The Innermost Thoughts of a Woman on the Verge of Giving Birth.
Today was my last day working at school, and it felt bittersweet. It’s always exciting to finish up school and start the summer, but it feels strange to be leaving before the school year is over (though there are only a few weeks left), knowing that things will be going on “business as usual” next week without me. And I’m sad to know that I’ll be missing out on all of the special end-of-the-school-year-events, like Olympic Day (basically a competitive field day spent outdoors) and last-minute field trips and school assemblies. But I did get to see the spring band/choir concert yesterday, so that was a nice send-off.
I was originally planning on working right up until giving birth, but I made a tough choice and set a final day yesterday after my weekly OB/GYN exam. I don’t want to get into any gory details or anything for the sake of my non-preggo reading audience, but I’m already pretty dilated and things have already started moving along so quickly that the doctor said she would be surprised if I went another week without having the baby! She even predicted that I would go into labor within the next 48 hours!
I felt a huge weight lift from my shoulders when she said that–one that I didn’t even realize I was carrying. I’ve been SO grumpy over the past couple of weeks. Justin even confronted me one day and said, “Why are you so angry with me all the time? What did I do wrong?!” And it surprised me because I wasn’t angry with him at all! He didn’t do anything wrong. I’ve just been feeling so uncomfortable, carrying around all of this weight. And I get so tired so easily now. And it’s been easy for me to fall into thinking, “This is my life now. Every day when I wake up, I’m going to feel tired before the day even begins. There will never be a time when I’m NOT carrying this huge load!” Which is silly, I know. It’s just hard to remember what it’s like to wear a pair of pants that actually have a zipper and button. It’s hard to remember what it’s like to be able to jump out of a chair suddenly to answer the door when the doorbell rings. It’s hard to remember what it’s like to NOT have random aches and pains just from walking or standing. So it starts to feel like it’s going to be that way forever…
…Until my doctor miraculously announced that it’s not! I could have kissed her! I felt like I had won the lottery when I left the doctor’s office yesterday. I WON’T have to go until May 18th (or later than that…many women go one or even two weeks past their due date, YIKES!) carrying around this heavy load. I could literally have the baby any day now, and I am thrilled!
But then of course, once the initial thrill wore off, I started getting nervous. Not just nervous about going into labor (which does make me nervous, by the way), but nervous about the fact that my life as I know it will never be the same. I suppose that thinking about what my new life as a mom will be like makes me feel anxious just because it’s so UNKNOWN. And parents everywhere, no matter how old their children may be, give me mixed messages about what it will be like. I hear a lot of, “Get ready to never sleep again!” But they also say things like, “These will be the greatest years of your life–treasure that baby while he’s still tiny! He’ll grow up so fast!”
I suppose I feel a lot like I did right before I got married (nearly seven years ago, now!). I was nervous because married life was so unknown to me, and it’s another topic that people have VERY mixed opinions on. Some people are all “wedded bliss” and others are all “ball-and-chain.” And everyone is FULL of advice for a newlywed–whether it’s good advice or bad, they’re dying to share! I remember feeling nervous because I liked how things were with me and Justin, and I enjoyed living with my girl roommates, and in some ways, I didn’t want anything to change. But I knew that marriage would inevitably be a BIG change.
And it was.
And sometimes it’s hard to be married. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Life would be so much easier if I were living with girls again, like the old days! I wouldn’t be the only one making dinner and cleaning up the house…”
But then I try to imagine what life would be like if I WERE still single at age 28, living with girl roommates and being a bachelorette. And I don’t want that. I wouldn’t be happy or satisfied if that’s where I was in life right now. And honestly, those brief moments when I get frustrated with Justin and reminisce about singlehood are far outweighed by the moments that I look at Justin with dreamy eyes and feel my heart brimming over with love and happiness, because he really is the best friend and husband that a girl could ask for! And I am so happy to be an “us” instead of and “I.”
So I hope that adding one more to our family will be similar to getting married, if that makes sense. I know that there will be very difficult days when I get frustrated and reminisce about having some “me” time like I did in the days before motherhood. But hopefully those moments will be far outweighed by the moments that I look at that baby boy with dreamy eyes and feel my heart brimming over with love and happiness.
I hope it will be something like that. 🙂