Week 6 (or is it "Weak 6"?)

I was tired before, but not like now. It keeps easing up in intensity to the point where I actually feel a draining of energy in my bones, the likes of which I have never felt before. The other day, I spotted a stone step outside a closed shop and I wanted to spread out my jacket and curl up there. It was all I could do to not do it.

I’ve never had a hard time with sleeping, often getting 8-10 hours a night. Now, though, I can’t seem to sleep past the eight hours, but I can’t keep my eyes open in the evenings. I’ve been getting up early as a result and enjoying the morning view of seven and eight a.m. It’s truly gorgeous at this time of day. I joked with a friend recently that I previously didn’t even know there was a seven a.m. Amazing to make its acquaintance!

I’ve also been incredibly moody, sometimes feeling completely at odds with the world–angry even, and hopeless. I’ve found myself thinking about the uselessness of our inventions, our goals, our ridiculous technology and I’ve been critical of the stupidity all around me all the time. I feel like Oscar the Grouch with a garbage can around my waist and something big and controlling (a person’s hand?) up my ass! Haha! I realize that this is a good analogy, because I’m being controlled by hormones and I am their puppet, but when that wave of negative emotion swirls around me, I have found myself wishing there actually was a garbage can nearby that I could kick hard enough to feel the sound waves rattle off walls, crashing into my eardrums.

It’s not the sexiest state of mind, that’s for sure.

Other progressions include fielding much advice from the in-laws like to stay away from the computer and/or to wear an lead smock that will protect me from its rays. I did a bunch of research and there’s no evidence that computer rays will harm a fetus. I’m totally confused by the paranoia here. What about the cell phone rays that are constantly all around us? Isn’t that worse for us and our unborn?

When I first thought I might be pregnant, my partner suggested I should stop riding my bike. I balked at him. “What’s wrong with cycling?” I asked. He said it could cause a miscarriage. I suppose if I were hit by a car (knock on wood that I won’t be) then I can understand that fear, but lightweight exercise (even hardcore exercise if that’s what you’re used to, which I’m not!) is good for a pregnant woman! I am not suddenly going to become sedentary just because there’s a backwards notion here that cycling will adversely affect me.

Then there’s the issue of the cats. In Chinese culture, cats are dangerous to the child. Pregnancy is not the issue, but once the child is born the cats should be sent elsewhere, usually forever but sometimes for up to two-three years! That’s crazy! I have been working on this myth for a few years with my in-laws and luckily no one has mentioned the cats since the announcement of our pregnancy. I’m planning to protect them and keep them as part of our family. No one is going to send away my furry kids!!

My partner, who doesn’t often do things around the house on his own volition, actually has been cleaning the cat litter (as he knows I’m not to get near it) and doing up the small collection of daily dishes if we haven’t been eating at home. I am trying not to praise too highly or exclaim too loudly at the comparative beauty of this behavioural shift, but instead to just absorb it into the realm of “normal.” So far so good. I’m liking his increased attentiveness and sweetness. The truth is that he’s always sweet to me, but there’s a lilt in this sweetness that I haven’t heard before and it curves around his smile like bending rays of light. He’s quietly excited. I can tell.

And I’m bloated. I already feel like I must look like I’m expecting, but I guess I don’t to the average eye. My breasts are exploding off of my chest and my gut area is expanded outwards like a severe case of PMS that won’t go away. My one friend said that this feeling continues for ten months and I’d just better get used to it. I was cycling the other day and stopped to pump up my tires and, while watching the bike repairman pumping air into my tires, I realized that I feel exactly like someone has done that to my body. If I could just loosen this valve a little…

All that comes from the hyper sensitivity I have, though, and this is the very sensitivity that made me righteous to have been able to tell right away that I was pregnant now four weeks ago. So, I shouldn’t begrudge it now. It’s a great tool to have in this experience and I can’t start complaining about the weight of it in my tool belt. As it hangs around my mid-region, I’ve got to start feeling tough rather than pudgy! Girls with tools! HARUMPH! 🙂

The final thing that I’ve noticed this week is how anticlimactic it can be to tell people such vital news. I know that it’s vital news to us and not vital news to others, but I’ve been amazed at how people’s responses, while kind and open and congratulatory, don’t seem to embody the significance that I feel this news carries. It feels flat somehow, like a three-dimensional image that gets flattened into a two-dimensional image by some outside hand, without any warning.

What’s more, I have tried to reach certain friends and have been unable to, which strikes me as a fitting extension of this two-dimensional squashing of my news. There’s no way that they know I am trying to reach them, yet there is also no way that I can say, “Look, please reach me, I have some news for you!” because that will just give it away entirely.

I’ve shared the news with two of my friends and was hoping to share it with two others, all of whom are living overseas, and will hold off before sharing the news here in my Beijing community. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it twelve weeks, but at least I should get used to the idea myself before I have to field a lot of questions and before people who I don’t even recognize start to congratulate me. When you ask people to keep news to themselves, I’ve found that only a small percentage actually do. They always have to tell their spouses or partners and then the flow of information can’t be stopped. At that point, it’s just public knowledge. I’m not ready for that.
Not yet anyway.

Preggers: It's Official

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