It is now 2 days before my due date, and I am getting impatient. That may seem silly to some, as I haven’t even reached my due date yet. And I know that most first time mothers go past their due date. But for me, it feels late.
Perhaps it is because Kevin and I have been ready for so long. We have had everything bought, washed, and set up for over a month now. Since then, I have gone through many stages emotionally.
First, I read an abundance of baby books, giving great but often conflicting advice. Some of my favorites were “The Baby Whisperer,” “The Happiest Baby on the Block,” and “Bringing Up Bebe.” At that point, I was not ready for Penny to come, because I wanted to figure out what advice we were going to take first. I still needed to become mentally prepared.
Once I got that squared away, I went through a phase where I wanted to enjoy my free time. With a few exceptions over the years, I have always had summers off, as a student and now as a teacher. I absolutely love sleeping in, lounging around, reading books and doing whatever it is that I want. (Who doesn’t??) I am well aware that becoming a parent means that I will never have that seemingly endless “me” time again. Or at least not for many many years. Which is totally fine, it’s a trade off, but I still wanted to embrace it for the last time. And I did…for about a day or two. Then I got bored. Sitting around sounds great in theory, but it is very dull. It’s amazing how much less I accomplish when I have endless spare time on my hands.
Then, about 10 days ago, I became convinced that I would be having our baby very soon. Without going into any of the gory details, there were a few signs that were indicating this. And after spending the day at Cypress Gardens, walking through the flowering paths and going on a boat ride through a beautiful swamp, I came home feeling strange. Before, I had been one of the lucky ones who didn’t get any Braxton Hicks contractions, but that night, I started feeling really uncomfortable. I realized what I was feeling were contractions, and so, the eager soon to be parents that we are, we started timing them. I was shocked to discover that they were 3 minutes apart for almost an hour! And then….they stopped for 20 minutes. This kept happening late into the night, which was exhausting and confusing. Just when I would think that perhaps we should call the midwife, they would go away. We later found out that they were just practice contractions, likely spurred on by the walking and the heat from earlier in the day. There hasn’t been much action since, which is discouraging.
Now, I have moved on to the “get this baby out” phase. Things are getting tight in there, and her kicks and shifts in movement are hard to ignore. I have heard all of the old wives tales, and tried them all. I am eating lots of pineapple (although I probably would be doing that anyway), italian food, and special birth prep supplements recommended by my midwives. I am taking walks every evening with Kevin and Charlie, which are getting increasingly more uncomfortable and therefore shorter in length. (I have tried to avoid the pregnancy waddle for as long as possible, but I’m about to give in!) I am also doing prenatal yoga and listening to relaxation tapes. Yesterday, after reading water birth stories for hours, I noticed that the majority of the women seemed to go into labor once they relaxed a little bit. So last night, I took a bath by candlelight, then got an amazing massage from my even more amazing husband. Still no baby!
Tonight, we are getting spicy food from our favorite Indian restaurant. Going out in public scares me a bit at this point, as I can literally “pop” at any moment, but if I stay in this house much longer I will go crazy! We will see how the spicy food works… and will definitely continue trying the relaxation thing as well. Even if it doesn’t send me into labor, I am sure a little nightly massage never hurt anyone!
Irrational as I may be, I am just so eager to have my own birth story to tell, and even more eager to hold the baby that I have been slowly getting to know for so long in my arms at last. Unfortunately, what I want doesn’t matter. I know she will come when she is ready, and in the mean time, she is teaching me my first lesson in parenthood- patience!