Baby is the size of an acorn squash. This week, I’ve been “squashed” by sickness, cleaning, nesting, and other things.

Carmen's 29-week bump with an acorn squash: Getting Squashed

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

This week, I must admit, has been a total soup of everything. We were sick with colds one week and then got hit with a gastro illness for five days. I’m not sure if having to disinfect everything to prevent the literal revolving door of ’tis the season germs led to me thinking I needed to start organizing everything. However, I want to be able to do that.

I’m not sure if it’s my system being so run down or from pregnancy or from my meds or what, but I just can not for the life of me get my energy levels up.

Pregnancy has always been a roller coaster for me for many reasons, understandably so, but I really struggle when I feel I’m failing in it–dishes, laundry, sweeping floors, thinking I have too many chores, trying to cherish all the moments with the kids, make Christmas magical (cough ELF!), work, and trying to capture this baby and pregnancy and all it means to me and us. I’m completely whooped.

Elf on the Shelf at Carmen's House

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I’ve not been able to work this week as I’ve been so weak and ill. Plus, the cramping and back pain is so much worse this time around, so I’ve been getting down on myself for that.

I have to remember that I don’t have to compare myself to anyone else or my previous pregnancies. This one has been, by far, my hardest.

My body has been pregnant 11 times; I must remember that. I’ve done pretty well with the others. The guilt, though, can feel so real, especially when I’ve voiced these concerns with my OB, who said, “Really? Having all of this so early?” I can’t deny it and what she says I feel too!

I also feel like how I would feel prior to delivery, which is likely just my weak uterus. Knowing full well I may, in fact, make it to term, it’s playing with my mind as I want to prioritize having things in order. Even though that is an illusion, it’s still nice to feel.

Lastly, the hardest piece of all is I’m in week four of taking my anxiety meds, and some studies say to wait 4-6 weeks.

I have to say that I can’t tell if it’s the sickness, pregnancy, me, or a combo of all of it, but I feel more squirrely than ever. Even my hubby says it, and the exhaustion has been crippling. It feels so easy to quit now, but I’m going to try to give it two more weeks to know I tried.

I know not all anxiety meds work for everyone, but these did work for me in the past. The worst is I wasn’t “bad” prior to starting them, but like every mama, we try to find ways to care for ourselves the best way we know how, trying to create the best pre/post natal environment for myself, family, and babe and now I feel discouraged that despite my efforts I feel worse.

The only upside is I’m getting more rest because of the exhaustion, but not having the energy to do anything is causing me anxiety.

Not that we need to do anything. My hubby thinks I’m a superstar, and the truth is I’m not. I can’t do it all. He did say recently how he just really wants me to enjoy this maternity leave as we know all too well that despite all our efforts to keep the house “tidy,” it doesn’t, so why do we bust ourselves so hard?

This is why I primarily started the meds to let the little things go and make more time for enjoyment and rest for the best birth and postpartum experience I can make.

Carmen and her kids at 29 weeks pregnant - Getting Squashed

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

I was in a bad mood recently and told my kids that I’m just miserable.

Knowing full well that I have the power to change my own state my son said simply, “It’s ok. I just ignored it!” My daughter just sat on my lap while I cried and apologized. It’s these moments that I’m reminded there’s nothing I need to be striving for at the expense of them. They love me no matter what, comfort me, and make me laugh.

I was striving for “no bad moods” or outbursts, and they still happen on the meds because I am a human with real emotions, being all of them often at the same time. Even the Elf gets mad sometimes.

Elf on the Shelf at Carmen's House

Author’s Personal Collection/Carmen Grover

So here’s me, “letting it stew, steam, and boil over, and hopefully, I’ll find the deliciousness of it all soon!

I relate to this old English proverb: “Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.” When we allow ourselves to feel our little everyday frustrations, we grow.

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