Well, it is almost done. The pregnancy that is. Then the real adventure begins. Not that this process has been anything less than a real adventure. I think most pregnant woman would say the same. It is foreign, new, exciting, terrifying and amazing all at the same time. All that being said without even commenting on the fact that a freaking human life is being made in our bodies! I mean, seriously people, I made a human! A HUMAN!
So here I am 38 weeks + 3 days. I am done. I mean it, if this baby comes right now I will be so happy and ready to bring him into this world. Pregnant women unite, when we are done, we are done. It’s the end of Sept and I have been pregnant since early January. All of 2011 has been filled with a variety of physical illness and exhaustion that I have never experienced before. So let’s be honest, I am done. I know a new set of exhaustion will enter my life. Along with sore nipples and a variety of other things that will likely shock and surprise me. I know that. But right now, I just want my lungs back. I want my bladder to not feel like it needs to pee, even after I pee. I need to feel like Natasha again. A new Natasha, okay, I’m down. Totally down for mommyness. So bring it little man. You are welcome to arrive any time now. For real. Arrive any time NOW.
They say pregnant women get dumb. Okay, I say dumb, “they” probably have a better word for it which I cannot think of, surprisingly. It’s true. I am dumber now than I have ever been. Allow me to share. The progesterone that a woman produces during pregnancy, especially towards the end of her pregnancy, along with the lack of oxygen going to her brain cause the brain to shrink in size. It will go back, at least that’s what they say, to normal over the next, I don’t know how long, after the baby is born. So okay, it’s normal. All women get a little dumber, or should I say forgetful and unable to focus. This in no way makes me feel better. I don’t want to feel dumb. And when I do, I just want to cry, which makes me feel dumber. So for all those women who once felt dumb or will one day feel dumb allow me to share one brief afternoon of my dumb.
I was in the Dr office with Kurt. We were entering future appointments into our phone calendars when the phone rang. A normal ringing phone. I looked at my phone and said, “it’s ringing, but it’s not showing up on my phone.” Then I looked at Kurt’s phone and said “Don’t you hear it, it’s ringing and not showing up on your phone!” I was so confused. Why were our phones not displaying the caller. Why was it ringing normal and not the tunes we normally had as our ringers. What was happening? I was looking right at them. Why was Kurt so calm? Why is Kurt laughing? What is happening? Then in a giggly voice he says “We are in an office, it’s the office phone.” Then the lady behind the desk leaves a message for someone. She was on speaker calling a patient. Even in the moment of that, I still struggled to understand it was not my phone, or Kurt’s phone, it was the office phone. Not more than 10 minutes later we are in the examining room. And I say to Kurt “So I was talking to my mom… wait, was it my mom? Maybe I was talking to someone else, I remember I was driving with my ear piece on the 405…” he say’s “okay what were you talking about?” And I say “What?” He say’s “You said you were talking to your mom or maybe someone else about what?” And I said “I have no idea what you are talking about.” We laughed so hard, tears pouring from my eyes because WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO ME! The Dr entered, we shared the story and she laughed. It is true, I got dumb. Then she justified it with knowledge that I tried to share earlier and I am sure I mucked that up somehow. Since then there have been moments, mostly forgetfulness followed by an anxiety that I am messing something up. It’s difficult to feel this way and still teach. Especially with middle school kids who love to debate any and every thing.
My middle school kids are adorable, excited and want to touch my belly all the time. ALL the time. The girls are more likely to put a hand there gently and not move it. They boys just want to see how hard it is and gently poke with one finger, for fear they will pop it. Then they always say “It’s like a basketball! So hard.” They are right, I look just like a swallowed a basketball and have slowly inflated it inside me. The best part about these kids, they have made me feel like they will miss me so much once the baby arrives. Every class they say to me how much they like me and how sad they are that I will be leaving for a while. Then they say, just a week right? And I remind them I will be gone much longer than that. So a good handful of them signed up for my 8th period elective class, saying, I want more of this fun stuff with you. Cool right?
Okay, so here I am the last little bit. The reason I actually started this blog post and have just put off for whatever reason until now to write it out.
I thought of my birth as something specific. I don’t have a crazy plan. I am incredibly flexible and just want my boy to be born safe and healthy. With that being said, I realized I had a very specific idea of how that would go. A vaginal birth, with an epidural. Then when he was born he’d be placed on my chest and I would see, hold and feel my baby immediately. Skin to skin. Inside of my body to the outside of my body. Nothing in between. From me, to me. I could kiss him and hug him and hold him immediately. This was my plan. Nothing crazy. Just simply loving and in the moment. That is all I have dreamt of for months. That moment with my son. A simple yet specific idea of how this birth would go. Until I went to the Dr and found out that I am having a giant baby and my world suddenly started to change. Week 37 my first Dr mentioned a C-Section if he continues to grow. After measurements he was estimated at 7.5 lbs already. At the time I was okay with this, not the C-Section, but the prep talk. It’s not gonna happen. He will come early and all will be fine I thought. I was 7.5 lbs, not a big deal. But thank you Doc for warning me of the possibility. Then at week 38 my second Dr mentioned the same thing. Only this time he is estimated at 8.5 lbs. I have my first internal exam, she checks me and my boy is still high, not engaged at all. I am not dilated, my cervix has not begun to thin. He is no where near ready. And she mentions if he doesn’t engage by 41 weeks (3 more weeks from now!) the option of either getting induced or a C-Section. But if he hasn’t engaged and I haven’t started to dilate by 41 weeks, it might be that he just won’t fit. His size is possibly an issue. Can I birth such a big baby? Right now, yes, but in 2 or 3 weeks? Maybe not. Okay, thank you Doc for warning me of the possibility. I get as far as the elevator before the tears start to pour out of my eyes. This is not part of my plan. I have no issue with a C-Section. I just don’t want one. Obviously I don’t want surgery, the slow recovery the added pain after birth… all of that jazz. But really I don’t want a C-Section because my son will not be placed on my chest. I won’t have that first moment with him on me. He will be taken away, weighed, wiped down… Then brought over all wrapped up. I will still be in surgery. I will only get to feel him if someone holds him next to my face. The thought of this destroyed me.
I just needed to allow myself a day to feel sad. In the big scope of things I know it’s fine. I kept telling myself that. But when your heart, soul and mind think one thing for so long, it is hard to convince it that it doesn’t matter in the big picture. That was until I remembered what got me here in the first place. Back on December 31st 2010 Kurt and I agreed to let go of the want of a baby. To give that back to God. To be present, happy and to simply put on the top of our 2011 intention list ACCEPTANCE. Could this be another one of those precious life lessons? I asked for acceptance. In order to get that, the opportunity must arise that I need to accept things. It was within 15 days of that intention that I became pregnant after years of trying. It has been the case through the entire pregnancy, accepting nausea, vomiting, constipation, acid reflux, sleeplessness, swollen legs and hands, charlie horses, dietary restrictions… Accepting it all. And now this. How small minded I must be, to forget that acceptance has been the constant through my pregnancy. Acceptance will be the constant through my future. And with this wave of remembering my intention to get me here, I accept that no matter what happens, it is how it was meant to be and I am without a doubt grateful for this adventure.