Sunday, June 17, 2012

Inside the 50: 34 Weeks and Counting

I realize that my posting has become more sporadic. June is a very busy month at work, and MM and I have been diligently marking shit off of our pre-baby to do list. We had our first baby class. We had some baby showers -- including a surprise shower thrown for us by his place of business. We finished every last house project we set out to do before baby (seriously, I didn't even think that was possible).

Moreover, our little girl's room is decorated. Her clothes are washed and put away. With the exception of a few minor items, we have everything we need to welcome her home. I've even put together the major baby items -- the co-sleeper, the swing, and the bouncy seat are ready to go. And now... we wait.

The Waiting Game
Don't get me wrong--there's still shit to do, but the list really isn't that long. We're really in a place where we could have this kid tomorrow (hopefully we won't) and be in pretty good shape.

Mentally, however, I'm not quite there. Part of me is very much looking forward to not being pregnant. But that's the part of me that thinks pre-pregnancy thoughts like, "I can't wait to go back to Bikram yoga!" Then the part of me that knows that I won't be sweating it out in yoga any time in the foreseeable future chimes in, and I have the obvious and yet still startling revelation that NOTHING is going to be the same ever again once she is here. And the ways in which it will change--no matter how much of a heads up everyone gives us about the sleepless nights and the emotional ups and downs and the feelings of isolation and the lack of routine and the endless eat, sleep, poop cycles--are so completely unknown.

Part of me is very much terrified to not be pregnant. Eight or so months later, pregnancy (especially since I still feel pretty good) is a fairly predictable if slightly uncomfortable reality that I can deal with. But now, I'm pretty much in front of the firing squad...not understanding what I've signed up for... not really convinced that I should have made the decisions I made without all the facts. And the outcome is pretty much already decided.

I know. These thoughts aren't the thoughts I'm supposed to having. I'm supposed to be "done" being pregnant. I'm supposed to just want to meet my baby. Make no mistake--I have very strong feelings about my baby. I want to meet my baby. I tear up (read: become nearly inconsolable) at the thought of seeing her and holding her for the first time. I would go so far as to say I already love my little girl. I just also happen to be scared to death of her.

How I Fear Thee, Let Me Count the Ways
The focus of my fear changes quite a bit. One day, it was labor and delivery. I became convinced during our baby class that I would be paralyzed permanently from an epidural. The next it's that I'll have the worst baby on the block -- the one who is constantly fussy and cannot be soothed by anyone but mom. All my new mom friends who seem to be settling into a new normal six to eight weeks in, that won't be me. I'll be a frazzled nightmare until my kid is five. Sometimes I'm worried that I'll only be good with an infant, and I'll be completely incapable of being able to parent a child that actively interacts with me. Other times I freak about my relationship with my husband and how our baby is going to change that. What if we can't share the responsibility or agree on how to parent? What if our marriage falls apart?

All of these scenarios end the same way. I cry and ask MM, "Did we make a mistake?" And he says, "No." He's right, and I know that. I just need another few weeks or six, and then I'll be ready.

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