...and now I have official medical honest-to-goodness proof! Monday I was in the doctor's office, a new PCP (primary care physician) and I'm filling out the usual "new patient" paper work. You know the one where you give all the intimate details of your life- like last period, if you smoke or drink too much alcohol or coffee; what medications you're on; if you've had any surgeries - who you made out with at prom, etc...You know the form. Well, now I guess there's a new part of this inquiry into your health and this new form is a bit of a psychiatric evaluation where they attempt in a way too short a survey to assess your mental health.
The form includes 10 questions where you answer "yes" or "no"; and if the answer is "yes" then you must rate how often you have said symptoms. So the scale goes from least to most serious and it reads: "Almost Never", "Frequently" and "All the Frappin' Time"- okay I made that last one up, but it really reads something like, "On a Constant Basis". I won't bore you with the entire test, but I'll share the symptoms for which I answered a resounding "yes".
- Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? Yep, and it's just awesome that it takes me 3 times longer to fall asleep than CJ (my husband) or Lealah (my Chihuahua) and then when I finally to get into a nice REM I have to get up to go tinkle or remove every stitch of clothing because I'm burning up. But what's really fantastic is when I've only been asleep for a couple of hours and I wake up from some freaky dream- like the one where I go away on vacation and come home to find my baby -who I totally forgot I had- clinging to life in the bureau drawer where apparently in my haste to pack I left the Little One.
- Do you worry that you're not enough for your family or are letting them down in some way? Um, yeah!!! I constantly wonder if am I reading all of the right books or if I'm on the right websites, I can't even decide what type of cloth diapers I'm going to get yet. And then there's the question of should I really push for a water birth instead of a hospital one- which could mean I'll have to deliver in an entirely different county but because of my asthma the water birth thing may go out the window anyway. The list of shit that's going through my brain is never-ending. All I want is to do the RIGHT thing!
- Do you have an increased appetite which causes you to overeat? Hmm, let me think about that. When I say I could eat Winchell's Donuts out of their entire stock of apple fritters in one sitting does that make my answer "Yes"?
- Are you irritable or short tempered at times? Fuck yeah! I'm tired, I'm hot, I only crap twice a week, I'm worried and I'm eating like an elephant. What do you think?!
So there are you are ladies and gentlemen official scientific proof that being preggers qualifies you for having a mental health condition. It's real. I'm not making any of it up. So don't fret if you're in the same position. And if you're the spouse, friend or family member of someone who's "with child" go easy on us. We are legitimately crazy!