live under an unstable dictator allowed to do whatever the hell he wanted. NOT THAT I AM SAYING THIRD-PARTY SUPPORTERS SHOULD BE LITERALLY FORCED TO READ ABOUT HENRY VIII RIGHT NOW BUT I DO NOT THINK IT IS A BAD IDEA. 

The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas, by Alison Weir. Weir is SO hit-or-miss, and this was a miss: convoluted and dull. Having an author be this erratic is more frustrating than writing them off completely. 

And now I think I really do have to pack the hospital bag. I've been delaying it because of course it feels like a jinx, but who knows what might happen and being unprepared is not going to make anything easier. And since we have, like, 200 size 1 diapers now thanks to my pregnancy brain, might as well pack some of them up.