I am too exhausted for a properly written blog post, but I need to write.
I had an emotional roller coaster day today. I started the day wondering if the normal elements of my day would be my “last” before the baby comes – beginning with my shower…my drive to school with the kids…my meals – before everything changes. Then some sweet “nesting” time with my littlest running “last” errands that needed to happen before baby comes – crib sheets, carseat, hangers, snacks for the hospital – just a few last to-do’s. It brought me back to my first pregnancy, the hopeful anticipation lacking any taste of fear, to be gathering these treasures. I was so prepared then. So prepared.
Afternoon NST results: healthy heartbeat, lots of contractions, but I measured smaller than last week = ultrasound ordered for tomorrow or next day. Three years ago when I weighed a pound less than the previous week, I was confused and a little disappointed. I hadn’t crossed a threshold I’d been waiting to cross with my weight. It was the first sign my baby Fisher had died, I wonder if I knew in that moment? I remember that one pound was such a bummer. Today it is a centimeter.
But it isn’t really death I am afraid of right now, it is the magnitude of this life that is about to come. (But who am I kidding, of course I fear death – I guess it’s better said that I am not anticipating it.)
With all my contractions and activity, I was hoping I was in labor today so this would all be over and he would be safe in my arms. Yet I don’t want my last pregnancy to be over yet. I adore being pregnant and it has gone by too fast. And I am just not ready.
Are we ever really ready? I’ve thought I was in the past. I am a planner and like to be prepared for what is coming next in life. I have done this childbirth thing enough to know I am not prepared, that we never can be fully prepared, there are too many unknowns. I am feeling unprepared on so many levels.
And yet, it all feels like the proverbial absence from riding a bike. It is second nature by now for me to respond instinctively to a babies’ needs. I am beyond excited to hold and care for my baby boy in every way, smell his sweet smell, snuggle his soft skin, feed and soothe him with that telltale bounce as my next permanent hip accessory. I cannot wait to know him and begin a lifetime of discovery of who he will become. I love thinking about that.
I am also overwhelmed at the thought of it. With 3 kids already, how will I have the energy? I am exhausted, irritable, grateful, terrified, in awe, and feeling ill-prepared – all wrapped in one.
I finally packed my hospital bag, halfway, and remembered my baby needed clothes too. Revelation. Obvious subconscious avoidance going on there. So I finally sorted through the baby boy clothes I last had to put away before they ever were worn. Tears washed over these clothes unpacking them as fiercely as they had come when I had last put them away. Huge waves of grief overcame me – so many memories of my first son who wore so many of them and the second who never got to. Some were still new, just for him.
Lots of contractions still, and they are getting painful. Is it a weary 37 weeks of burgeoning at the end of a long day, or was today my day of “lasts”?
I hope I am in labor tonight. God help me if I am.