Monday, 22 September 2008

It Runs in the Family

Stubbornness runs on both sides of our family, so it should be no surprise that my unborn child has already inherited this trait. Yes, nearly a week after the due date my G.P. gave me and four days after the date that is in my hospital records, I am still waiting to experience the most amazing moment of a mother's life. And I have to admit: I'm getting downright anxious and annoyed!

With each passing day, I sleep less, pee more, and my ankles get bigger. And I still have nothing to show for it!

The... past... week... has... literally... dragged... by. We're in a state of limbo, afraid to venture too far from home or do too much just in case our little Crumpet decides that now is the time he or she is ready to make his or her grand entrance. Every day, I wonder if this will be my child's birthday, and every night when I settle into bed after an uneventful day I say, "Well, surely tomorrow." But tomorrow works out to be much of the same.

The Other Half is just as anxious as I am, though he hides it more. Instead of vocalizing his anxieties like me, he's been channeling them into various chores and hobbies, like defrosting the freezer or getting things ready for his home-brewing experiment. (Incidentally, this has involved "emptying" several beer bottles that can be reused for his home brew, a task which has proven both practical and calming.) As for me, I went through the nesting phase already (I thought that was a sure sign that things were imminent!), and now I find that, although there are tons of things I can be doing, I don't have the energy or motivation to actually do any of them.

I realize that due dates are really estimates, at best, and that, in fact, most first-time mothers deliver a little late, but I can take little comfort in that fact right now. We have everything ready for baby, and there are lots of people here waiting to meet it, so you would think it would be ready to come out. It can't be comfortable all scrunched up inside me!

My dad is arriving from NC on Wednesday. When he and my mom first started planning their trip over here, he was going to come for the first two weeks with my mom (she's here for four weeks), which would have meant he would be getting ready to go back home this Thursday, as opposed to arriving on Wednesday. It's a good thing he changed his mind because he would have had no time to spend with his grandchild. As it is, he might be here for the birth after all.

I have another hospital appointment on Wednesday (that is, if I haven't gone into labor before then... here's hoping!). They'll do an internal exam then to see if that will speed things along, and if the baby is still being stubborn I'll be induced next Sunday. God willing, I won't make it till then.

Until then, I continue to wait, knowing full well that once the baby is actually here I will be wishing I had this week of "nothingness" back because never again will my life be this calm.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Harvest Season

As the fruit ripens on the apple tree in our back garden, the fruit inside of me gets ready to make its big debut.

Today is my "unofficial" due date; unofficial because my G.P. said I was due on the 16th, and my hospital records say the 18th. At the moment, I am on pins and needles until our little Crumpet finally decides to greet the world. The Other Half and I have been scrutinizing every twinge for the past few days now. My anxieties regarding childbirth, although not completely abated, have taken a definite backseat to the overwhelming feeling of just wanting to get things over and done with and enjoy the "fruits of my labor."

Our Crumpet has very kindly held off until a few important milestones passed. My mom arrived last Wednesday, I finished my last freelance job on Thursday, The Other Half finished laying the laminate floors in the bedrooms on Friday, and he and my mom put together the nursery furniture over the weekend. There's still loads to do, but luckily nothing that can't be done after he/she arrives.

So what is it waiting for?!

The Other Half says I shouldn't rush it. It's probably warm and cozy inside me and will come out when it's ready.

But patience has never been my strong point, so if it isn't here by Friday it might be time to resort to a few home "inducement" techniques that the midwife who taught our antenatal classes suggested: a hot curry, a glass of wine (to get me in the mood for what's to come next), a little time between the sheets with The Other Half, a nice warm bath, and a walk around the park in the morning if everything else hasn't coaxed the little one out.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Breathing Lessons

The Other Half and I attended my final antenatal class on Saturday, which was specifically for moms (or “mums,” I should say) and their partners. I admit that I was nervous about how he would hold up considering his phobia of hospitals and anything medically-related. He won't even watch Grey's Anatomy with me, but, then again, that might only be partly because of the medical "ick factor"; it's probably mainly because of the soap opera "ick factor." So, anyway, I thought I might have to spend the whole class reassuring him that everything would be okay. But he rose to the occasion and even managed to stay conscious when we took a tour of the delivery suite. Since then, he has been surprising me with the amount of information he took away from the class. I'll be sitting at the computer, for example, and he'll comment on how my posture is good. Or we'll be lying in bed at night and he'll remind me to practice my breathing techniques. And even though he may grumble about things like car seats and strollers, I think deep down the technical side of him is finding it kind of exciting to research the best models and check out the latest reviews.

As it is, I think I'm starting to get more nervous and anxious than The Other Half. It's finally hitting me that this baby has to come out. I know this seems like an obvious fact that I should have known from the beginning, but I don't think that it has become a reality until now. For so long, we've been talking about "the baby" in the abstract sense of the word, but pretty soon it will be a living, breathing human being that will be completely dependent on us. It's an exciting feeling, but it's also very daunting. I've spent so much time thinking about what it will be like once the baby is here that I haven't really stopped to think about how the baby is going to get here. And as much as I have gained from these antenatal classes and am grateful for the opportunity to have had access to this "free" education, I sort of feel like I've been given too much information. Maybe it would be better if I just walked into the hospital a little naive.

"Just breathe," I keep telling myself. It will all be over before I know it, and the last nine months will have been nothing but a blur. Then, for the next 18 years (or the rest of my life, really), I'll have worries that will make my fear of labor seem pretty trivial.