Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chicago with a side trip to crazy-town

I am not someone who likes to blame a lot of my behavior on the major chemical imbalances that pregnancy hormones may cause. If I'm upset about something, it's likely that I would be upset about it in a non-pregnant state too. Maybe it's not true, and certainly proportion may change when things come up while pregnant. I think Jim's finally relaxing after "the dress comment" of '06.

But, my friends (John McCain is teaching me how to speak more folksy), this is the post where I admit that I was poisoned by hormones over the weekend.

We went to Chicago's Shedd Aquarium on Saturday. When I suggested this trip, I envisioned Willa holding Jim's hand, both of them delighted and captivated by the beluga whales. I pictured her grinning while saying "starfish." I pictured us leaving at closing time, and heading to the car smiling and maybe holding a fish shaped helium balloon.

This did not happen.

Chicago's Shedd Aquarium was very crowded on Saturday. Humanity was not feeling kind, and folks were throwing elbows to get a better look at the lizards (at the aquarium? I didn't get it, but it's been a popular temporary exhibit for them). Willa didn't want to stay in her stroller, I couldn't physically hold her much, and Jim was getting weary of the pointy elbowed masses.

Stern reminder to self: your darling husband does not like crowds - a gazillion times more than you do not like crowds. Stop forgetting this.

I thought I was a super-genius to suggest we go claim our seats for the dolphin show an hour before it started. It would give us some space from people, and we'd be able to sit down and watch the dolphins in their tank for a while. Jim thought he was a super-genius for claiming the seats against the fake rock formation that encircles the shows bleachers (back rests! yay!). And our plan would have worked if it weren't for that meddling kid - I mean our super-genius daughter who wanted to spend the time climbing the fake rocks.

The show started. She was not riveted. "Dolphins, schmolphins, mom," she could have said, "look at these fake rocks for climbing!" If there weren't the possibility for a stitches inviting head wound, I might have let her. Instead I held her on my lap, whispering in her ear a narration of what the dolphins were doing. She started to whine. She started to cry. She started to yell.

We left the dolphin show. While Jim was putting Willa into her stroller, I started to cry too. "No one's having any fun," I blubbered (this is your brain on hormones, friends).

We left the aquarium. We left Chicago. The whole time I couldn't shake the funk. In my head the entire day - the entire weekend - was ruined. It was our last big family trip before the baby comes and it was a failure. Which meant, of course, that I was a failure.

We ate at a super-fun place which actually turned out to be a highlight of the trip. That's for a different post.

We got home at midnight and by then I had worked myself into such a quiet knot that I was miserable. I didn't know what was happening. Jim was tired, so I went to sleep on the couch.

Suddenly I was sobbing. I went back to bed to wake Jim who wasn't sleeping. He was probably lying wide eyed and afraid of the hormonal hurricane that he knew was coming.

I said a lot of things that I didn't really mean and am not really concerned about. Like what? How about this gem: "what if we don't like our son?" I said that. Out loud.

I figured out, while lying there with Jim hugging me tightly, that I was just getting hit with the very normal (right?) fear about how drastically our lives are going to change once the baby arrives. How happy the three of us are together, and "why are we screwing with that chemistry?" Hormones took those fears, shot them up with 'roids, put them under a magnifying glass - in the sun - and started a fire.

When I was breathing normally again, I was able to laugh at my outburst. Then I started to get upset about how the day - the whole weekend - was ruined by my behavior.

So. There it is, my tale of pregnancy nuttiness. It happens. I'm admitting it. I'm scheduled for detox and recovery next month. In the mean time, send Jim vibes of patience.


Anonymous said...

The thing that keeps me 'sane' is that I keep thinking, "Our parents did this, closer together, and we or they survived. I can do this too!" I'm sure the heat and anxiety isn't helping you either. You will love your son as much as your daughter. It's a whole new exciting adventure that you can take on. Just go back to basics: As long as you love them, and do the best that YOU can. Everything will turn out ok. ~Jen

AmyinMotown said...

Oh honey, right on schedule. I could work myself up into a sobbing mess every time Maggie hugged me when I was pregnant because I kept thinking about how I loved this person ore than life itself and here I was screwing up her life. I also had a hard hormonal time after.

But it will be fine.Okay, I haven't quite found "fine" yet, but it's getting closer every day. And I am sure you will be MUCH better at this than I am.

JT said...

We did actually hold hands and love the Beluga whales.

You are a great mom, and you know that you will continue to be a great mother and wife to this guy who indeed does not like crowds. (Wow, when did I become agoraphobic? I used to plan and produce concerts for chrissakes!)

apt said...

Hugs to all 3 of you. And Twizzlers for Jim too.
Jim points out that there were fuzzy, happy moments. But my personal rain cloud still prevents me from remembering them. Thanks, dude.

Keri said...

Sorry to hear that your weekend didn't exactly go according to planned.

Hang in there, Amy (and Jim). Pregnancy hormones are almost over.

Erin said...

ooo amy!!! poor girl! you know how many times i had a hormonal outbrust. poor ron thought i was nuts!

Anonymous said...

Look on the bright side. In 10 years you will be summer camping with two pre-teens in the Petoskey, MI campground under a beautiful dome of stars with the smell of campfires on the breeze.

Shana said...

Poor Amy (and Jim too)! It sounds like a case of normal hormonal craziness! This soon will pass and you will like your son. Heck, I'm willing to bet you'll even love him! ;o) Now I need you to remember this time and when I have a similar breakdown in oh....5 months or so remind ME that it's completely normal. :o)

Christina said...

Awww! I would have felt the same way about the ruined weekend. It is kind of hard making the transition from 3 to 4 and treasuring those last moments when it's just the "three" of you. But just like you had fears about having your first baby and being able to do everything "right" the same thing will happen with Baby #2. You will totally forget in the second he is born about the bad weekend and the last opportunity for the three of you. you just wait!!!