Like so much of parenting, the last few weeks of pregnancy are accompanied with complicated feelings.
In some ways, this final stretch is my absolute favorite time and it is also my least favorite time.
It’s the best because the baby is so big and so real. I can feel her feet jabbing out of my sides and watch her movements ripple across my body. The nagging worry in the back of my mind all these months can finally dissipate because if she came out now, it wouldn’t be preterm labor. Instead she’d be right on-time and that’s simply marvelous.
Being pregnant is kind of awesome.
This is our second baby. I don’t know yet if we will ever try to have a third so these last few weeks could be the last time I experience any of this stuff.
But the end of pregnancy is also a terrible time because the baby feels gigantic.
This means that I simply don’t sleep. Everything hurts in new weird ways every day. My bladder never feels empty. My fingers are too swollen for my wedding ring. Waaaahh! No one wants to hear me whine about this. I don’t even want to hear myself whine about this.
Want to know the real secret why this is a terrible time?
I will tell you: It’s terrible because I have no control over when this baby is coming out. I could go into labor anytime within the next few weeks or maybe not go into labor at all (and need to be induced). Well, I hate that. I hate that not knowing. I hate making plans that always have the condition of “if the baby is not already here”. I like certainty. Without it, I become a monster. A big pregnant monster who starts to obsess on everything else that I can control.
Now that it’s almost my due date, I have done everything possible to get ready for the baby. My husband’s to-do list is complete. He even purchased batteries and painted the shelving that he built. He did joke that he was purposefully going to leave a few things undone because he knows if he actually finished everything, I would just come up with something new for him to do. But even so, my own to-do lists are also complete.
Now, with our powers combined, the nursery is more cozy and welcoming than our own bedroom. All the cloth diapers are organized and disposables have arrived from Amazon. Wolfy, our three-year-old son, has attended his Super Sibling! workshop and has the certificate to prove it. We’ve put countless diapers on his boy-doll and dressed him in all the baby’s purple and pink outfits.
We’ve even gotten the house ready for my best friend to come stay while we are in the hospital: the bribery zone, where we hide all the candy on top of the refrigerator, is fully stocked with tootsie rolls. Also well-stocked is the macaroni and cheese area in the pantry.
So what’s missing? Oh yeah, the baby.
She’s just hanging out on the inside, kicking my ribs and using my bladder as a nice squishy pillow. I’m sure that now that everything is ready she is going to ironically be as late as possible coming out. Isn’t that how it goes?
Here is all that I’m left to do:
1.) Maniacally clean and re-clean the house.
2.) Obsess and stress over the weather forecast and how it is constantly either extremely cold or snowing (in other words, normal Vermont winter weather that normally wouldn’t phase me).
3.) Starting fights for arbitrary reasons with pretty much every close family member and friend. Yes, the end of pregnancy is when the crazy really comes out.
Anyone want to come over and join me for a nice cup of tea? Yeah, I would stay far away too if I were you.