I’m still pregnant, which is crazy. After all the worry and energy we spent and all the precautions we took to keep her in, now she’s not coming out even though there’s nothing left holding her in. For those who don’t know, for 22 weeks of my pregnancy, a 5-inch piece of thread was holding my cervix closed. That may be more than you wanted to know about my cervix, but my TMI threshold is pretty high now. At one point, I was dilated above the stitch with almost no cervical length left below it, which is to say that piece of thread is probably the reason I stayed pregnant through the 2nd trimester. That and bed rest, which I was on for 16 weeks.
But now I’m off bed rest, and the piece of thread has been removed, and we were fully prepared (well, as fully prepared as first-time parents can be) to have a baby three weeks ago, but here I am, due date coming up in 2 days, still pregnant. I realized yesterday that even though my due date was still a few weeks away, I had it in my mind that we were going to have a baby when the stitch came out. So now, even though we still haven’t reached the due date, I feel like I’m overdue. Just acknowledging that helps me to calm down, but this waiting is HARD.
The end of pregnancy is a weird, sweet, invigorating, terrifying, anxiety-ridden, exciting time. I guess like any time of transition in life, it’s like being stuck between two worlds, wanting to be in both for different reasons, but not really feeling like you fit in either. As I sit here watching my belly warp and gyrate, I know I’m already a mom. I haven’t seen her face or felt her little fingers wrap around mine yet, but the living, fluid-breathing child inside me is my daughter. She is her own person already, living off of my resources at the moment, but very much not me. She has her own body and personality and future. But as I sit here watching my belly dance, I am also aware of how quiet it is, how alone I am in my living room, and how, in a very short time, that will not be the case again for a while.
Since I went off bed rest, Will and I have gone on as many dates as possible, knowing an evening out, just the two of us, will be a much rarer occurrence soon. We’re trying to enjoy our last days before Baby as much as possible, but at the same time, we’re getting impatient for her arrival. Part of it is the lack of control. We have no idea when labor will start, and that is driving us a little crazy. Part of it is the excitement and relief that everything is ready in time. Now that we have the nursery set up, we don’t know why she wouldn’t want to come. Doesn’t she know we’ve prepared things for her? And part of it is that pregnancy is hard, and even though we know having a baby will also be hard, we both want me to be able to go for long walks again and sleep without 8,000 pillows in the bed with me.
We’re longing for some normalcy even though we know it will look VERY different from before. We’re ready to be out of this temporary state of pregnancy and get started on the new normal of being a family of three. We want to establish routines again, like meal-planning and exercise. We want to establish new routines, like play dates, library outings, feeding schedules, and bedtime. We want, after so much difficulty, heartache, worry, and fear, to get down to the business of being parents.
But we have to wait, and that’s hard. Living in the moment is hard, especially when the moment is always tense and uncertain. Was that a contraction? Was it a real contraction or just Braxton Hicks? How long ago was the last one? Are they becoming regular? Did my water break, or am I just lying in a pool of my own sweat? Is she moving? She’s not moving. I’ll have a snack, and oh there she goes. She’s fine. I’m fine. We’re fine. Everything is fine. I hope everything is ok in there. I hope she comes out safely. I hope I can do this. What if I can’t do this? Stay in there as long as you want. I’m not ready for labor yet. No, I’ll be fine. I was literally made to do this. Ok I’m ready.
But still waiting.