One of the advantages of being a lady of advanced maternal age is that I have a lot of useless knowledge of really terrible music. (Not where you thought I was going with that, right?) “The Final Countdown” by Europe is my anthem right now. I’m soooo close to my due date. The countdown is on. Three days left. Babies come on their due dates, if not before, right?!! And if you fill your head with far more useful information and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the song in all its 80s glory. (Confession: I read the song lyrics, and I still don’t know what it’s about.)
Now that we’re all on the same page, I’m here to say that I’m done. I’m done being pregnant. I don’t know how ladies who go past their due dates do it. Kudos to you and your swollen everything. Do you just sit around eating pints of ice cream? Because that’s what I feel like doing now: “Pass the Ben and Jerry’s and look away!” I’m grumpy and start all correspondences (Did I just say correspondences? See? Old.) with “Still pregnant!” Henning’s co-worker greet him with “You’re still around?” Margaret knows that her baby brother is coming and has started saying, “I want to see baby brother!” and telling me that my belly is going to crack open. That’s the toddler equivalent of the helpful “You look huge!” comment.
I’m done having sausage fingers.
I’m done wearing compression hose. This is possibly the worst photo of me in the history of ever. (Eat your hearts out Sports Illustrated swim suit models!)
I’m done going to the grocery store and looking like a cliche because my cart runneth over.
I’m done wearing pants with the weird panty hose waist.
I’m done with the carpal tunnel syndrome and feeling like my legs might fall off every time I lay down.
Basically, I’m done feeling encased, hungry, swollen, and uncomfortable. And right leg? You’re still on my shit list. There are some women who love being pregnant; I’m not one of those women. I don’t mind being pregnant in the same way I don’t mind having the middle seat on a plane. It’s not ideal, but I’ll do it if I have to because the final destination is usually pretty great.
So, I’m done. I’m ready to meet this baby. I’m ready to eat sushi and lunchmeat. I’m ready for a glass of wine. Have I mentioned that I live in wine country of the Pacific Northwest? There are 400 wineries within 90 minutes of my house (some are just down the road). Henning sold me on moving here by pointing out we could visit a different winery every weekend for 8 years. We moved here when I was 20-weeks pregnant.
This baby keeps making me think he’s about to come. Contractions and general labor pains, and then nothing. I believe the issue is we’re too prepared. Our bags are packed. We’re ready to go. We’re leaving on a jet plane! (I told you: totally useless knowledge of really old songs!) Do you know how prepared we were for Margaret? No bags packed. Carseat not installed. Dirty dishes in the sink. We left under the cloak of night with poorly packed bags and nearly forgot the car seat. Our poor pets; we just up and left them. Luckily we were still living across the street from my father-in-law; otherwise, those poor bastards might have had to fend for themselves. That’s how you make a baby come early: be completely unprepared.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something this time, but we’ve foolishly learned from our mistakes. We have a plan for the dogs. Since we have no family close by, our friends who will be taking care of Margaret are at the ready. The car seat is installed. And the dishes? Done every evening. Henning even packed provisions so he won’t starve while I labor and a sweatshirt so he won’t freeze. He’s going to be one comfortable motherfucker while I’m pushing a human out of my hoohaa. Good for him.
Don’t feel bad for me, though! I’ve got my own bag packed full of everything I need. Basically, it’s a lot of slimming black comfy clothing, nursing bras in various sizes, and makeup and moisturizers because this girl is vain. I even wrote a list to make sure I wouldn’t forget anything.
I don’t know why I’m focusing on how I’m going to look after giving birth, but just let me have this, OK? I packed a Belly Bandit. I am so vain! (I hope you sang that.)
And don’t fret about the baby. He has his own little corner in my bag. Just look at these baby moccasins. TOTALLY NECESSARY!
And as ready as I am to meet this baby, I’m also completely terrified. There’s little we can do to prepare ourselves for going from one child to two. This scares the shit out of me. How can we plan and prepare for something we know nothing about? Most of our friends have more than one child and they all seem to have it figured out, but us viewing a situation from the outside can hardly give us a taste for what it’s really like.
I feel like I’m bracing myself for this change. Cringing with anticipation of what’s next. How will we divide our time? Also, sleeping. Am I just going to stop doing that? I didn’t sleep when Margaret slept during the day because I’m an idiot who sabotages her sleep opportunities, but I’m assuming now I’ll need to get some shut eye when I can.
And then there’s my sweet Margaret. At nearly 3 she’s old enough to understand the change but not to have the reasoning skills to process it. Will she feel neglected? Will she feel compelled to implement her care taking nature to help me all the time and will that overwhelm her? Will she feel like we love baby brother more than her? I look at her sometimes and just want to fold her into me and protect her from everything, even growing up and all the change that comes with it. It would be crushing if she’s feeling neglected.
I’m worried about my aptitude as a mother. How will I adapt to going from a mom of one to a mom of two? There are some days now when I feel like I can’t handle being a mom, period. I’m in no mood for toddler shenanigans. I don’t find it funny. I lose my patience. I feel myself getting anxious sometimes on days I don’t work, counting the hours until Henning comes home from work. Sometimes I feel like just because I’m able to have children doesn’t mean I’m at all good at being a mom.
So, until this baby decides to make his appearance, I’ll be here worrying, eating ice cream, and taking comfort in knowing that pregnancy does end. The next phase of motherhood will begin, whether I’m ready for it or not.
Now, sing it with me: “do do doo doooo, doo doo doo doo doo! The final countdown!”