Tax time is never the most fun time of year, but this one has been particularly stressful. Lu has her own business which means she has to carefully watch her income all year to make sure she’s putting enough aside to cover taxes each quarter. Then come March, the accountant takes over and figures out how well we did with all of that, and what else we need to do. It’s never pretty but this year has really pushed Lu to the limit.

She also has not been feeling well. A slow-moving bug has been migrating to various parts of her body and making her feel icky, on top of the general discomfort of pregnancy. Stomach ache -> headache -> neck ache and then repeat has made her very unhappy. And we think it’s a bug, but it’s impossible to be sure. This whole being pregnant thing is not nearly as glorious and magnificent as it’s made out to be. Or, at least it hasn’t been for Lu, so far.

A small part of the problem, though, is her of her own making. Lu is someone that always envisions how things are going to be, as many of us do. And her visions are always filled with joy, happiness, success, beauty and light. Unfailingly, whenever we talk about plans or upcoming situations her responses are consistently positive and hopeful. She expects things to go really really well, all the time.

She has been looking forward to being pregnant all her life. She thought it was going to be beautiful and amazing, which it is, but I don’t think she envisioned that it might be difficult, uncomfortable and painful at times, which it also is. Once pregnant she understood that the first trimester was tough and so throughout she has been really looking forward to tri-2, where everything gets better (she’s been told.) Now we’re there and things have not markedly improved, yet. And that makes her worried and sad and that’s not good.

I love her positive, hopeful attitude because it is amazing to be around someone who always sees the best. Especially since I’m not really like that. Perhaps it was my Boy Scout training, or maybe it was the effects of living with a family member who has had MS for the last 34 years, or maybe it’s just the way I’m made up, but my motto has always been “plan for the worst, hope for the best.” It’s not that I’m a worrier, because most of the time I’m really not worried at all. But I do always like to have backup and alternative solutions in mind for when life’s wind blows me into turbulence. At all times, though, I am confident we will get through anything and everything, one way or another, together.

Right now, though, Lu is totally wrapped up in the overwhelming and individual experience of being pregnant. Some of what she’s been told has turned out to be true for her. Other parts are not at all what she wanted or expected. And for me, that last part is the aspect I worry about most for her. Expectations. She expects that what she heard is true, that this will all roll out smoothly, that she will get to have fun with her pregnancy.

The fact is, this has turned out to be work. Constant, insistent, never-ending physical work to manufacture a new human using every resource within her.

How is it possible to *not* have a headache, at all times while pregnant?

I want Lu to stop thinking about what happened to everyone else while they were pregnant and start focusing far more attention on what is happening to her. Yes, taxes are still out there and we’ll need another car soon and the Earth is heating up and the President is an ass and not every piece of food she consumes is organic and healthy and perfectly correct, but it’s all going to be alright. I’m certain of that.

I told her this tonight. Nicely, mostly, but emphatically, too. Because it’s all so important to all of us. She cannot have constant stress tightening her muscles and knotting her soul. She cannot worry all the time. Lu has to enjoy this experience and learn to embrace even the tough aspects as parts of the whole. She knows this, wants this. She can do it, we’re both certain of that.

Obviously it is easy to say all this from the outside. But really that’s all I can do. I’m here to help her through her tough times just like she has pulled me through the rough patches in my life. It’s the gift we give to each other every day. We drag each other kicking and screaming through the world saying “hey CHECK THIS OUT, it’s FUN! We’re having FUN! Remember? FUN!? That’s THIS!! So get the hell over here, take a look at this amazing vista I can see and let’s do a funky dance and have some freaking fun, together. NOW.”

I feel like I’m standing over here in the corner with a whistle and a crazy hat and big sunglasses going “Pay no attention to the discomfort of child-bearing and watch me do this jig!” And then I do a jig and then she laughs and then everything is better.

Lu told me herself that she was hoping to be able to ‘have fun with her pregnancy,’ and as crazy an idea as that sounds to me, I’m going to do everything I can to help her do that. Even if I have to talk her out of a headache by shouting about the many great things in our life for a little while. Even if I have to do a crazy jig.

Of course a temple massage would also probably help, too.

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