We enter week 34 (at least according to my ex-dr.’s count) and the stretch of feeling uncomfortably large. One might think I’d be counting down the weeks—nay, even, days—till I can meet this little man on the outside of my uterus, but I am not there yet. As achy as I am, I want to keep him in there for a fourth trimester because there is just too much to do. And I don’t know what I am doing at all. I go from setting up childbirth classes at the nearest hospital to researching birth centers. I pay a horrendous amount to see a collaborative midwife practice without even knowing if I am going to commit. I read The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer while also attending the hospital childbirth classes, and both make me want to run screaming from the classroom. This is how I end up crunchy with oats, covered head-to-toe in granola, seriously considering home birth while also having an out-of-body experience that consists of me staring down at myself, going, who the fuck are you and what did you do with the real me? I agonize about money, and insurance, and throw mini tantrums about not being able to have a bathtub for labor.
It is all researching and agonizing and arranging and rearranging and organizing and sleeplessness and admittedly a good deal of crying and nightly candlelit baths for stress reduction up in here. Dave has been back to work for four days, during which he has managed to come home late three times and be actually physically out of the state of California for one. I won’t lay on you how I feel about that, but you should be able to guess.
We live, always, so mouth to … haha. I meant to write “hand to mouth,” but I almost wrote “mouth to mouth.” Which in its own way could be true. We live kissingly. In constant need of each other’s resuscitation.
But pressing onward. I make myself start each day with morning pages to get out the gripes followed by at least five minutes of notations of gratitude. Despite the overwhelmingness, I make myself note the many things about which I am grateful. It is a good and necessary practice. I just want to make all of the lists, and do all of the things, and somehow arrive at peace and calm and time to reflect and turn inward before my insides turn outward in bringing this babe into the world.
This entry is all over the place, so this seems as good as any exit point.
But let me leave you with a quote from one of the many motherhood memoirs I’ve been reading:
“[Anne Lamott’s friend Larry said that] I was just an opening for Sam to come into the world, that I wasn’t supposed to be a drug for him. I was just supposed to be his mother. Sam was meant to be born into the world exactly the way it is, into these exact circumstances, even if that meant not having a dad or an ozone layer, even if it included pets who would die and acne and seventh-grade dances and AIDS. He simply wasn’t meant to be born into the paradise behind the mountains.” [Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year, by Anne Lamott, 1993]
Which I translate as: it doesn’t all have to be perfect. Or even figured out. We will never be 100% ready. But we want him, badly, and we will make it all work. The important things—like him coming out—are going to happen whether or not I feel ready, and the love is there. The love is ready.