There’s no way around it, no way to avoid it, to ignore it. I can’t deny anymore that I’M HAVING A BABY VERY SOON. Very. Soon. All signs are pointing toward this kiddo’s exit.
I realized at the beginning of the week she must have dropped. The most telling sign? My boobs were no longer resting atop my belly as much as they were sagging to reach it. Bonus, I finally got a little relief from the non-stop kicking in the same exact spot for the last 2 months. She’s now moving around much lower. And the heartburn, though still pretty awful, doesn’t seem to be *as* bad and I haven’t woken up choking on my own stomach acid in almost a week. I also lost 4 lbs in the last week on a steady diet of Thanksgiving leftovers. What gives? Turns out there’s an old wives tale that you drop a few pounds before you drop the baby. The nesting instinct has kicked into high gear. I’m on some sort of energy high that’s keeping me from sleeping at night. The end is near. So, yay, right?
No. No, no, no, no. The list is not complete yet. We still have to install the carseat, check the birthing tub (which just arrived today) for holes, pack the hospital bags, her coming home outfit hasn’t arrived yet, her room still isn’t complete, the car is a DISASTER, the kitchen needs to be re-organized to make room for all the baby crapola to make it’s re-appearance, I need to clean the cover to the bouncy seat, I need to color my hair (for real, these grays are out of control), I need to dig out all my old nursing bras and sleep bras, I have things to sew, presents to wrap, and now I have a camera to learn to use (Wheeee!!! Merry Christmas-Valentines-Anniversary-30th Birthday to me!). ::Deep breath::
Okay, but beyond the list, what I think I’ve been using the list to try to hide, are actually all these feelings of terror. People, I REMEMBER TOO MUCH. Where the F is my momnesia? I remember the pain, the ripping, the ring of fire, the self doubt, transition, the chunks of flesh falling off my nipples, the mastitis, the colic., the sleep deprivation. I remember the very loud promise I made to myself and my husband while pushing that we were NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN. I remember it all. There is no blissful oblivion headed into it this time around.
And, even deeper than that, I’m scared I won’t be as lucky this time around. For as shitty as my recovery after delivery was, my labor and delivery were freaking text book. Sure, it was painful, but there were no hiccups, no glitches, most importantly, I made it through. What if I’m not that lucky this time around? Even worse? What if that wasn’t luck? What if that was the result of all the hours I spent preparing for Kendall’s arrival.
I was diligent about the Kegels, the relaxation exercises, the stretches, the squats the first time around. This time? I can’t remember the last time I did a Kegel (Okay, just now… and I bet you just did, too, because that’s how Kegels get you, you do them the minute you read about them or hear someone talk about them, don’t you? Or is that just me?), my “relaxation” techniques involve locking myself in the bathroom and hiding from the 2 year old, I haven’t stretched in months, I don’t spend hours sitting on my birthing ball and aligning my pelvis, I think I’ve done a total of 100 pelvic rocks this whole pregnancy. I did. not. prepare. And I really think, at the very heart of things, I’m beating myself up for this. I had the best of intentions to treat this pregnancy just like I did the last, but who the hell has time when they are raising a 2 year old to sit around doing pelvic rocks and f-ing rainbow visualizations??
It’s too late now to change things, though. I’m 37ish weeks along. This could happen any day. And I realized today that I need to stop focusing on the negative, stop seeing the list as half undone, stop dwelling on what I *haven’t* done to prepare. I need positivity, and I need it bad. I need your help. Please, please fill me up with positive birth and beyond stories, especially second time or more moms. Tell me I’m not screwing myself and my daughter out of an equally fulfilling birth experience just because I didn’t do 100 kegels every day or zone out to my hypnotic music for 15 minutes every night.
And, for the record, I *know* it won’t be the end of the world if things don’t go the way I’ve planned. I’m very flexible with my birth plan, to a degree. That said, barring any REAL complications, I fully expect myself to have another med-free birth and am looking forward to it (even knowing the pain that may come along with it). Please understand, this is the mind-set I have to be in going into this. I’ve done this before, I can do this again, and that’s that.
As for the plan, I’ll labor at home as long as possible. Hopefully this time around I’ll know a little better when my body is in full blown, active labor and we can get to the hospital when I’m a bit further along (last time I showed up at 2 cm, but I had K about 4 hours later because my labor progressed very fast after that). And yes, I’m going to a hospital, one that has a great history of working with midwives (I’ll have a midwife in attendance) and an awesome med-free birth track record. I’ll labor in a tub we are bringing, and I may very well deliver in the tub, too. We’ll just see how I’m feeling when that time comes.
I’m going to spend however long I have left, be that 5 days or 5 weeks, trying to be positive about all this. There’s nothing I can do to change the past, only to change my attitude moving forward. Thank you so much for any advice or support you can give!