I’m beginning to think this pregnancy may be nothing like Katie’s at all. I’m still queasy in the afternoons and evenings- “morning sickness” (a misnomer if there ever was one) was completely finished with Katie by now. And there were a few emotional meltdowns last time. The one that comes to mind is when I was cleaning house the night before a blizzard (in March, no less) and completely freaked out because I was sure if anyone from Children’s Services saw our house they’d take a child away from us.
This weekend has seen a number of those meltdowns where I just can’t control the tears. Things that would just be annoying have sent me out of control…and I hate it. Not that I’m emotionally even-keeled any other time, but right now, it’s plain ridiculous. I’m not going to pretend I shouldn’t have been annoyed or pissed at what made me upset, but the level that I was upset is what bothers me. I kinda feel sorry for Eric, but not really; he’s not sympathetic or understanding of any of it and I’m pretty sure he’s still in the pregnancy-ignorance stage like last time. Considering I still look barely more pregnant than I have since Katie was born, I understand on the one hand why it’s abstract for him. Nonetheless, I just get a blank stare when I say, “This is not me. This is the hormones out of control.” This is no different reaction than any I get at any other time of our lives when he doesn’t understand my reaction to something, although my reactions can actually be attributed to something this time that I don’t necessarily control. He is of the school of thought that we can control how we react; I only agree to a certain extent. Believe me, I don’t want to cry uncontrollably about something that happened 24 hours ago while making my bratwurst. It just happened.
I’ll just say this about all of it: I do have unique insight into the differences between estrogen and testosterone. I really do. Sophomore year of college when I had what turned out to be a benign tumor on my ovary, it was emitting so much testosterone that my estrogen levels were practically nil. I did not cry about ANYTHING. This was going on the first six months Eric and I were dating, and I remember not crying during the whole May 3rd tornado situation and weeks later, getting the diagnosis that I had some bizarre tumor that should have been, by all expectations, bad news. I was almost stoic emotionally through all of this. It was only after the surgery when my hormone levels went back to normal that my skin cleared up (among other bodily symptoms that had gone horribly awry) and I was absolutely an emotional wreck.
This means that I do not fall completely on the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate. I think men and women, or rather, males and females- or to be more precise, the spectrum of biological manifestations of genitalia and reproductive organs- have distinct bodily processes that alter our behaviors and personalities.
What sucks to me is, the meanings we attribute to those emotions that result from the bodily processes. I hate the devaluation attached to any emotional meltdown- you know, that empty stare I get from my husband when he just doesn’t get why I’m responding the way I am. Emotional responses in general are disregarded in our society. While watching Star Trek last night, I kept thinking with the whole Spock as a half-breed situation and the Vulcan-logic-thing, “How modernist.” This applies to my reaction to my reactions. Why do I feel the need to go to the bathroom to hide when I’m melting down? Why shouldn’t I expect empathy from my husband? (That’s easy to answer, really: I would be eternally disappointed, that’s why).
Anyways, I’m already mentallly gearing up to be on the watch for PPD after the baby comes. My personality is the type most susceptible to it and I worry with the pressure of my dissertation and two small children that I might have problems with depression. This time particularly because I’ll be at home alone with the new baby for an extended period of time, without the respite of a semester beginning or teaching. But, as always, we’ll see. I may be pleasantly surprised this time, just like with Katie.