Is it wrong for me to feel, two and a half weeks before my due date, that pregnancy — my easy, uneventful, blissful and longed-for pregnancy — is getting kind of old?
Mayhem now weighs upwards of seven pounds, by my obstetrician’s estimate, but she’s obstinately refusing to “drop.” (I suppose I can’t blame her; would *you* voluntarily wedge your head into someone else’s pelvis for two and a half weeks?) The rest of me, meanwhile, is apparently ready to go into labor on a moment’s notice. We’re now fully ripened, 50% effaced, 2 cm dilated, head down and just waiting for the starting gun.
I’m of two minds on this. On one hand, there are plenty of reasons why I should *not* be all BRING IT ON quite yet. I’ve kind of gotten myself excited to have a baby in December. I don’t want to mess with my expectations and then be disappointed when the kid doesn’t arrive early. Our master bathroom remodel is scheduled for next week. My mother doesn’t fly in from Florida until Thanksgiving Day. My official maternity leave doesn’t start until the 29th, so an earlier delivery would mean a logistical hassle that I’d prefer to avoid. These intervening weeks are not without utility. What’s the harm in waiting a little longer?
On the other hand, and please cosmos don’t smite me for saying so, this pregnancy is … getting old.
It’s not that I’m not constantly grateful, or that I’m anything but completely thrilled by the fully-articulated human being lodged in my torso. Pregnancy is magical. It has been from Day 1, and still is at 37 weeks 4 days. I love that it’s so visible to the world now, love the appreciative smiles and friendly comments and offers of seats on the bus and the Metro. I love my thick shiny hair and my smooth strong fingernails that grow like weeds. I love Mayhem’s jerky kicks and shuddery stretches and rhythmic hiccups, and most of all her palpable presence, like a built-in imaginary friend. I’ll miss it terribly when she’s no longer my constant companion. It’ll be lonely once I’m just me again.
Not to mention noisy. And sticky. And sleep-deprived. These next seventeen days (or thereabouts) are the last clean, quiet, calm time we’ll have in our adult lives for the foreseeable future. Am I really in any hurry to give that up?
But BUT. Walking hurts. Sitting hurts. Even lying down starts to hurt after awhile. Going to the bathroom doesn’t hurt, but isn’t terribly productive, especially given the frequency with which I feel compelled to try. Clothes itch me, and most of mine no longer fit anyway. I am creaky and crabby and hungry and thirsty, and the only thing harder than staying asleep is staying awake. And the individual returning my gaze in the mirror is starting to look dangerously like this.
It’s so odd, the home stretch of a pregnancy. Here you are in a state of annoying sustained discomfort, which is simultaneously fascinating and wonderful, and you’re afraid to take it for granted because you know you’re going to miss it when you transition to another state of — (I presume, based on anecdotal evidence) — annoying sustained discomfort, which is simultaneously fascinating and wonderful.
For the moment, at least, my mission is to continue to relish pregnancy for as long as there’s still delight to be wrung from it. But I won’t feel guilty if, at the same time, I’m constantly googling do-it-yourself tricks to induce labor. Because at this point, either option sounds fine to me.