A couple weeks ago, I went to bed 32 weeks pregnant. I woke up the next morning with a belly twice the size it was the night before. Did I unknowingly sleep-eat after midnight and turn this baby into a Gremlin?
Ever since this sudden belly expansion, complaining is my drug of choice. I can’t go more than an hour without it. The other day I was whining to my sister over the phone, and she asked pointedly, “Is there anything that is okay to say to a pregnant woman?” After a long pause, I came up with the answer:
Not at this stage, anyway.
Part of me is dying for it to be over. Part of me is terrified for it to end. Most people — seeing how slowly I’m waddling around these days — assume I’m more than ready for it to be over. On many levels, they’re right:
I’m ready to be able to climb into bed without lying on my back and panting, struggling to roll over like an overturned cockroach. I’m ready to stop mopping sweat from my face while all my co-workers complain about how cold the A/C is. I’m ready to hold my baby in my arms instead of balanced on top of my bladder.
But am I ready to have a baby? In addition to the fact that this baby still has some cooking to do, I still feel a long way from prepared to be a mom. And yet, the baby’s arrival suddenly seems imminent.
My feelings of unpreparedness were compounded by a recent doctor’s visit. My husband and I saw a different OB-GYN at my usual practice and, while we liked her a lot, she had a lot of questions. We didn’t have too many answers.
“Have you started interviewing pediatricians?”
“Have you considered taking infant CPR classes?” (My husband made a note on our to-do list: “infancy PR class.”)
“Have you toured the hospital?”
I meekly offered, “We’re taking a childbirth class at the end of this month …”
“Great! Have you pre-registered for the delivery yet?”
Sigh. It’s cram time.
As my college roommates can attest, I was never good at planning ahead for tests and assignments. Any impending exam or art project deadline had me up late the night before, working furiously to load my brain with a semester’s worth of knowledge.
Here I am again, clueless in the eleventh hour.
As always, though, I’m ready and willing to learn. If this were college, I’d be brewing a big pot of coffee and laying out my drawing pencils, finally inspired as I can see in my mind’s eye exactly what I’m going to make.
It’s the most important, exciting, life-changing creation I’ve ever brought to life.