After spending the last several days in the same pair of pajamas—the ones stained with sticky toddler handprints—and living off a rotating diet of cranberry juice, caffeine free coke, saltines, toast, and cold cereal (and, OK weirdly, an afternoon of snacking on Oreo cookies which I later severely regretted) I've woken up today feeling like the worst version of myself.
I admit that the fatigue and constant nausea have really gotten to me. My house has reached an appalling level of disgusting. There are mountains of everything: laundry, dishes, toys, and dirt. What's more, I feel disgusting. I can barely brush my teeth because the toothpaste makes me gag (a reoccurring pregnancy symptom for me). I'm exhausted beyond the normal fatigue because I feel so queasy and hot at night, I toss and turn until morning. Subsequently, I can barely get off the couch during the day. The girls are starting to wonder what's wrong with me. And of course, I feel guilty for neglecting them and neglecting the house. So today when I woke up and realized that I was bound to face another miserable day I started sobbing. What's more, I realized that it wasn't another miserable day that I was looking at, but five or six more weeks of first trimester misery.
After my crying spell, I decided to send Julia and Elise over to my mother's for the morning (my mother lives in an in-law apartment next door). For a few minutes, I was tempted to fall right back into my new couch-potato routine, but I knew I had to break this cycle of inertia. So I forced myself off the couch and out of my crusty pajamas. With some effort, I managed to vacuum the house, sort and haul the laundry to the washing machine, and de-clutter most of the downstairs. I even brushed my hair up into a pony tail. Then I picked up the girls and headed to the park for an hour. Afterward, I stopped at the supermarket and prepared an actual dinner when we got home (not that the girls were protesting the usual frozen chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese).
Later on after I got the girls to bed, I fought the urge to climb into bed myself. Instead I took a hot shower. I let the water beat down on my fatigued muscles. I took some deep cleansing breaths. "I can get through this," I told myself.
When I got out, I surveyed myself in the mirror. I can't say that I feel much better, but at least, as I head off to bed tonight, I'm believing in a better version of myself that I know exists—even if the best I can do is brush my teeth with water before facing another fitful evening of sleep.