A blog about babies: the babies I lost, the babies I never had, the baby who made me a Mama.

Friday, September 16, 2011

You Will Meet a Short, Possibly Dark Stranger; or, 37 Weeks

In case you didn't notice, the last two months of my life have been rather over-stuffed and frantic. Preparing to travel, traveling, multiple flights to multiple places, several different kinds of intense work and family events, studying, exam anxiety: there's been a lot on my mind.

I'm relieved to be done and proud that I did it all. And while I would not recommend this third-trimester schedule to any pregnant women in my life, it did take my mind off the aches and pains and fears, at least sometimes and for a little while. When you are pushing yourself to your physical and mental limits, you have to prioritize where you put your attention. Worrying about non-immediate threats was not an option for me.

Which brings me to today: 37 weeks. Full term. With nothing to do but clean and organize my house. And realizing...

Holy crap, I might actually be having a baby really really soon. Not the hypothetical "baby" I imagined during our years of trying and months of pregnancy. But a real, live, pooping, eating, crying, personal-identity-having baby.

Can I admit that I'm nervous? Not in the horrible throat-grabbing way that terror overtakes me when I worry that something is wrong with Smudgie (and I still have those days and those kinds of fears). But I think in the more general new-mom-to-be kind of way.

Am I ready for this? Will I get any sleep? How will I handle childbirth? Will it be awful and miserable? Will I miss my old life? Will I be any good as a mom? Will our marriage suffer?

I know I am terribly lucky to even be able to ask myself those questions. And a year ago, I would have thought they were all either stupid, irrelevant, or inconsequential. Of course it will be hard! Of course I won't get any sleep! Of course my marriage will change! Why even wonder?

I guess the biggest question that I'm finally confronting is about Smudgie him- or herself. Who is this little person I've been carrying for almost nine months? What will he or she be and do and like and want? We've been a part of each other for so long and it's almost time for us to separate and I am feeling that very intensely all of a sudden. I don't really know you, Smudgie, though I hope I get to spend a lifetime learning all about you. And yet you're the most dearly beloved and intimately known stranger I've ever encountered.

So much right now is mysterious and unknown. I'm excited to learn some of the answers, but also not quite ready to.

37 weeks and finally accepting I'm pregnant. Full term and not ready for it to end. Not sure how to transition from "Please let me keep this baby inside me one more day" to "Okay, time to let the baby out."

I focus on the minutiae of baby prep--choosing an infant tub and organizing shelves and knitting a blanket and setting up car seat installation inspections--because the bigger preparations seem too hard to grasp.

None of it was ever in my control. A lesson I thought IF and loss had taught me, but one I need to continually relearn.

I guess we'll figure it out together, Smudgie, LG, Bella and me. I guess we'll do our best.


  1. So wonderful, I hope you are able to enjoy these last few weeks. As for giving birth, don't worry there'll be lots of people there to help you! Congrats on making it to full term.

  2. You have a way with words. Well put, that you don't really know smudgie but you love him/her so much. It must be an extra nice feeling to have gotten so much done the last two months and now just being able to focus on the baby. I had my laundry done three months in advance. Dumb in hindiste bc that far too early and I ended up doing it again two weeks before my due date. are you cooking and freezing stuff for after you bring baby home? That was the smartest thing I did, as cooking was not a priority. Not that eating was either :o) hope you pamper yourself silly this month.

  3. I saw your tweet this morning about hitting 37 weeks and got so excited for you. Yay!!!

  4. Congrats on full term! Oh Sloper, I'm so happy for you and your words always hit home. They are little strangers, and at least in my experience, it'll be WEIRD when Smudgie is here. Everything is different - whether different good or different bad, it's so much to adjust to, but you, LG and Bella will do it beautifully.

    From what you've written about LG, I suspect he'll be an amazing daddy and you will only fall even more in love with him.

    Huge happy hugs!

  5. Hooray for full-term! I'll be there in 5 days :) I can say that in a way, parenthood changes everything (primarily in terms of having to submit to baby's schedule and always have a plan for him or her--no last-minute date nights, for instance!), but it doesn't change who you and your husband are, doesn't mean you can't do the things you enjoy (we've always taken our son to restaurants, and because he's used to it, he can behave even in nice ones, even though he's 2)--it just takes more planning with a kid! You will be a wonderful mother, and surprisingly quickly all the massive changes of having a baby in your house will just become a normal part of your routine. I'm starting to freak out a little about the actual childbirth thing, and having two little ones to raise, but I know I'll get through the birth part and love the two kids part, just like, despite the upheaval, I adapted to and adored becoming our son's mom just 4 days after learning he existed! Excited to hear about Smudgie's arrival in the next few weeks!

  6. Ooh, without even meaning to, as I was plugging in your lyrics to "Some Enchanted Evening," I found a great end to the line: "...across a crowded womb"! Musical theatre nerds, unite!

    Truly impressed with all you've accomplished in recent months. Pretty crazy when the baby part gets really real, huh? So excited for you all! Bella especially. :) And I need to get you your onesie! xoxo

  7. Congrats, honey, you ARE having a baby! I knew you'd figure it out, just like I did at some point. My point was at 31 weeks along. As soon as I read your entry today, I thought of my own revelation (hope you don't mind me pointing you to it):


    You are amazing. So proud of you. The rainbow is so close.

  8. I'm so very impressed with you for keeping all your shit together these last few weeks, and kicking ass in the professional sphere. You and LG are going to make great parents, and soon! Smudgie's almost here.

  9. Wow...37 weeks! Full term!! Enjoy these last few moments preparing for Smudgie!

  10. Congratulations on full term!! You'll be a wonderful mom, and you'll just LOVE it. You actually don't need much stuff, all the preparations do indeed seem to just pass the time of the pregnancy. Those last few weeks were LOOOONNNNGGGGG. I hope you go into labor early, because every 5 minute interval after your due date is like an eternity.