If you poke me again, I will make you BLEED.

Posted: October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

Yes, I’m 32 weeks pregnant.  It’s now less than two months until Mrs. Firsty and I each have our little bundles of joy.  For a little over a month, I’ve been blatantly, visibly pregnant.  Not the hesitant visibility of the second trimester, where people see can see that your body is rearranging its inner furniture, that you’ve begun to gain a little weight, but they pretend not to notice because it will be way too awkward if they say something about your pregnancy and it turns out to just be a love affair with chocolate cake.  Nope, now there is no longer any question.  There is indeed a magical miracle of life taking place inside my abdomen.

Here’s the thing.  It’s my miracle, not yours.  More importantly, it is my abdomen, not yours.  I’m sorry, but I’m a rather reserved person.  I don’t care that Nancy Reagan or Barbara Bush or Abigail Fillmore or whomever said “hugs, not drugs”; I’m not into either, and I would rather settle for a hearty handshake or the middle-finger salute.  I’m happiest when my personal space bubble is sharply delineated, with me on the inside and the approximately seven billion strangers infesting this planet on the outside.  I don’t think I’m fanatical or unreasonable about this.  Obviously I grant exceptions and sometimes permit people I know into my bubble; I could never have achieved pregnancy otherwise.  But there is a huge gulf between allowing select people into my bubble when I say so and allowing random strangers into my bubble when they feel like it.  Why on earth do random little old ladies think the fact that I’m pregnant translates into blanket permission to try to feel Piper kick?

Alas!  I just cannot take it any longer….

Alas! I just cannot take it any longer….

Earlier in the week, I came over to greet my first table of the evening and get their drink order.  It was a six-top: grandma, grandpa, and two generations of extended family.  They looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t tell you if I’ve waited on them before, or because I’ve worked at Giovanni’s long enough that all the customers kind of blur together.  Even before I could finish saying, “Hi.  My name’s Emily and I’ll be taking care of you tonight,” grandma was poking her long bony finger into my belly and asking ‘when are you due?’

I don’t think Grandma realized a small miracle of life occurred right then and there.  I’ve waited tables long enough that I have a certain amount of ego invested in my job.  Pride dictates that if I’m going to be a waitress, I’m going to be not just good, but damn good.  I strive for the virtue of professionalism, and one required competencies is that customers should never know my true mood.  Even when I’m impatient to get out of Giovanni’s because I have a hot date, or when I’m so angry at Jonas that I’m ready to chain him to his bed, to burn down his house, and to toast marshmallows as I listen to him scream, I should always project that I’m cheerful, chipper, and enthusiastic about waiting tables.  (I’ve wondered before, how did my life get so upside down that hypocrisy has become a virtue?)  The catch is my ADD.  One of the symptoms of ADD is that we tend to be more ’emotionally volatile’ than non-ADD sufferers.  It’s part of the nature of the beast: I don’t have the attention span to truly nurse a proper grudge, but I act on impulses before I remember that thinking them through is even an option.  If I lived in a cartoon, when Grandma poked me the appropriate graphic would have been a thought cloud with the three whirling cylinders of a slot machine in it, each cylinder coming to rest on a little mushroom cloud, and once the third mushroom cloud came up there would be a little jackpot of coins sound effect and then I would turn bright red with anger.  I would have said all of my impulses were lining up on “Oh, no you didn’t, you old bitch”, and yet the miracle of life that occurred is I didn’t erupt or even glare, I just calmly took the drink order and went back to the kitchen to get them.

Someday Piper will find a shoe box full of Polaroids and nostalgia...

Someday Piper will find a shoe box full of Polaroids and nostalgia…

Mind you, it’s a really good thing that Giovanni’s drink station is in the kitchen, separated from customers by a hallway and a swinging door.  Because I only took the drink order calmly… my rant while making the drink order started at ‘What the fuck’ and escalated/degenerated from there, depending on perspective.  Later that evening, once he was sure I wasn’t going to blow up at him for mentioning it, Eric the expo complimented me on the sheer breadth and range of my invective.  He particularly liked the phrases ‘cantankerous cunt’ and ‘damn doddering deuce bag’ because I do have a predilection for alliteration, something I blame on too many Dr. Seuss books in my childhood.  And then I took a deep breath, pasted on my trademark insincere smile, and headed back into the breach.

