I’ve been consumed with doctor’s appointments this week and visits to the clinica (hospital) for one thing or another. Why? I guess there comes a moment in some pregnancies where the woman’s body just says “peace out” or “get this ball of baby out of here because it’s literally cramping my style.” This is what seems to be happening with me and as a result, my doctor has turned the hourglass over on this journey called pregnancy.
And when I say hourglass, I mean that the days are numbered. By that I mean either tomorrow, Thursday, or next Monday, at the latest. Are you getting what I’m telling you? It means that by THIS TIME NEXT WEEK I’LL BE A MOM. Let’s ponder that for a second….
When one first embarks on this journey (again, if you’re like me), you spend a bit of time trying to wrap your mind around the fact that you’re now one of those women who breeds. You spend an equal amount of time trying to come to terms with the fact that you can no longer enjoy the glass of wine that made all lousy days bearable. Just when you need that glass of vino most, all of a sudden it’s one of the biggest no-no’s around. That and caffeine. Just like that, your morning and evening drinks are no longer applicable to your body’s new role of “baby making.”
After that initial shock and disbelief, what happened with me is that I just kind of “forgot” that I was pregnant. I use the term “forgot” quite loosely because the reality is that I took care of myself, signed up for all kinds of preggo lady newsletters, downloaded apps on my phone, went to all the necessary appointments, took all the necessary tests (pin cushion, anyone?) and took all the required vitamins (and we’re not talking the Flintstones anymore) expected of a mom-to-be. I took on the role of pregnant lady like I would take on any other responsibility and I did it as completely as possible. So what do I mean by “forgot?” I mean that I didn’t go all agro crazy about the baby. In fact it was during this time that G and I took our fabu vacation to Southeast Asia. This was followed by the craziest three months at work where I literally ate, breathed and slept all things work. In short, I didn’t buy baby things, or think about baby names or decorate the bedroom or even imagine in the slightest what the baby would be like. I wasn’t consumed at all and kind of took an “out of sight, out of mind” stance to it all.
This was a fine and dandy strategy until riiiiiiight around January of this year when we moved from our first apartment together to the one we’re in now, a move motivated exclusively by the arrival of this bundle. But even during this time, the reality of the pregnancy and the baby didn’t really, truly, sit in. I mean, sure, we all of a sudden had a physical space for the baby by way of an actual room, but up until a month ago, said room was really a storage area where G kept his tools. Even Obi wasn’t too sure what to make of that room and decided that it was the perfect place to poop on the newly rolled out carpet – hey, when in doubt use it as a bathroom.
I guess that the real “culprit” as to why I haven’t really registered this pregnancy as perhaps a “normal” woman would is that I’ve thankfully felt fine throughout the entire ordeal. It really wasn’t until about 3 weeks ago that I started to feel horrible (thank goodness for government backed maternity leave) and since I worked until the very last day the Chilean government and my employer would allow me to work, my mind was on other things: things I know, things I’m familiar with, things I’m good at. In between of course I read everything under the sun (“What to Expect When You’re not Sure What to Expect,” “What to Expect of Yourself When You’re Expecting to Blow It,” “What to Expect of a Baby with Expectations,” “When Expecting is not What you Expected Unabridged version” “Low Expectations, High Expectations and Baby in Between” etc, etc, what have you) and in reading found out way too much information about va-jay-jays, secretions, stretching and tearing and pooping when you least expect it. So what I’m saying here is this: I prepared as best I could but in reality, I prepared as if I were going into a final exam at the end of the nine months where I’d be tested on all things studied.
Except, now I know that this isn’t really going to go down like I thought (and by that I mean “read”) it would.
I hope I’m not alone in revealing that BEFORE this whole preggo ordeal I imagined birth to be like in the movies: blood, screaming, gooey, disgusting mess and total unexpected craziness. In the movies, the water breaks, the lady starts with her blood curdling screams, we fast forward to a sterile, cold birthing room, blood splattered walls, more screaming and then a slimy baby popping out from the hoo-ha. In fact it would seem that the first part of my experience isn’t going to catch me off guard at all. I had these visions that I’d be walking around the grocery store and then SPLASH!! – said water breaking and everyone around me slipping and sliding to avoid a gross encounter. I imagined having to call G detailing how “far apart” the contractions were coming and subsequently speeding down the highway so as not to pop a baby out in a car down by the river.
I know that this preggo journey is going to be over either tomorrow or, at the latest, Monday. I feel like I’ve had a total of one month to mentally prepare for this and, OF COURSE, I don’t feel prepared. I should feel like I’ve had months and months to prepare but because of my own idiosyncrasy, I didn’t afford myself this luxury of time. But then again, who’s to say that I didn’t actually do myself a favor? I mean, birth and having a baby isn’t something that one can “study” or “train” for. In fact, nine times out of ten, each time I read something, I end up freaking out or imagining a worst case scenario version of whatever I happened to have just read. What I mean by all this is, had I afforded myself the time to marinate on the pending momdom that’s fast approaching me, I would have ended up more neurotic than I already am. Despite this, I know that sitting on this side of pregnancy, a day will come when I’m on the OTHER side (i.e. with baby outside) and I’ll think back to this period and kick myself for not having known better. Even now I know that I should have embraced it more, but in the moment I just couldn’t.
And so, where do I stand given that possibly tomorrow (or Monday at the latest) a baby (A BABY!!!) that’s been a-cookin’ for the past 9+ months will make its debut? Yes, I’m scared – there’s just no way around that. However, I can’t say I’m not armed with information. If there’s something that I’ve been doing it’s reading every single day about every single possible topic related to pregnancy, newborns, bringing home baby, pooping and all that’s in between. If I were to be tested on this matter, I’d pass with flying colors, win a spanking brand new baby and a year’s supply of Turtle Wax 5-in-1 Fresh Shine Protectant. Pass me the Scantron, my #2 pencil is sharpened!
I seriously can’t believe that this period of my life is almost over. I’m not gung-ho-happy-to-be-preggo lady but it’s a time in my life that will never happen again – kind of how I view my wedding. I’m glad I have pictures of that so I can look back and remember “Oh yeah” about all the details. And speaking of pictures, throughout this pregnancy I never really shared any pictures of my pygmy hippo-ness … well, for the sake of posterity, here are a few: