Monday, March 03, 2014

The Good, the Bad, and the Weird

“Pregnant women are weird.”

Ming has said this to me a few dozen times since I've been pregnant. And every time I fall into the trap of arguing with him.

“No they aren't. My dad said my mom was in a great mood while she was pregnant. It was the happiest he'd ever seen her.”

“He's lying,” Ming insists.

“Well, I'm not any weirder now that I normally am. I'm usually this crazy, if not more so,” I try to argue.

“No. You are like this because you're pregnant,” he assures me.

I want to continue my futile defense, but it always ends with me realizing that perhaps I'm further proving his point. So is Ming right, are pregnant women “weird”?

I can only speak for myself, because I haven't spent much time around any other pregnant women. Honestly, I don't know if I buy into all that talk about crazy hormones and killer mood swings. Part of me thinks that is simply being a woman, not specifically being a pregnant woman. I have felt pretty upbeat and psychologically sound through most of my pregnancy. Mentally, I don't feel I am any weirder than I was pre-pregnancy.

photo by Yisel_5 via Photobucket

The past few days, however, I have been feeling a bit blue. I'm tired of having my body on display for all to comment and criticize. I think what is most depressing is the realization that this is only the beginning. Once the baby arrives, I will be subjected to further advice on how to cloth, feed, and raise my child. How will I deal with this without resorting to a series of expletives? Maybe I should go into hiding?

This morning, that seemed like the best solution. I wanted to crawl under the covers and stay there all day, to not face the world, not face China. I wanted to throw myself the biggest pity party ever. I'm different. Nobody understands me. I'm lonely. I miss America. I want to go home. . . .

Nine years and I still allow myself to spin down that spiral? At this point, it doesn't really matter if my pregnancy is to blame for such thoughts; the heart of the issue is that I can't allow myself to feel this badly. After all, no one is forcing me to stay here. And the frustrations I have now are nothing new. If I dealt with them in the past, can't I deal with them now? How did I cope when faced with this before?

Then it came to me--I must always remember to take the good with the bad. For every intrusive comment that makes me want to scream, there is at least one kind gesture that makes me smile. For every person who scolds me for walking my dog, there is another who happily gives up his seat for me on the bus. For every stranger that I wish would just mind her business, there is one that sings the praises of my future biracial offspring (“Oh, a mixed-blood! He'll be so cute! And smart! Very strong!”). Yes, there are good things. There are lots of good things about being in China. I must be particularly careful not to lose sight of them now.

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