After yet another pukefest weekend, (at the rate at which I’m having them — about 1 every 3 weeks, Spousal Unit has calculated that I will have 6 more “episodes” before the end of the pregnancy. It’s damned depressing…) I am taking the tentative, first steps toward getting back into the dissertation. I feel like I’m at the edge of a very cold lake and I know it’s going to be freezing, but I also know I have to get into it and swim across the whole damned thing but right now I’m just touching my big toe in and complaining about how cold it is and about how I have to get in.
One of the mistakes I always make with the diss. after I’ve been away from it for a while reading nothing but undergraduate papers is to try to start writing right away and then to wonder why I’m a) making no progress at all and b) unable to construct coherent sentences that do not resemble the undergrads’ most laughworthy compositions. (Why, oh why do they insist on declaring that everything is “huge,” in calling anything that is a book a “novel,” and in using the to be+gerund construction rather than active verbs????) Usually, after about a week or so of pounding my head on my computer and feeling thoroughly discouraged, I realize that I should READ something before I try to start writing again. Something historical is always good, preferably well-written and possibly even having something to do with my subject.
This time, I thought I’d avoid that whole cycle, and just start by reading something. Good plan. So, I spent the day yesterday reading “Team of Rivals” about Lincoln and politics. Not quite in my area, but it is a good read and it is historical and I’m actually enjoying it. So, that is good.
Today, I actually got as far as to print out the next thing I need to be working on. I figured this was a pretty big step. So, to reward myself I took myself to my favorite cafe for second breakfast (a fried egg sandwich with cheese and ham on sourdough with scallions) where they got my food to me in 2 minutes flat. I guess pregnant does have its slight advantages on the customer service front. Then, I decided that since I actually WALKED my bulging belly all the way to the cafe, I could reward myself with a trip to the public library and get a novel for bedtime and a DVD for with dinner. Since then, I’ve been stuck in the novel (a sci-fi about human exploration of one of Saturn’s moons. Yeah, not so much to do with my topic or with history.) So, to complete my procrastination (and to confess it I suppose) I thought I’d blog.
By tomorrow, I really want to be doing some ACTUAL work on my project. So, I think what I’ll do for the rest of the day is unearth my desk — which will take an archaeological expeditionary force since I haven’t used it for anything since January other than as a nice out of the way recepticle for stuff I don’t know what to do with. Then, I’ll read more of the HISTORY book I was so proud of myself for reading yesterday before I cook something for dinner.
Despite the roundaboutness of what I’m doing, and the couple of days is is taking me to get near that Loch Ness of a dissertation, heck, at least I’m getting my toes wet.
NEW Pretty Hard, Dammit FEATURE: Pregnancy Complaint of the Day
Maybe if I complain on the blog once a day about the stupid pregnant shit, then Spousal Unit won’t have to hear so much of it. Needless to say, I am not a sweet, cheerful and joyous pregnant person and I think it is starting to bug SU more than a little. He asked me yesterday after a particularly vituperative round of complaining if wasn’t I even a little bit happy about the baby? The BABY is such a foreign concept to me — even though it kicks me regularly and emphatically to let me know that I am being colonized — that it was kind of a weird question. Baby? Huh? What Baby? I’m PREGNANT. That is pretty much all there is. The BABY is strictly hypothetical. The Pregnancy is 100% all consuming and Very Real. So, I replied by saying that I’m about 50% nauseous, 49% terrified, and 1% happy. I don’t quite think that was the answer he was looking for. His response? “Well, I’M very happy.” Good for him, and hopefully it will be enough for the both of us for a while.
But, it did make me think that perhaps I should share the burden of dealing with my complaints so that I can let him go ahead and be happy about this strange hypothetical thing while I revel in that which is most immediate for me. So, that means you, happy blog readers who thought you were here to read about a dissertation (Mwa ha ha…evil laugh) get to share in my grousing.
OK, so here it is — complaint of the day: The weird taste I’ve had in my mouth for 23 weeks. Yep. For 23 weeks my mouth in default state tastes like I’m preserving pickles in there. Not in a bad breath way, in a I’ve just eaten something that tastes like cleaning vinegar or that nasty liquid on the top of the yogurt that you pour down the sink before you stir it and eat it. The thing that makes it worse? Milk. The same wonderful milk that makes my bones strong as the parasite leaches calcium from me and the same elixir that seems to keep my heartburn under control makes my mouth taste like a vinegar barrel. Which, incidentally, doesn’t help with the nausea. Oddly enough, this is actually a common symptom of pregnancy. Not one they tell you about in the popular cultural mythology magazines where celebrity moms declare with regularity “Pregnancy is great! I could be pregnant for 10 years!” But, it is a symptom nonetheless. What joy is mine.
My doctor told me a few weeks ago that there are like 45 different pregnancy symptoms and you’re gonna get 23 of them. But, you just can’t predict (or, hell, as I would prefer, CHOOSE) them. So, for the next while I’ll chronicle a few of mine (in a g-rated way laced with r-rated curses) for your reading enjoyment and for Spousal Unit’s relief. Think of it as community service that you’re doing for him. And then maybe if I only get to grouse about 1 thing a day, that will also curb the lack of enthusiasm I’ve got going on for this process and push me into the 2-3% happy category.