The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

The Quandry November 3, 2009

Filed under: Celestial Body — anditron @ 3:19 am

homer_muumuuThis is the “Who Am I” post. I have to imagine that all women go through this question while carrying around some strange alien inside their body. Over the past 7 months this question has crept up but usually been squelched easily enough. This time it’s not so easy.

I’m what most would consider a strange one: tattooed, pierced, strange hair, clothes, and make-up. But pregnancy (and unemployment) has stripped that out of me. The tattoos and piercings are still there, but the clothes, hair, make-up that used to make me – ME! have all but disappeared. I had to stop bleaching my hair and, in order to not look an absolute disaster, dyed it brown so my roots wouldn’t be so noticeable. I can’t wear any make-up, my attempts to do so resulted in bright red burning skin. My skin is dry, and sensitive and blotchy. Almost every face cleanser and moisturizer I’ve tried has burned too. Can I even begin to describe the pain when I tried to use sunscreen, which us preggos are supposed to use because our skin is extra sensitive? After so many dollars wasted and tearful attempts to get the products off my face I stopped trying anything at all because nothing helps. And then there’s clothing. Being a goth, raver, punky, grrr, stompy mix of a cycling girl makes it pretty hard to find any clothing that really matches my personality. Add to that most clothes just look like a MuuMuu on me or are jersey knit and make my butt look like Texas on an acid trip.

Trying to look like ME! has been an experiment in heartbreak. I haven’t felt like having cute prego photos taken of me every week to show how my bump has grown. I haven’t felt like I’ve got that beautiful pregnancy glow. Every photo I see of me makes me miss the ME! of old more and more. In order to keep myself from getting to upset I packed up all my favorite clothes and sent them to my father’s house for storage during my pregnancy. Seeing them in my closet left me sad and mopey and I would keep trying to try them on in hopes I could wear a Belly Band and make it all work. It never did.

Cycling hasn’t been that kind to me either. I am biking still. I haven’t given that up, but I certainly can’t bike like I used to and that throws me into an even more unhappy state. I like being the girl who takes on Michigan Avenue at 25 mph during rush hour. I like racing through town on my road bike dressed in knee length jeans and crazy patterned socks. I follow the rules of the road and bike safe, I just bike with passion. But being pregnant and on a commuter style bike, I ride about 10 mph now which is just sad. I know that it’s just because I can’t bend over and someone else is taking most of my energy. But I think about after I have the baby and wonder when will I be able to ride like that again?

So I’ve been banished to a life of looking like a mediocre run-of-the-mill average girl with a less than gratifying physical activity level that does nothing but depress me. Everything a pregonaut goes through during this period of life is scary and disturbing enough, but the real fear, for me, is that this change is permanent, because I don’t want it to be. I don’t know who I am right now; like my life has been put into it’s own little limbo womb within the universe just waiting to pop me out sometime in January too. My hope is that my rebirth is one that inspires me to workout even more and get back to the physical place I would have been at quickly; that that new person is healthier than before and other than that, I can go back to enjoying all the things that I loved about ME! Mostly, I hope that by finding myself again and being the ME! I love, I’ll teach my little girl to be proud of who she is and not let the world tell her who she has to be.

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11 Responses to “The Quandry”

  1. Ariel Says:

    “Mostly, I hope that by finding myself again and being the ME! I love, I’ll teach my little girl to be proud of who she is and not let the world tell her who she has to be.”

    Amen. Amen. Amen.

    …any chance you want to start writing for Offbeat Mama? 🙂 🙂

    • anditron Says:

      I would love to contribute. I’ve been stewing around ideas to submit to you. I really need to better use my daily 4 hours of travel time to write more about this in general.

  2. loandbehold Says:

    I just started reading your blog (saw you via OffbeatMama.com, and I write for OffbeatBride.com) and I wanted to tell you that it’s inspiring to hear your struggles! We also have come to decide we might have a kid, which was NEVER the plan. Look forward to hearing more!

    • anditron Says:

      Thanks for stopping by! Luckily it’s not all struggles, but what they say is true, everyone’s pregnancy is different. When you are ready read a lot but don’t over inundate yourself with all the books’ advice. Everyone has an opinion and they will let you know it too. I found it helped to read ahead because symptoms don’t necessarily occur when the books tell you they will. Meter everything with a dash of “really, I’ll see” and don’t be afraid to ask trusted people when you have questions. Offbeatmama.com is going to be a great resource for all of us I think, no matter what the stage of motherhood we’re in.

  3. Your post is right in line with my thinking lately. My little identity crisis has come later– my daughter is 16 months old and I’m expecting another in April. I’ve been having serious discussions with myself about who I “used to be” and what I need to do for myself to stop feeling that way. The change is not permanent–at least, I hope it isn’t! But what is permanent is the new responsibility and figuring out how that fits in with everything else!

    • anditron Says:

      I’m glad you posted, but sorry you’re going through it too. It’s tough figuring out where we really belong when trying to balance work, pregnancy and being a not-so-average woman. I try as best I can to just get through this awkward stage and hope that once I can fit back into my favorite clothes I’ll start to feel more myself. I know that not being at my previous job makes things harder. There was no code and I looked however I wanted. If I were at a point where I could make a living on my own and not have to worry about workplace dresscodes then I would feel much better, not for doing anything different really right now, but knowing that I didn’t have to stress it after the baby arrives. But it’s an extra level of caution to factor in and thus an extra level of “No you can’t be you” that I don’t really need/want right now.

      The best thing I have been doing to help is treating myself in ways that I can. A new purse, finding clothes that I don’t mind stretching out and won’t miss after the baby is born – American Apparel leggings with a new pair of boots made my day! I try dancing and singing to music in my house instead of at the clubs. And I’ve tried to up my crafting skills to, learning new things like knitting just to entertain myself and see if I can do it. I’m not in a debbie downer mood very often, it’s really just when I let myself stew on it, so I try to stay busy with things I do like in order to keep my mind off of it.

  4. Sara B Says:

    Saw you on OBM and came over to lurk on your blog, until I saw the part about sensitive skin. I’m not much help on the rest of these issues but I have supersensitive skin and Cetaphil moisturizer works really well for me. Not their SPF face stuff (it burns) but their regular lotion in the pump bottle. I use their cleanser too. And for really dry skin patches I rub a dab of vaseline in my hands to warm it up and then I pat it on the dry spots overnight (on the recommendation of my dermatologist). Just be careful not to buy baby powder scented Vaseline, or offbrand, sometimes the offbrand has a strong odor.
    For gentle SPF the best thing I’ve found was Purpose, it’s like $17 a bottle and only SPF 15, but so far it’s the only thing that doesn’t burn.
    Good luck!

    • anditron Says:

      Thanks for the tips, I’ll have to give them a try. Maybe I can use some make-up for a photoshoot, which I really want to do even if I do have moments of argh in my pregnancy.

  5. That’s what I’ve been doing, too! I have a haircut on Saturday, and went to the gym this morning. I also signed up to do NaNoWriMo because my biggest thing has been a decrease in intellectual simulation… I was a teacher before I quit to be a SAHM and that was a hard transition to make–going from being constantly intellectually challenged to just being emotionally challenged. LOL.

    • anditron Says:

      Good for you. I think it’s important in this stage to take joy in the little things. Have I splurged on pedicures a bit recently, absolutely and my feet thank me for it. I also love treating myself with a few lush bath goodies a month (I take nightly soaks to help me sleep). Even if it’s just nice scented bubble bath from the grocery, if it makes me feel a bit better I do it. Congrats on trying NaNoWriMo too, that’s an excellent challenge for your brain and passions.


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