Sunday, May 13, 2012

Week 36: Destination Unknown

This Mother's Day has been surreal, overly poignant, and difficult. Most of the reasons why are explained in depth here, so no need to rehash.

That aside, I've received sweet messages from loving friends wishing me a "Happy Mother-to-Be Day" or similar. And as appreciated as those sentiments are, it really drove home one fact about my pregnancy that seems completely off-kilter from most women I know.

I can't fathom having a child. It's only three or so weeks away, but its still too abstract. I'm not scared. I'm not nervous. I'm nothing. I simply can't focus on the reality that's soon to slam in. Hard.

Last weekend, a dear friend -- mom of a two-year-old and Baby G's godmother-to-be -- visited us. Partially because we've been apart for too long; partially to help us with last-minute preparations and advice.

About 24 hours in, she turned to me and said: "So really. You're so zen. What do you want or need to know?"

I shrugged and replied: "Nothing, really. Which isn't to say I totally know exactly what to do with the kid. But I'm not there yet."

She raised her eyebrows. "How so? I mean, when I was where you were at, I was crazy reading books and preparing and such."

And I thought about it. Aside from installing the car seat, we're as physically prepared as we can be. I've read books. The Brit and I have chosen a pediatrician and agree on all major newborn issues. We even went to Costco today to stock up on Stuff and Things. There's not much else to do but wait.

So I replied: "I can't get past labor and delivery. We still have that major hurdle to survive. And only after the kid is here and we know what we're dealing with will it seem real. And THEN I'll probably call you in a panic state, but really. Until I have something to worry about, why even get there?"

I tell people I'm excited because that's the stock response, but the truth is: I'm, at most, curious. I can't get excited about something that isn't real. And perhaps that's because we were ambivalent for so long about having children. Perhaps it's because the romantic, rose-colored glasses about motherhood completely skipped my brain (having a newborn in the house when you're 17 will do that to a gal). Perhaps it's because death and illness is much more real to me than birth and renewal, and I do not count my healthy chickens before they hatch. Perhaps it's the postpartum hormonal roller coaster to come that scares the bejeezus out of me. Or maybe it's all of that combined.

The cliches do not apply here. I'm truly hoping all of this goes away within moments -- or even days -- of Baby G. making the scene. But only time will tell.

P.S. For those who are curious, The Brit posted a few pictures of the nursery and Baby G.'s big sister over here. Feel free to take a peek.

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