I can picture myself going into labor and getting to the hospital and then I can picture myself with a beautiful baby laying on my chest after delivery. It is just the actual delivery that I can't seem to picture. But, that isn't even what I am worried about. I'm not afraid of labor (at least not today).
The part I am nervous about is how life will change after labor. After those first few crazy weeks of adjusting to life with a newborn. After C goes back to work and I settle into a daily routine.
It is the being a good mom part that has me worried.
When I was younger, I lived and breathed Nancy Dr.ew books. My grandmother and Dad scoured church fairs and thrift shops for the yellow spine hardcovers that were released in the 1960's. I spent hours devouring those books. Absorbing every word. As I grew older and found other books to read and other things to occupy my time, I can't remember the actual day I put the Nancy Dr.ew books away. I don't remember the last one I read, although read them all many times, I don't remember the last one I finished before I put it on the shelf for the last time.
I have had a few moments of stress and physical pain in my life. As a young girl, I used to walk pigeon toed and tripped over my own feet all the time. There are several photos of me with big scrapes on my face from falling down on gravel. As a teenager, I took Kara.te and had my share of bumps and bruises and sore muscles. When I was 15, I cut my thumbprint half off trying to cut a stale bagel. When I was 16, I sprained my wrist while roller skating. And as a 25 year old, I forgot I wasn't Hu.ck Finn and attempted to swing from rope tied to a tree to jump into a lake. I fell and ended up with a concussion and a bruised tailbone.
I had the typical stresses of high school and college and the various stresses of jobs and job loss. I started grinding my teeth the week before my wedding (and stopped after a trip to the dentist). There was definitely stress involved with trying to sell our first house amidst a bad realtor and even worse neighbors. And there was some life stress that led me to visit a therapist for a few months when I entered my 30's.
Then there was the stress and pain of infertility. But, I know you know all about that.
Because of Nancy Dr.ew, I grew up believing I could handle anything that came my way. Whether or not I acknowledged it outright and whether or not it is actually true I grew up believing if Nancy could figure it out, I could too. Whatever "it" is.
Right now, the "it" is motherhood. Nancy never dealt with motherhood in the books that I read. But, there are many mothers that I admire and mothers that I hope I can emulate in even a tiny way. Although, I want to be my own kind of mother. One who is strong and smart and full of love and energy.
It is my goal, but these last few weeks of pregnancy have been hard and are getting harder.
Stress and physical pain. I never had sciatica before and this has shown up in a huge way, making it almost impossible sometimes to take a simple walk across the kitchen. I've heard women mention hitting a wall of exhaustion in the third trimester and that wall smacks me in the face twice a day lately. I feel very clingy to my husband and worry about him on his drive to and from work. I worry that we won't get "everything" done. I think about how our relationship will change and what I will miss about the life we have made for ourselves over the last 10 years.
Nancy taught me how to survive. Now, I need to know that I will be good at this new life. Nobody can tell me ahead of time. I just have to trust myself and know that I have survived so far and that this challenge I can face head on and be the mom I truly want to be.