“So, are you getting ready?”
I totally understand why people ask this of expectant parents. It’s conversational. It’s polite, but honestly it’s kinda silly. I mean yes, I can sort clothes and organize baby things and read all the books and set up the nursery till the cows some home, but I will never be ready. Are they expecting parents to say “Oh, yes. We are completely ready. All the clothes are folded, the baby stuff is assembled, we’ve read all the books and are prepared for a flawless transition into parenthood.”?
I gotta tell you, if I got that as a response I’d laugh out loud. Because the alternative to total preparedness is the mother or father grabbing the hair at their temples and unleashing an unholy blood curdling scream. Which I would take to mean they are feeling a touch overwhelmed.
But in a sense I am getting ready. My body is certainly starting to get ready. I can feel the bones in my pelvic girdle starting to spread even more. I’m starting to feel tired more easily. I’m even feeling a more irritable which tends to happen at the end, for me. On an upside I haven’t been zeroing in on obsessive worrying thoughts about the birth, the health of the baby, etc. thanks in part fo that very comforting sonogram on Monday!
I have certainly accomplished a bunch of major tasks. Securing a doula was high on my list. This will be my second VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarean) but I’m hoping that it will be my first completely natural, med-free birth. A doula is a person who provides support to the mother and her partner during labor and delivery. My doula will use aromatherapy, massage, suggested positions, pressure points and words of encouragement like “get your head in the game, beyotch!” to help me cope with the pain of labor. I’m as prepared for labor as I can be, except for the fact that I haven’t packed anything, but I’m only 33 weeks, so I still have time for that.
Am I ready to be awake every 2-3 hours to feed the baby all night long? Secretly? I’m kinda looking forward to it. Nighttime nursing is such a fleeting moment in time, yes it’s exhausting too. I’m not excited about it. But I am looking forward to one last baby who needs me, just me. And is willing to fall asleep snuggling sweetly in a dimly lit nursery.
I’ve sorted and organized the baby accoutrement and made a tiny list of “things we need”. Pulling things out of storage was quite the task. Our storage areas are a mess right now because of the other projects we have going on have led to some mayhem. I’ve sorted through old bottles and baby food making devices and car seats etc. etc. etc. I’ve reassembled the items requiring some assembly.
I’m not ready for the logistics. But it’s impossible to be ready. If you’re me- planning and contingencies and trying to make things easier by anticipating situations and controlling for variables is a pointless exercise that usually ends with me going crazy.
Which brings me to my final and most important point, being ready for postpartum mood disorders. I’m ready. Totally. If I’m feeling fine, I will keep calm and carry on. If I’m not acting like myself, if I’m worrying unnecessarily, if I’m crying all the time, or angry or am otherwise not able to enjoy my life as a mom of 3 I won’t hesitate to call my midwives and ask for help. I’ve been meditating, my training to become a yoga instructor has really opened me up to a much calmer philosophy on life. More than once I’ve been the voice of reason when my husband flew off the handle- if you know him and know how unflappable he is you’ll realize the significance of that statement. I’m also planning to encapsulate my placenta, which is supposed to have a dramatic impact on the time after birth.
I don’t know that any of these things will have an impact. Most importantly I don’t need any of these things to solve the problem of PPD for me. They might, but they might not. I’ve been here before. It’s possible I will be here again. Somehow- knowing that, embracing that possibility, feels comforting. Instead of trying to conquer the thing before it strikes I am going to settle for a nod in its direction.
On an unrelated note, Jack had his 4 year appointment last week and he came in at 43 inches tall and 44lbs!