If you haven’t been following me since I was a graduate student, you might not be familiar with the fact that I can be a little high strung. Okay, so maybe that was also apparent when I started dating Jake… and then when I started sleeping with Jake… or when I got my new job… or when I realized how much I hate my new job. Know what? Not that big of a mystery. As much as I’d love to be able to, I simply cannot describe myself as a laid back person.
I want to, at least occasionally, be the girl who’s up for anything, who just goes with the flow when plans change… and I have been at times. I was that girl when I talked Gail into getting tattoos on a whim. I was that girl when Gail called in the middle of the night to tell me Terry was stuck in a ditch two hours away and I went along for the ride, entertaining her by reading aloud from satirical reviews of Fifty Shades of Grey. I was that girl on all those impromptu nights out with Catherine. I was even that girl when Jake wanted to go on a weekend ski trip in February, with little notice and having never skied. Lately, though… lately I just haven’t been able to muster up the gumption to be that girl, at all.
You see, I wouldn’t say that 2016 has been bad. It’s just been in a constant state of change. When I was 21 years old, I moved for the 10th time in two years. Every time someone knocked on the door, my heart leapt out of my chest, because I was certain my ex-husband had gotten us evicted again. After I left, things settled down a bit, but life wasn’t exactly what I’d call “steady” as I worked two jobs and attended graduate school. When I graduated, I was promoted to half time librarian and my pay at the library nearly doubled, but I was still dependent on my substitute teaching check. The harrowing world of dating wasn’t exactly a balm to my nerves, but I was no longer a student, so it was still an improvement. Then, I met Jake and was promoted to full time Supervisory Librarian. Finally, I would have the chance to settle in and get comfortable… except that’s not what’s happened at all.
Jake is wonderful and everything I’ve ever wanted, but his work schedule and the distance have been an endless battle. I thought his quitting the oil field might free up some time, but until he gets a job in the city, he spends his weekdays in another state working on the Granger Ranch. As for me, $50,000 a year in one of the cheapest states in the country sure has been nice, especially with all that health insurance, but… I hate being a manager. Here I am, almost one year from the announcement that I’d been promoted and everything was falling into place and I’m back to my “please let me get the job” prayer mantra.
Life certainly isn’t as stressful as the days of packing up all of my belongings in four hours, before the landlord calls the police. It’s not even as stressful as working two jobs and relying on the Almighty for health insurance. A surprise middle management position, major relationship milestones, months of illness, a year and a half of schedule conflicts with the love of my life, Jake’s unemployment, and now both of us applying for new jobs, however, does not a laid back Belle make… and I’ve gotta admit, my crazy’s becoming harder and harder to hide.
A few weeks ago, I lay on Jake’s bed, distraught:
Me: “Everything’s in flux and it has been for so long. I just feel like there are no constants anymore.”
Jake: “I’m a constant.”
The only reason he gets away with putting his foot in his mouth so often, is because when he does say the right thing, he nails it.
The next weekend, Jake walked through the door as I announced:
Me: “I’m getting an elective C-section.”
Jake: “Please stop reading those articles.”
After a weekend of arguing about C-sections versus natural birth, I ended up in tears and Jake finally asked the obvious question.
Jake: “Why are you so upset about something that’s not even happening for at least two years?!?”
Me: “Because you told me just last week that you’re absolutely opposed to elective C-sections and I agreed with you. Then Catherine and Laura both told me that natural childbirth will rip you in half and to definitely get a C-section. You have such a big personality and you’re so opinionated that I figured if I started arguing about it now, I’d have a better chance of winning!”
Jake: “Okay, I promise you that when the time comes, I will consider all of the options, if you’ll promise me that you’ll stop reading those articles.”
He also has the patience of a saint.
My irrational fear of eventual childbirth all started when my (former) OBGYN brushed off my birth control side effect concerns, despite my months of pain. Fortunately, though, I had better luck with my new chiropractor… after my hip popped out of place the morning of Jake’s birthday… because I bent over to pick up a pair of shorts.
One of the things no one ever really talks about, when they’re busy glorifying living alone, is how much it sucks to be hurt or sick and not even have the luxury of company. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about being alone that amplifies any and all ailments… though apparently not nearly as much as finding out that I didn’t get that job I wanted.
I admit, the day I found out that I didn’t get the Cherokee job, I hit a breaking point and had something of a meltdown. While Jake is great at being supportive in person, he’s simply at a loss when his verbal skills are the only arrows in his quiver. Through a haze of pain, I babbled incoherently into the phone about hating my life, which I’ll admit was needless melodrama, but days earlier my hipbone was tucked behind my tailbone while I grimaced through a fishing trip. I’ve been under a lot of stress y’all.
Here I am, though, with an empty uterus and realigned spine, declaring that I will take the rest of 2016 in stride!
I will stop working myself up over Future Belle’s problems!
I will do my best to accept that the ever changing landscape that is my life these days, will ultimately lead to something good!
I will stop taking advantage of the fact that Jake is experienced in the management of high strung, over-achieving women!
I will reign in my crazy and I will force myself to enjoy my favorite time of year, because I will be that girl who goes with the flow!
Just to play devil’s advocate, I had a C-Section. A semi-elective one, since I wanted to go through it the natural way after my mother, who had been through both, swore natural child birth is far easier in the long run. So after a grueling 24 hours in on again off again labor that was not progressing well my doctor came in to see me. She also informed me that my pelvis had not spread enough to safely deliver the baby. I could continue being induced for another 48 hours, but she did not think my pelvic bones would spread any further in that time. So after my 48 hours were up she would have to perform an Emergency C-Section due to stresses on me and baby – after laboring on and off for 3 whole days. My second option was to opt for a C-section immediately since we knew that the baby was still doing very well.
I decided to go with the C-Section and was immediately wheeled into an operating room for one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. I literally cried the entire time. The anesthetic numbing process is actually painful, the O.R. is freezing, i could smell them cauterizing my skin, and sort feel them disassembling and reassembling my insides.Then there’s the recovery, which is a minimum of 6 weeks. Except I did not adhere to the strict do nothing order, because I cannot sit still and also I had a new baby to care for. I ended up with an infection and a wound that refused to heal. I was at the doctor weekly, pumped full of antibiotics and was not allowed to do pretty much anything for 9 weeks. At 14 weeks postpartum I still experience pains and discomfort.
I know that not everyone feels this way about C-Sections, but it has actually deterred me from wanting more children. And I sincerely wish that someone had been more up front with me about what it entails instead of just saying “if it happens, you’ll be fine.” From what everyone I have spoken to since has said natural childbirth hurts more as its happening but within a few days you’re fine and there’s not much pain. Just remember that God intended you to have a child naturally, so the recovery is so much easier.
I’m sure this isn’t what you wanted to hear, but I didn’t want you to think that a C-Section is necessarily the better option.
Ugh I just re-read what I wrote. I am so sorry for being so gross and graphic.
Oh, I’ve actually researched enough since that I don’t consider this the way to go. I’ll let my doctor do what’s best, but I’ll aim for a medicated vaginal birth. It’s actually refreshing to hear some honesty on this.
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