It’s possible I’m over reacting.  Everybody talks about ‘pregnancy hormones’ like I’m somehow destined to undergo a complete personality reversal from quiet, nice girl with hints of ironic bitterness into a train wreck of epic raging frustration.  I’ve dismissed them as urban myth, like most of the so-called tells for baby’s gender.  (“Your aunt knew all of her children would be boys because spicy food made her belch?  If I say that’s fascinating, will you walk away before I tell you you’re an idiot?”)  But maybe I am.  I feel the same, and if I’m any more volatile, I just assumed it was because I’m off my adderall until I’m done with the pregnancy and with breast feeding.  (Damn class C medication. Grumble, mutter, swear.)  With difficulty, I can compare my mood today to my mood yesterday.  Comparing my moods for this week with a random week from a few months ago, an average week from nine months ago (before pregnancy, but with adderall) and a sample week from two years ago (before I discovered my adult ADD, and thus before pregnancy or medications) to try to determine if I’m sliding into a hormonal maelstrom without noticing it… that is just so far outside of the operating specs for my mind, I can’t do it.  It’s like having a smell at your place.  You can be in your apartment for hours, and not notice anything because its just part of the environment.  Run to the minimart for a bag of ice, however, and when you walk back inside that bleach smell smacks you upside the head and reminds you, “oh, yeah, I washed a load of whites earlier, I need to move those to the dryer.”  I was going to say I don’t have the ability to step outside of my mind for fifteen minutes to get away from my emotional environment, and then I realized that’s exactly what I do when I submerge into a book.  Being pregnant hasn’t changed my reading tastes, and when I’ve ‘returned’ to myself, I haven’t smelled any metaphorical bleach, so I’m going to stand by my statement I haven’t noticed any change in my thought process.  Hah! Score one for meta-thought! I would do a victory dance, but while Piper may not be pulling any puppet strings on my mind, she definitely bounces on my bladder and leans against my lungs.  I just don’t have the stamina for dancing any more.

A very surreal garden...

A very surreal garden…

As I confessed, I do feel strongly about my personal space bubble.  I know many people are quite happy with a smaller and/or more porous bubble, and that those people probably think I’m way too uptight about the whole space thing.  I also have enough self awareness to know the fact I felt obligated to point out that I’m not fanatical or unreasonable about my personal space means I’m self conscious that people around me are judging me on that issue.  On the other hand, Giovanni’s recently hired a new batch of servers; it’s getting busier now that we are through festival season and beginning the roll up to the holidays; my bubble is seemingly smaller since I’m now taking up a big portion of bubble with my belly.  Every shift is a crowded, claustrophobic cluster fuck.  Plus my ankles hurt.  I’ve temporarily developed carpal tunnel.  (Why did nobody warn me you can get gestational carpal tunnel?  The doctor reassures me its a temporary reaction to the extra fluids I’m carrying, and should disappear like the damn cankles after I serve Piper with her eviction notice.) I’m winded most of the shift, and I keep having to find time to make extra runs to the bathroom.  And I have to use the customer bathroom, because what cooks have done to and in the employee bathroom defies description.  I would pee in the corner of the restaurant- during the rush, with everyone watching me- before I would allow any surface in that room to touch my skin.  All of which means my patience, normally my strongest virtue as a server, is frayed and worn just when I need it most.  I’m an introvert.  That doesn’t mean I’m shy or that I’m socially awkward, although both traits are common for introverts.  I thrive in a restaurant because I like people and because the chaos of a working restaurant provides the constant mental stimulation my ADD demands.  However, as an introvert, interactions with people deplete my emotional batteries and withdrawing into solitude and to the world inside my head recharges my batteries.  The constant squeezing of my bubble is making my emotional batteries drain faster.  The physical discomfort anchors me to the real world instead of the much cooler world inside my head, so I’m also recharging slower.  And oh, yeah, one of the most important things you can know about ADD is that exhaustion, poor nutrition, et. cetera, exacerbate it.  So when my batteries are low, all the effects of my ADD- distractibility, irritability, hyper focus on side bar issues, forgetfulness, disorganization, poor impulse control, and other fun vices- are magnified.  And I can’t take the medicine that’s supposed to help counter this, not even the low dose I was on because drugs kind of scare me, because class C is code for ‘we don’t actually know what this would do baby Piper’ and I’m not playing roulette with my baby’s health and future.  Really, with all this going on, pregnancy hormones would have to stand in line to even get noticed.

