Four weeks from baby girl’s due date. I have simultaneous impulses to do ALL THE THINGS and do nothing. I can’t win, obviously. This is the last month of pregnancy, and it is always full of anticipation, sadness, anxiety, guilt, impatience, trust, dull thoughts, and those dang battling intuitions to both clean AND lay down all day. I want the time to pass quickly, and I want to savor it all. I want to read all the must-read books, and I want to watch all the must-watch movies, and I want to clean all the must-clean things in this house. I want to be smart and stock the freezer with meals, and I want to eat take out, forever. I want the baby to come early, and I want the baby to stay put until the calendar is clear. I want to have this baby OUT, and I don’t want to give birth. I want to go into labor, and I don’t want to give birth. I want her to stop kicking my ribs, and I DON’T WANT TO GIVE BIRTH.
I feel as if my attention span in this period virtually nonexistent. I keep wanting to find something to hold my thoughts up in rapture so I don’t have to suffer the boredom of WAITING for the appearance of a baby, but I can’t focus on that book for more than 15 minutes, NONE of the movie previews look appealing, and a nap isn’t even fun anymore. I’m even waking up in the middle of the night bored — like, it’s still dark out? WHY AM I NOT ASLEEP?
This is an internal boredom, mind you, not an external one. Externally, my world is very full, and there are plenty of tasks. There’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There’s papers to sign, homework to help with, play-dough creations to make, toys to pick up, laundry to fold. There’s a BIG DOG, for goodness sake, who thinks I’ve come to play every time I sit down on the floor to do something, so he prances around me and smacks me in the face with his tail. He drops his bone in my lap. And then it’s school pick-up and snacks and doctor’s appointments and video games and friends. These things, though, are too routine to provide much of a distraction from the waiting.
Another part of this month — or really, all of pregnancy for me — is the pulling inward in order to prep for this big arrival and what a bump-on-a-log that makes me feel like. I am a zero-fun mom when I’m pregnant. Didn’t I already mention the short attention span? That’s not good for listening to little rambling stories. And the aches and pains aren’t good for park-playing, under-dog-giving, or wrestling. “Find daddy” and “when daddy gets home” have become my go-tos. Consequenty, daddy is THE BIG HERO right now. This is good, and quite appropriate, but still hard for me to swallow. More contradictory impulses: I want to retreat and rest for the big event, AND I want to be the super-fun, always-active, mom-and-dad-rolled-into-one parent.
Given that ALL THREE of my babies have been exactly four days past their due dates, I’m not banking any hopes on an early arrival for this little lady. This means I have a full month of this low-grade emotional stress to get through. I will pray it will pass quickly, but I know it won’t. I know I will have every intention of being happy and patient up until the commencement of labor (or in my case, the magical day following a week or two of days that I *thought* were going to be the magical day), but it won’t pan out. I will reach my limit and break down in anger and frustration, wondering, “Why, God? Why hasn’t it happened yet?” And I will cry in my loving husbands arms, as he strokes my hair and looks toward the ceiling, thanking God that this is the last time we will have to deal with pregnancy hormones. Then I will get a wave of fresh perspective and will be able to make it a little longer.
Here we go!