I’m trying very hard to fully appreciate how I’m living right now.
I sleep when I want, I wake up when I want, I eat when I want, I go out when I want…
No need to rush things. I slept until noon yesterday. It was no big deal, because it just wasn’t. Getting out to go to the grocery store was easy. I took a shower, I got dressed, I ran downstairs. We went grocery shopping, we came home. No big deal.
Things are still easy, and I know I’m not fully appreciating that. I’m spending too much time hoping that my baby comes soon.
I’m 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant right now, and honestly, I feel pretty good. Besides the heartburn and the constant peeing, I don’t have very many complaints. My mobility problems are few. I mean, I do miss riding my bicycle, but it’s also January. I don’t do stairs very well, but I have an elevator in my apartment building. It does take effort to get to my feet from a laying-down position, but I can do it. It is annoying to drop things on the floor, but it’s not ridiculously difficult to pick things up. I’ve seen people who are as pregnant as I am right now having a much harder time of it than I am. I’m probably jinxing myself in some terrible way right now, but heck. I don’t care. I give pregnancy 4 out of 5 stars. It’s truly been the coolest thing, but this peeing all the goddamn time thing is for the birds.
I don’t want to sound too much like a nutter, but it’s been an amazing adventure, observing myself go through all these emotional and physical changes. I remember being too scared to tell anyone, because what if I miscarried? I remember turning 23 weeks pregnant and just the feeling that labor now wouldn’t be a miscarriage as much as preterm labor, because some babies survive being born at 23 weeks. And every week after that has been just this buildup of confidence. More and more, our baby is becoming stronger and better-suited to be born. He used to be floating in a bubble, and now he’s scrunched up in a tight balloon. I remember before it was even summer and January was SO. FAR. AWAY. And now it’s here, and any day, we will be a family.
Every single change, new symptom, and evolution of these past few months has been fascinating to me. It’s really hard to remember how common and pedestrian having babies truly is when you’re in the midst of it, yourself. For me? It’s been the most noteworthy thing in the world. I feel like the luckiest gal in history, to get to do this. I know that this couldn’t possibly be true, but it’s a feeling. I could never have known. How on earth do you describe to someone how it feels to be headbutted in the cervix? How do you describe a contraction? Hell, let’s go back further. How do you describe to someone what it feels like, just to lay in bed at ANY point in pregnancy, even before the first kick and before you hear the heartbeat for the first time, and just know that your pelvic region/abdomen is occupied by a person? These are experiences that change you.
I want this baby to come. He can come when he’s ready, and I’m not trying to kick him out or anything, I just wish it to be sooner. The anticipation is a killer. I am terrified of it, and I am exulted by it. But mostly, I just feel ready to confront it. Not that I’m sure I’m ready for it, but I feel ready to face it. I’ve spent the last 30+ weeks of my life growing accustomed to the fact that the book of the last 32 years has already been written. A new book is just beginning. A baby is being born, parents are being born. I really am excited.
I have an amazing partner in my husband, and he’s been a great sport through it all. He’s been more than loving, and is always reminding me of his support in ways that make me proud to be with him. I hate to brag, but sometimes, I can’t help it. I just can’t possibly fully anticipate the change in our relationship and our lives which is about to occur. Our old lives will be gone, and replaced by completely new lives. Our old identities will be altered and compounded and neither of us will be the same ever again. We will be parents. Any day now.
So, I think I’m going to write a list of things that I expect to see or that I hope to see come out of Swap and I being parents to this kid. I think it will be interesting to see what the reality turns out to be in the end.
- Swap and I intend to cloth diaper. We are pretty well set up in that department, and while the task seems somewhat daunting, I think that it will be worth it in lack of ecological guilt and the money we save.
- I intend to breastfeed. A lot. Everywhere. All over the place.
- We really want to give elimination communication a shot. It does make sense to me to, if you can find a rhythm, try catching pees and poos in the toilet.
- Swap and I want to try to teach him a few signs so that he might learn to communicate before he’s verbal. Perhaps the words “eat” and “more” and “up” for example.
- Swap and I intend to co-sleep with him. My biggest reasons for me wanting to sleep with our son this way is because I believe and hope that there will be more feedings and less crying, translating to more sleep for everyone.
- We have both expressed a desire to keep having fun, and to show this child a world that is fun, and to try like hell not to get caught up in a grind. We have been told that raising children can be lots of fun. Swap and I like fun.
- I live so near a beach and parks and other parents and their kids, I want like crazy to get out and involved this spring and summer. Before the pregnancy knocked me over with the brutal exhaustion, I was walking 3mi several times a week. We have a baby carrier already, and I am imagining us being out with him, walking, often.
- I get sad in the wintertime. I hear that mothers get sad after the baby comes. I get less sad in the wintertimes that I also happen to have a significant project or distraction (hello, baby!). I also intend to eat my placenta (in capsule pill form), which should help with my mood (and milk and whatnot). Right now, I feel very optimistic about parenthood, and it’s very difficult for me to imagine that after the baby is born I will have a breakdown about it… I just hope to remember how great I feel about it today. I hope that my optimism, with other factors, all add up to a cozy, blissful “4th trimester.”
- I want to be my own kind of mom. Meaning, I want to be the kind of mom that I will be, naturally. Organically. I don’t want to be the kind of parent that I think I should be because someone told me I should. Moms can be mean to each other. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to learn to live life the way I like it, ignoring what others might have to say about it, and I just really hope that it translates over into the kind of parent I can be.
- I don’t want to be a domineering partner in parenthood. I don’t want to be over-anxious about the kind of parent my husband will be, or whether he can handle our son alone. I hope to support and not hinder his process of becoming a parent, as I am sure that he will support and nurture me.
Most of all, though, I just hope that I can continue to appreciate every step of this ever evolving process. All the lovely things, and all the difficult things. I want to remember that when I’m having a hard time with him, he may also be having a hard time with me. This family, will be my new hobby. The one hobby to tie together all my other hobbies. My umbrella hobby. I want to embrace my new job as mom. I feel like all my life, all that time I spent hoping for a job where being animated, dorky, creative, cheerful and patient would really pay off, and this is what it was. Who knew?