Maybe I can re-find my calm in this Zen garden...

Maybe I can re-find my calm in this Zen garden…

In short, even without hormones, my patience, currently brittle and tattered, is the only thing keeping me from being an emotional grenade, ready to go off at any moment.  I am not a big fan of being touched.  There is a little tiny person in my belly, and she is constantly touching me, more often than not in ways that are uncomfortable.  All of which means if you touch me, particularly if you just poke me without asking permission, you may break my patience.  And once the pin is removed, Ms. Grenade is not your friend.  My choice of blog title was initially emotional venting, but as I calm down it actually soothes me to also think of it as a steely-eyed, grimly delivered promise.  I’m a nice enough girl that I probably wouldn’t unleash a can of pain on the next person to poke me without permission, but playing the short, dark, fantasy loop inside my skull so I can experience the vicarious thrill of not being so nice definitely helps me get over my frustration.  On the other hand, I’m also aware of the significant difference between ‘probably wouldn’t’ and ‘certainly wouldn’t’ so play it safe.  Don’t poke me!  And don’t poke any other pregnant women; they may have even worse impulse control than I do, or they might be even be the women who create the stereotype of pregnancy hormones.  Really, just to be on the safe side, never poke anyone without permission.  Different issues, but “Hey, Mindi, did you get a boob job?” *poke*, “Hey, Fred, your erection looks huge, have you been taking viagra?” *poke*, “Gee, Mario, those burns look like they’re third degree.  Are they painful?” *poke*, let’s just all agree poking someone in their medical/bodily issue rarely ends well and that you should always ask first.

Another elegantly restful garden...

Another elegantly restful garden…

I’m not alone in feeling this way.  I couldn’t find a picture good enough to post, but I found an ad in First Life for a maternity T-shirt with the message: “Baby Girl.  Don’t touch my belly and I won’t poke you in the eye.  Fair enough?”  If any one knows where I can find a similar T on marketplace, send me the link and I will loudly sing your praises to all who will listen.  And reminded of clothes, I’ll go ahead and wrap up my rant and list off today’s style card, a quicky since almost everything is out of freebies and gifts:

  • Shape: Katie Teen Pregnancy (wk 32) from Cukabebe.  (Amazing how nine months can fly by so quickly, when the individual days drag on so long…)
  • Skin: ‘Sexy_Skin’ a source unknown freebie.
  • Hair: Baby in Emerald ‘by Yanismaxence Xeno’ another freebie.
  • Clothes: Summertimes Dream dress from House of Gaga, Big Floppy Beach Hat from Nfinity, Converse white sneakers from *JStyle
  • Accessories: Tree tattoo on back (source unknown freebie) and Bracelets and Headpiece from Slither.

Total cost of today’s outfit… I spent 1 L$ for the set of shapes that make up the Katie Pregnancy set.  That’s it.  That’s kind of amazing.

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Comments
  1. […] poke her belly.  I could probably do an entire post about our irritation with this.  In fact, I kind of did.  I’m rather proud of that post, by the way.  I’ve obviously never been pregnant […]

  2. […] the fact my wife was pregnant that the whim to make Emily pregnant seemed right.  When I posted ‘If you poke me again, I will make you BLEED’, over a month ago, it instantly became one of my favorite blogs ever.  The story never actually […]

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