A very belated thank you for the kind comments and emails about my last post. Pregnancy is interesting—it can be such an isolating experience, but the moment you reach out, you realize how many women have been in your same position. It’s reassuring, and I really appreciate all those who’ve shared their stories with me.
So I’m 35.5 weeks and the baby is still inside my belly rather than outside, which is a good thing! I’m hoping to keep her in there for at least a couple weeks longer, but if she came now (eeeek!), the doctors wouldn’t be all too concerned.
It’s all seeming very, very real to me. I’ve been pretty cool about the whole process of birthing a human until, well, now. Now I am freaking out. This morning, I read that baby kangaroos are born after only 31 days of gestation and are the size of a lima bean. “WHY CAN’T WE BE LIKE KANGAROOS?” I asked Matt, who had just woken up. “Why do we have to wait until babies grow into the size of a baby before we push them out of tiny slot? It doesn’t make sense! Why can’t I have a kangaroo pouch?” He then explained that humans are intellectual mammals and need to grow big brains and blah, blah, something like that.
The truth is, I’m terrified of labor. I have been ever since I was about 5 and happened to watch some PBS special showing a woman stuck in medical stirrups screaming her brains out as this bloody being was extracted from her. (Note to parents: Stick to Sesame Street at this age.) Pain, I dread thee. I’m the type of person who wimpers at the sight of a hangnail.
I’ve been doing what I can to prepare, most notably hiring a birth doula and practicing hypnobirthing. But it’s still scary not being able to fathom the intensity of contractions, not knowing what my body can handle. I’ve been trying to read a lot of positive birth stories to strengthen myself mentally. They’re empowering—all end with a beautiful, blinking baby on mama’s chest—but they’re all so different. I guess nothing can truly prepare you for your own birth experience. Seems like the most important thing is for me to simply trust my body and expect the unexpected.
Ready or not, she’ll be coming soon.