The end is near.
I know that sounds a bit Chicken Little, but that's not the end I'm talking about. Ever since, well, the beginning of this pregnancy, I knew there would be an end—after all that is the entire point, having a baby at the end. And the entire pregnancy, I've been baby-minded, dreaming of what everything will be like when he gets here. What I've been avoiding like a serious case of selective hearing, is that in between pregnancy and motherhood, is the baby's grandiose entrance—or rather, grotesque exit.
If I have to have some sort of unpleasant medical procedure, like a shot, I'd rather not know about it. I would rather go in for a routine visit and endure a few minutes of dread than the weeks of “anticipation” in between scheduling and the actual appointment. And so for the past few months, I've been focused on two things: having a healthy pregnancy and adding a little one to the family. The stuff in between? I've tried to give it as little thought as possible. But labor and delivery isn't exactly a quick and simple medical procedure—I'm pretty sure the phrase ignorance is bliss doesn't apply here.
And the reminders keep popping up.
At my last appointment, the nurse asked if I had selected a pediatrician, reminded me that when the baby is sleeping, I should be sleeping too.
The baby's head is down and, except for a little more growing, he's ready to go.
I bought bagels that expire the day before my due date. Bagels.
And so after picking up groceries (that don't come in a can or a box) that I could very well still be eating when I'm officially a mother, I've begun the least pleasant segment of pregnancy planning—getting ready for labor. Except for exercising, I haven't really done much to prepare until this week, when it all started to settle in.
I've read the entire labor section of my pregnancy book, researched and choose the best method for me and my husband to study up on everything that's going to happen during the transition from expecting to parenthood. I spend quite a few moments every day in a mental debate about what pain relief options are best.
And while most people tell me that I'm overly organized, I've been putting off actually developing a birth plan, because, well, I don't really think labor and delivery can really be all that organized. I found a fill-in-the-blank plan online and in the next few weeks I'll sit down with my husband and put check marks by our preferences—but since (1) I've never done this before, (2) there are so many unpredictable things that could happen and (3) I still really don't know what to expect, I won't be too bent out of shape if things aren't exactly like I thought they would be. Besides, since the baby is already big for his age and big-babies-causing-labor-complications run in my family (including an emergency c-section and a fourth degree tear), the last ultrasound could sway me to a planned c-section or early induction, if that's what doc thinks is best.
While 95 percent of the time, I just can't wait for our little man to get here, the other 5 percent of the time I'm a little terrified at exactly how he has to get here and think he can stay put just a little while longer if he'd like (except I guess that means he will just get bigger which means labor will just get harder).
I know its just a matter of time before the end—and I know most likely it will come out of nowhere. I've started the mental preparations, but I still can't help but feeling a little like shouting “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” at every little tummy twinge.
Ever get nervous over the idea of labor and delivery? What are you doing to calm the nerves?