With only a week remaining until the arrival of my due date, I actually have time to think about my pregnancy and what the approaching outcome will entail. It's all been very abstract for me from the beginning. Back in February when we got a positive pregnancy result, there weren't many physical changes to speak of and there was no tangible evidence that a baby had actually been created. I had no morning sickness to speak of and my regular clothes fit for a long time. Once our greenhouse season was in full swing, I became too busy to really think about my pregnancy. I worked long days every day without much time to rest and reflect on what was going on inside my body. To the baby's credit, he was extremely cooperative all summer. My pregnancy hasn't prevented me from doing anything I normally do (with the exception of an October steelhead trip), and I've remained extremely active over the past nine months. It wasn't until a week or two ago that the increased discomfort began. It coincided with the end of our greenhouse season, so I'm not sure if I'm more uncomfortable now because the baby is at his biggest point or if it's because I have time to notice it. Either way, I've still had it very easy overall so I don't complain much. Sure my shoes are pretty tight now, my ribcage is sore, and I have to get up once or twice each night to use the bathroom, but things could have been much worse for much longer.
As I said before, I stayed so busy during the duration of my pregnancy that the baby didn't start to become real to me until recently. With the greenhouse now closed for the season, I have more free time in a single day than I had over the course of the entire summer. I spent our first week of the off season in nesting mode: I washed the baby clothes, organized the house, froze tomato sauce and applesauce for the winter, got the car seat installed, stocked the kitchen with food, etc. Now that I checked off all the important things on my baby to-do list, there's days when I start to feel a bit listless. It's only the second week of our off season and I'm already bored. Unbelievable. I should be appreciating this time to myself because I'll soon me lamenting the loss of it. Who knows when I'll ever have this much time to myself again.....
With this new time off comes too much time to think, which has led to some mental meltdowns recently. The labor part doesn't worry me; I know it will be painful but I know it will end, and I also know my pain tolerance is high. Most mothers I know have gone through some sort of labor, so if they can do it so can I. I'm also not too nervous about caring for a newborn. I've done a lot of reading, we've taken the classes, and our families will be around to help. The part that's been throwing me for a loop, though, is the realization that our lives are about to profoundly change. It's actually beginning to dawn on me that we'll be bringing home a newborn sometime within the next few weeks. The baby is still intangible to me; I don't have a picture in my head of what he'll look like, we don't have a definite name picked out yet, and I don't feel I've really bonded with him inside the womb. Whether we're ready or not, the arrival of the baby will be the biggest life changing event in either of our lives......and it's scary. I know the timing couldn't be better and my husband and I are not regretting the pregnancy one bit, but it's still making me very anxious and emotional lately. Once this baby is here, our lives will have an entirely new focus. We'll no longer just be looking out for ourselves and each other. This baby will become the epicenter of our lives. I know it will be a good thing but it's just begun to sink in how much our lives are about to change. I've been very independent for a very long time but will soon be retiring that independence. I know I'll get it back eventually, but it scares me. I also know that I'll likely forget all these fears once the baby is here.
To my husband's credit, he already loves the baby. He is much more emotionally open than I am and I can tell he's excited for the baby to get here. I have a hunch that as my due date approaches I, too, will turn the corner and begin to look forward to the arrival of our son. A lot of people have said to me over the past couple months, "You must be getting so excited to meet him!" I would go along with their excitement but it wasn't genuine. It had previously been too abstract for me, and right now I'm more anxious than excited. When I look at the crib and baby clothes, I feel agitation rather than love.
Part of me wishes I was still working ten hours a day so I didn't have time to process everything that's going to be happening within the next few weeks, but another part of me is glad that I'm confronting these fears. I know it's normal to be nervous and I know I'll have no regrets once the baby is here. It's been eye opening for me to see how genuinely excited people are for this baby--people I don't even know--so we definitely must be headed towards something very special. Although I don't feel drawn towards babies and don't have the urge to coo and coddle infants I see on the street, I know it will be different with my own child. And when I take the time to think about it now, I AM looking forward to developing that special bond with my son, and I AM looking forward to moving on from a couple to a cohesive unit of three. Maybe today's the day I start turning the corner and love and anticipation about my son's arrival begin to replace anxiety and fear.