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Hurry Up and Wait

March 28, 2013

“You’re still here?”


“How are you?”

Still here.

This has been my conversation for every day this week. It’s the first thing someone says to my 40+week pregnant body (because you know their eyes are dancing between my face and my stomach. Are they looking to match the bags under my eyes with the droop of my belly? Both are still pretty high up, honestly.)

I’ve got Watched-Pot-Syndrome.  I agreed to take half days this week at work to try and “relax” and let baby decide he can relax too, so each day, I go home and …try to find something to do that doesn’t let me constantly think about labor, that distracts me from mentally checking in with my body.  Does he feel lower? Cause my panties are moist, is that a slow amniotic leak? And when was the last time I felt him move? Should I be looking for someone to do acupressure, or try to follow the texts of a friend of a friend who has a friend who totally went into labor from having her feet rubbed? My mother calls to let me know just how much she loves me and swears she isn’t calling to check in on whether I’ve just forgotten to let her know that I went into labor.

‘Cause she hated how much people checked in on her with me when I was two and a half weeks overdue.

Meanwhile, if I talk about it, everyone says, “OMG ENJOY WHAT YOU HAVE NOW!!! Get sleep! Because life is going to change entirely when that baby comes!  You shouldn’t be wishing for baby to come, you should be enjoying every shred of life before the doom of children arrives.  Don’t waste it!  Life will never be the same!”

No pressure.

I like to think of myself as a reasonable person most of the time.  I also like to think of myself as a mostly natural person that goes with the flow – think zazen instead of patchouli, Wisconsin instead of Portland.  Less righteousness, more down to earth.  People have been having babies since the beginning of the human race, and therefore, I, too, will have a baby, eventually.  I’m only four days over my due date, which is an arbitrary date set by medical science anyway. So, I just need to have patience. I need to distract myself back into living my own life while I wait for this other life to begin.

But man, is that hard. Everyone around me is just ecstatic that my husband and I are having a baby. Even if I try to not think about it (impossible), they are all thinking about it.  Everyone’s eyes are peeled for just what sort of baby I will have (hopefully, human male as predicted) and what sort of parents we will be (I cannot delude myself into thinking they aren’t watching my every move.) It’s like some grand initiation that has been postponed a few days, and everyone is wondering how *I* will fare in the face of the experience and my intentions.

And it’s causing me to get a little edgy. That stand-in doctor that pushed me on my birth plan: why did you seem so eager to get me to change my mind about my goals? I should just be happy that a doctor actually paid attention to a birth plan, but when suddenly we are talking about the absolute extreme possibility of a situation and asking me if I would be OK with something then, that’s a little freaky.  OF COURSE I WILL BE OK WITH AN INTERVENTION!  Baby dying? INTERVENE.  I said from the beginning that I wanted to be reasonable and that my birth plan was my goals in ideal situations.

But it felt weird, like I was being treated as though I didn’t really know what I was talking about and needed to be educated as to my poor choices…for a situation that is ridiculously rare. If we are facing a ridiculously rare circumstance, the damn birth plan is OUT OF THE WINDOW, PEOPLE.

I cancelled my NST for this Friday and the nurse I talked to on the phone said, “But….but the doctor wanted you to have it.” As though I obviously wasn’t thinking clearly, as though I couldn’t be relied upon to make a reasoned decision. Or maybe I was one of those activists that doesn’t believe in medicine.  It couldn’t be because I wanted to consult with my primary OB with whom I had an appointment with just two days later.  (You’d think with the number of health care companies espousing ‘involvement’ with your health care decisions that they would have said: Oh, this woman is taking responsibility for her own healthcare! Not: ‘How could you not do what the doctor suggests?’

I’ve done tests and things that other people haven’t done because I’m of ‘advanced maternal age’ and through the whole thing, my pregnancy has been completely normal. In fact, healthier than many, for which I’ve been very fortunate.  I think I can make a decision to wait a couple of days before we start poking at my son and entertaining birth conspiracy theories.

There have been other areas where people just feel the need to push me in a certain direction.  “You’re going to do this, right?” “Aren’t you worried about that?” “Take the epidural, trust me.” I had a woman in a shop ask me point blank if I was having a natural birth, was I going to see a midwife, was I breast feeding, would I let them induce me chemically, would I subscribe to attachment parenting, etc. with her purpose openly being to convince me of the natural path.  Even as I have already expressed desire to let Nature do her thing, I felt kind of cornered into being some poster child to give this woman hope for the future of the human race.

I’m probably overreacting and reading into people’s tones and expressions. But I guess as much as I feel like I’m watching for my son to enter this world like a pot of water to boil, I feel as though I am also being watched and evaluated by everyone’s pile of opinions.  I don’t want all of that to become a tidal wave on the experience.

I just want to Be.  And similarly, I want to let my son Be.





One Comment leave one →
  1. April 7, 2013 9:26 am

    Well said, clear of thought.

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