As we enter the “Any Day Now” stage of the pregnancy, a lot of my friends have been asking me, “What’s that like,” or more often, “Are you terrified?”
The first question is easy enough to answer: “Oh, I’m still getting around alright,” or, “Well, I’m drinking for two these days…” Hilarious!
As for the second question, I just say, “no, I’m not really scared at all,” which, is true. I’m not scared, but the question is so often asked that I sometimes wonder if one should be frightened at the prospect of becoming a parent.
It’s kind of like in grade school when you learn that phenomenon, cognitive suggestion? Behavioral something or other? An example (which of course we unmercifully tried on all our friends) is if you ask someone repeatedly if they’re feeling alright, they will inevitably start to question themselves and eventually go home with a perceived illness. Hilarious!
I do feel a great deal of worries that I have been assured will only intensify as William gets older. As my mom put it, “you’ll never sleep the same again.” Scared or terrified even, I am not.
I was asked that often as our wedding day approached, and the answer then was the same as now. I am not scared of any kind of future with this woman. I was sure of that the day we locked eyes. I’ll never forget it.
And now as we are about to enter the next truly life-altering phase of our lives, and the first phase of our son’s life, I’m not scared at all.
Now as for the labor and delivery, I’m scared shitless. We were talking the other day about some of the things we’d read about laboring and there’s a study that has shown that tongue kissing can help the mother manage pain during labor because the intimacy creates a release of endorphin. Last night I dreamed that Kendall bit my tongue off. Not hilarious.
It’s important to note however that my fears about the delivery are not in any way rooted in a lack of confidence in Kendall’s ability to experience a natural child birth. Kendall is the most headstrong and determined person I’ve ever met. And she’s tough as old boots. I’m amazed by her every day. I know that she can do this, and I know that I am going to do anything and everything in my power to help and reassure her. Even in the dream, I just stuck a towel in my mouth and we kept going.
We’ve researched this, we’ve watched videos and practiced relaxation techniques, we’ve discussed at length our expectations, hopes and fears, and tried to prepare for the possibility that we may not be able to do this entirely the way we wish.
I think my fears are mostly the irrational nerves that lead up to any intense event. When I was in high school, I would puke before every swim meet. I never thought I was going to drown, I just got nervous, threw up and was fine after that. Not to compare birthing a child to the 50M breast stroke, but you get what I’m saying.
Kendall seems a natural at pregnancy. She’s been moving through the last nine months as though the human growing in her belly is nothing at all. Pregnancy just seems to suit her. Look at that glow.
It really could be any day now, and I couldn’t be more excited. We couldn’t be any more excited. It’s a nervous feeling, and it can be scary, but it’s easy enough to think past any fear.
We’re about to give the world to someone. When you stop and think how awesome that is, there just isn’t any room left for fear.