There's something about the end of pregnancy. It is June 4th, and I am 35 weeks and 2 days pregnant today, and yesterday, my OB designated June 22nd as the big day: induction. Being a type I diabetic, I knew they wouldn't allow me to go to July 7th, which was my original due date. Too much can go wrong too quickly; already my blood pressure is beginning to climb (128/77 yesterday, a small increase over previous measurements, and probably having more to do with an intensely annoying nurse than anything else) and my blood sugars are becoming increasingly difficult to control. It's par for the course when dealing with diabetes, and pregnancy. There's only so much one body can take.
And believe me, mine is just about at its limit. Between insomnia, general discomfort, a precarious emotional state caused by hormones, and my totally non-pregnancy-related lack of patience with pretty much anything, I am at what could only be described as the end of my fricking rope.
This is, with luck, the last time I will be pregnant, and I would be savoring that fact if it weren't for the fact that it is almost impossible for me to savor anything right now, except the thought that my mother will be here in less than two weeks, and a week after that, I won't be pregnant anymore.
I just have so fucking much to do between then and now. I need to go through the clothes that we culled from Max's hand-me-downs one more time, figure out what we need now and what we'll need later, pack a bag, consolidate backup plans with our friends who are being kind enough to back us up with Max. I need to pick out a present from the new baby to Max, whose 4th birthday is June 21st, the day before induction. I have to do more laundry, put together lists and things for my mother, who'll be responsible for Max while I'm in the hospital, and in the middle of all of this, give Max as much love and attention as I possibly can so that he doesn't end up feeling too displaced by the little stranger who's coming to turn his world upside down.
Max seems to be doing fine. He is excited about the new baby, although I am quite sure she's not a great deal less abstract a concept to him than string theory at this point. He wants to share his toys with her, let her sleep in his bed, feed her French fries--I'm sure all of this will change as soon as she is old enough to do any of these things. The little boy who laid down on the floor of the ultrasound suite and sobbed when the tech announced that it was going to be a little sister and not a little brother is gone, and I'm not surprised. Max is a great deal like Dan. One of the things I've always loved about my husband is the fact that whatever space you put him in, he expands to fill. He is shockingly flexible when it comes to change, and that's one of the many things that makes him remarkably easy to live with. I'm not sure how to do more to prepare Max for a new baby than we've already done. One of the things we've had to do is all but abandon active potty-training--he just isn't interested enough in it to be responsible for any of it himself, and I don't see us fighting the yes-you-WILL-sit-on-the-potty-every-twenty-minutes fight with a brand-new baby in an upside-down household. It's fine. We'll just pick it up again later, when things calm down a little.
But as I was saying, there's something about the end of pregnancy. I used to have a variety of nightmares as a child, all different, but with one theme: something or someone is coming for me and I cannot do anything to prevent them from doing so. I have that same nightmare sense of foreboding now. Part of it is that I just don't feel like I'm prepared. There's just so much to do, and it's complicated by the fact that while we are doing all of the baby-preparation things, we are also cleaning and packing and getting ready to move halfway across the country, a situation which I haven't addressed here because, OH MY GAWD, I don't want to do it on so many levels, and on other levels, am really looking forward to, and can you say CONFLICTED EMOTIONAL STATE? I CANNOT TAKE IT. I am really looking forward to meeting this little girl, finally being able to tell people her name, see Dan like this again.
But the end of pregnancy--it has a flavor all its own. Nothing else feels like this, this sense of things flying at you, knowing that a collision is inevitable. The first weeks (months? Years?) of parenthood are really, really hard, there's no way around it, and it feels so weird to feel so conflicted.
Is it awful that I feel this conflicted, or that I'm admitting it? I can't wait to meet The New Girl, but at the same time, our life is what it's become, and it's all going to change when she crashes into us.
It's been pretty much all-baby-all-the-time here, I know, and it's because I haven't been doing much else besides being pregnant and doing all the things that have to be done in order for that to be true. I promise that I will eventually be interesting again.
Thursday, June 4, 2009