I am three days away from hitting 35 weeks, the arbitrary point in my head where I will feel like the end of this pregnancy is both loomingly near and desperately far away. I went back the other day and looked over my Twitter stream, and I haven’t made a comment about anything OTHER THAN this pregnancy in at least a week, so clearly that’s the number one thing on my mental agenda, no matter how much I wish I could talk about something else.
J and I went to a breastfeeding class at the local hospital, two Monday nights in a row. When we registered, I had no idea how there could possibly be SIX hours of breastfeeding material to learn, but the time passed quickly, and there was a lot more information about making sure your newborn stays alive than I was expecting. The highlights were 30 pregnant women, all holding a doll or teddy bear, mimicking how best to get the “baby” to latch on. To my left, Curious George, and two rows in front of me, a doll large enough to pass for a two-year old, were repeatedly shoved onto the breast, glassy-eyed and compliant. I imagine the real thing involves a lot more squalling.
The instructor scared the bejesus out of J and I by mentioning that we should be completely ready for the arrival of this baby by 5 weeks from our due date, which is, if you’re paying attention, this weekend. OH SHIT. While we are GENERALLY ready, in that there are some items with which to cover the baby’s bottom, and some items with which to cover the rest of the baby, and a place to sleep and a method of transport, I would say that we are far from being TOTALLY ready. So today J is taking a half day, and we are going to denude the baby shelves at Target, in an attempt to convince ourselves that we are ready, physically if not mentally.
Speaking of mentally ready, I still can barely bring myself to call this baby anything other than “fetus,” even though on ultrasound it is very clear that this is a baby- there are chubby cheeks and tiny feet, and a fuzzy crown of hair (HAIR! ON ULTRASOUND! That has got to be the coolest job ever). There is also the issue of the constant movement in my midsection- J and I both spend much longer than necessary every evening watching the fetus squirm around under my skin. So while I have ample, AMPLE!, proof that there is indeed a baby on the way, I feel like I am not quite ready for the part where the baby gets here and I have to take care of it, you know. FOR REALZ.
I imagine that there is precious little one can actually do to mentally prepare for their first child, what with the whole thing being the GREAT UNKNOWN… but I do feel like I should be approaching this with more excitement (oh, maybe that’s not the right word.. I mean, I am excited, but not in a jumping up and down yelling and screaming way. I often wonder if maybe I just have a skewed vision of what “excited” is supposed to mean, given that before the antidepressants, excitement really was full of exclamation points and sweeping arm gestures, and now it is definitely more… flat. But if the flat is the trade-off for panic attacks and desperate crying jags, DEAR LORD, I will take the flat, and I will like it).
Anyways. Wanna hear something funny? I am just 10 inches from being as big around as I am tall. I do not think I will make it to that level of symmetry, but when I caught sight of myself in a store window the other day, I was still taken aback by how BIG! and ROUND! my belly is (I am a Sir-Mix-Alot song), and how my mental image of myself still does not jive with this temporary reality.
There you have it- musings on the last weeks of a pregnancy that could go on for as little as two more weeks (shout outs to @homesweetsarah and @temerityjane) and as much as… oh dear, I am loath to contemplate how much longer it could go than my due date. Let’s say maximum 8 more weeks (that would put me at 43 weeks, and then surely someone would have pity on me and DO SOMETHING). I’ll be over here, waiting.