There’s this Thing, and I don’t really know what it is. I thought it was burnout from that last quarter of school/first trimester of pregnancy marathon-sprint-thing. Or maybe about the projects I’m working on outside this blog, which are abundant. And it would be easy to make the excuse of “pregnancy brain”, or mumble something about how this is a special time of introspection and introversion, a drawing inward to nourish and care for that which is growing inside. And those all might have shades of truth.
But I think there’s something else, too, some other reason that I feel ok shrugging and choosing sleep over composition three or four or more days in a row: I think, frankly, my moods are more stable.
This raises all sorts of questions for me. Yes, I’ve often called writing an integral part of my mood stabilization, but it disturbs me to think that without the threat of totally-losing-it it falls rather far on my prioritizing list of urgency (if not importance). What does this say about my “normal”, non-pregnant moods? Have I been a lot crazier this whole time than I thought I was? What does this say about my writing, and its quality? Does motivation necessarily impact performance? Is it possible to parse out the parts of me that are “writer” from those that are “bipolar”, and is it even desirable to try? How can I tell the difference between calm and flat, between stability arriving and unipolar depression descending?
It’s not that I’ve stopped writing, or stopped having off days or hard days or mood shifts at all. It just all seems… less, in many ways. I thought I would be writing thoughtful pieces about pregnancy, would rant about the way society treats the pregnant body (as property, largely), would opine on pregnancy and birth choices (and how so many have lack of access to same). And I have been, and I will, but the rate has definitely been slower than I’d expected.
And mostly, I’ve been going with it. I give thought to balance, to making sure no part of me is neglected, including this blog, to dancing over the ever changing ground of this life of mine, a never-ending experiment in dynamic stability. But when I feel exhausted and, though I want to write, I don’t feel the tears building up if I set it aside for another night — I put down the computer (eventually), and amble into bed. And if I find myself doing that more and more often, well… I don’t know what that means. Except it’s probably a little bit of everything. And it’s almost certainly a short episode in my life, and the last time I hope to go through this strange state called pregnancy, so if that’s what my body wants… Why not let her have it?
Although the experience of pregnancy as inward-turning is a meme so ubiquitous at least in my culture as to be cliche, I know it is not the “typical” experience of the emodivergent to stabilize when pregnant. So I ask you: what was your experience of pregnancy? Did you turn inward, did you reach out, did you get more psychoemotionally stable, or less, did you proudly proclaim your “preggo brain”? Indulge my curiosity, if you will. I am, as you know, always a fan of hearing people’s truthful stories, but now perhaps more than usual, I want to know what this is like for others. Not to beg “am I normal?” for I know I’m not (though I also know I’m hardly the only to ever go through these experiences), but just to hear, to listen, to know.
What was it like for you?