I am 10 days away from my due date and I am really slowing down. Big time. The walk that used to take me and Cooper 20 minutes back in March took us 50 minutes last night. The main reason it took so long is because I was having a lot of cramps – contractions? – and had to keep stopping to breathe through them; this morning we did the same walk in about 35 minutes, but I was so tired afterward that I had to sit down and eat about a quarter of a large watermelon. I have less of my usual “get up and go” everyday, and I get less done. The extreme drop in my productivity (which, admittedly, was never high) has been frustrating, but on many days I’m so tired that I almost don’t even feel guilty about the things I’m not accomplishing. Being forced to slow down and let things go is incredible therapy for me.
I realized when looking at the calendar last night that I’m due to have this baby at the end of next week. The end of next week! Even though it’s qualified by “the end of,” simply using the phrase “next week” to talk about when the baby is due kind of freaks me out. I tried it on Brian and it freaks him out, too. This morning he confessed that when I returned home from my walk last night and sat down in the middle of the floor complaining of cramps/contractions and saying I just couldn’t get comfortable, he had an OH SHIT moment. Like, we’re not ready for this! When I asked him what we could do to make it so that he does feel ready, his response was: Nothing. (I knew that was coming.)
I will state now, for the record, that I don’t think the baby will arrive on his due date. This probably ensures that he will be right on time, thus proving me wrong, but my gut feeling is that he’ll be around 5 days late. I’m really digging myself a hole, being so specific, but, it is what it is. I can’t help my gut feelings! I should mention that my gut feelings could be colored by the fact that I want him to be a little late, and not just so I have more time to be all Type A about my to do list. I am still not as fat as I want to be, and at last week’s prenatal visit Scottie (our midwife’s amazing apprentice) said she thought the baby was small, probably only around 6 lbs. So, it would be nice if he could stay inside a little longer and give us both more time to get large.
The end is near, though, no matter how you look at it. We will have a baby sometime in the next month or so, no matter what, and that is a really strange thought. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever, other times I feel like it has gone by so fast and it was only yesterday that we were leaving the east coast on our big cross-country adventure. I’m trying so hard to slow the passage of time and enjoy these last few weeks with Brian and Cooper, with the baby on the inside where I can protect him from everything, but more and more I do find myself looking forward. I can imagine so clearly what it will be like to hold him for the first time, and am constantly fantasizing about snuggling into bed with Brian, Cooper, and the baby after the birth. I am also fantasizing about getting back into my old clothes, but that topic deserves its own post.
One of the best parts about nearing the end of my pregnancy is that I am finally starting to let go of all the expectations I had about how I would do it (journaling everyday and taking lots of documentary photos, running and working out through my whole pregnancy, eating perfectly, etc.). It’s a really wonderful thing to forgive myself for not being Pregnant To The Max! and just appreciate the pregnancy I’ve had and how I’ve handled the ups and downs of it. I know it’s not true for everyone, but for me, the process of being pregnant and starting that transition into motherhood has been exactly what I’ve needed to start becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be on a more basic level. Not that I think I’ll be perfect and happy with myself all the time once I’m a mom, but I already feel more at ease with myself, and more content with my life, than I ever have before.