Pregnancy this time around has been particularly hard on my mental state. Maybe it was the past year’s events, maybe it was the hormones, maybe it was the stress of taking on too many projects with too little time to complete them…. most likely it was a combination of all three… I have always been one to “think” I function better under stress, but really the truth is, I’m a die-hard procrastinator. I just can’t seem to feel a sense of urgency until things seem… well… urgent.
Anyway, for each of our boys’ births, we’ve been in a relatively new house. “Relatively new” meaning, we bought it within a year or so, and all three houses we’ve owned have been, if not fixer-uppers, then definitely in need of some cosmetic improvements. Couple this fact with a neurotic, hormonal, and overly emotional pregnant person, and you get a very llllllooooonnnnngggg list of things that NEED to get done before the baby comes. Many of the items on the list were not things that I myself could accomplish, due to my “fragile” (ha, ha) state, and also because there aren’t 196 hours in a day. So, my neurotic, perfectionist, hormone-high self enlisted the help of my dear husband, whom is probably at least halfway to neurosis now as a result.
At this point, I’m not sure where it all started, but let me just say double damnation on those pregnancy books that tell you the third child will come earlier, faster, labor will be shorter, yadda, yadda, yadda, because, while part of me does (notice I said “does”, not “did”?) want this over with, when things don’t go according to plan, and you are under the impression that a little person is about to come popping out at any moment, throw in the holidays on top of that, you’re pretty much ripe for a major mental breakdown.
So, amidst the fury of all the holiday fun, our endless list of house projects to be completed before #3 made his appearance still loomed. I got to the point where I would’ve just been happy to make it through Christmas, which actually came & went without so much as a cramp from the little fella. Once that was out of the way, I then shifted to being fully convinced that once that holiday was over and I relaxed a little bit, the baby would naturally come. I felt ready, but at the same time not ready: we still had our bathroom vanity, light, and cabinet to install, paint the walls, bunk beds to have delivered, move all of Wyatt’s things out of the baby’s room and into Max’s, clean everything, sort through virtual MOUNTAINS of baby clothes, put away Christmas decorations, etc, etc, etc. The intensity of my need to get all of these things accomplished before baby had reached a fever pitch, but yet I just wanted it all over, whether the list got done or not– I was just so sick of feeling stressed.
This is precisely when our electricity got knocked out for a day, we found out the bunk beds were not coming, AND the washing machine broke. All things that are not very big deals… IF YOU’RE NOT ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY!! Our entire upstairs floor looked like a war zone, and there was no light up there to do much about the mess. Ok, maybe now wasn’t a good time for the little one to make his appearance after all.
The days passed, and eventually all of those projects pretty much got resolved. Phew! Ok, now I can relax and have this baby, right? Well…. not so fast. After a fun New Year’s Eve with some of the cousins, both of the kids went to bed that night with croupy coughs and fevers which came out of nowhere, and poor little Wyatt threw up twice. They both had ear infections. New Year’s Day was spent nursing sick little boys… Max seemed to bounce back, but Wyatt… not so much. The following day was Friday, Bill had a man date in the morning, and I had a Dr’s appointment in the afternoon. In between, we tag-teamed taking care of the boys. Wyatt was clearly not getting better. He was extremely lethargic, clingy, runny, cloudy-eyed, feverish, and with a nasty, nasty cough. He was totally miserable, and could barely keep his eyes open most of the day. That night, I mentioned to Bill that, in all of our running around, *maybe* we should’ve taken him to the doctor’s. Luckily for us, our pediatrician has Saturday hours. He woke up the next day with enough goop in his eyes to spackle all of the leftover nail holes in our bathroom and then some. Awful. So, off he went to the doctor, and, to our surprise: pneumonia! Ugh! Remember that old game show Press Your Luck? No, baby, no baby, NO BABY!!!!
Neither of my boys has ever been that sick. He was a completely different person. The pediatrician said if I went into labor, under no circumstances is Wyatt allowed anywhere near this baby. And whoever is Wyatt’s caretaker cannot be near the baby either. Stress? What stress? Meanwhile, little man has been making threats, but still no appearances…. is he toying with us? Nope, he’s being a good little boy and staying put until just the right time! What a little sweety-pie, already so considerate I’m sure the stress hormones have a little something to do with it, too.
So, T minus 40 weeks was yesterday- I felt totally ready and convinced I would be spending last night in the hospital. It’s a weird feeling, actually. I never went past my due date before. You always read about women whose due dates come & go, and each passing day seems like an eternity. I always thought I would enjoy having a few extra days to relax or get things done, but now that my OB is already talking induction (and has been for a week & a half now), I’m starting to feel the pressure again (not baby pressure, mental pressure- I really don’t want to be induced). I have faith that this little guy somehow knows exactly what to do, and it will all make a lot more sense once all’s said & done. Maybe tomorrow will bring tiny little fingers and toes, eyelashes and coos, and all other things fresh and new and babyish…
Filed under: memoirs, on the homefront | Tagged: 40 weeks, baby, birth, due date, labor, pregnancy, preparing for baby, stress | 27 Comments »