It is amazing the way the human mind works. I had completely repressed the massive
discomfort that week 39 brings from my memory. Now here I am once again, counting the days and hours, swinging recklessly back and forth between being so ready for it to be over (thanks to leaking fluid, pain, and heartburn that make morning sickness feel like happy hour)
and also SO not ready yet.
My husband has the stomach flu, our childcare left for Montana and is stuck in a blizzard, and I just realized I haven’t had my hair cut in seven months. I need more time! (This is where I remind myself of my new mantra. You know, the one where we have to just TELL ourselves we have enough. “I have time in abundance” and then magically it appears.)
I know this is a lesson in letting go. In trusting the instinct I have in my body and my baby’s miraculous ability to send the message that she is starting to make her journey into the world. But UGH, it is really hard to know something and execute it with grace. I freaked out on Mother’s Day when another wave of nesting hit and my family was left in its wake. I pulled things from under the bed screaming “Clean this up or I will throw it out!” while my 5 year old sobbed to my 8 year old “Why is she doing this to us???”
Fortunately this hasn’t been the story of the majority of this pregnancy. I was gifted with health AND hormones this time around, shocking for being 40 and considering my last two were filled with anger, depression, whining, and severe nausea. This time I felt stable, grounded, content, and mentally connected. I felt stronger and tougher, with a greater perspective on how quickly time DOES pass, and that pregnancy does not last forever. That it is okay to miss out on, well, anything really (thank you 40)! It nudged me finally to realize my limits, say no, and to embrace the physical changes because I was seeing them through my daughters’ eyes. They thought I was a freaking super hero creating their little sister. Each week they would ask what I made:
Um, just her BONES, no big deal.
Sharing this experience with them was a continual reminder of how worth it it all will be, like having two little cheerleaders running beside you in a marathon. I remember when I was pregnant with my second thinking how can I love her as much as my first (which, let me tell you was a rough realization given I AM THE MIDDLE CHILD)? But then she was born and OF COURSE it is the most blissful love all over again. So I get that now! I know what is on the other side and I am in the thick of awareness watching them grow into their personalities and beings and witnessing the truth of the cliché-- that we are just vessels for these spirits and ultimately they pick us to be our teachers. I get that by rolling the dice for this third baby we are signing up for yet another adventure and choosing love, love, love.
But where was I? Yes, missing most of my IQ points thanks to the third trimester and holding out for four more days. I will see you on the other side, as they say, and can’t wait to grow this little Sproutable baby along with you and yours! Wish me luck for a waterslide birth, and mostly wish us health, as I do for you.
Julietta is a Certified Positive Discipline Advanced Trainer with an Ed.S Degree in School Psychology and a Masters Degree in School Counseling from Seattle University. She is the co-founder of Sproutable, science backed online parenting insights for pregnancy to preschool, helping multitasking and sleep deprived parents everywhere. Her trauma informed expertise includes early child development, autism, learning disabilities, anxiety, behavior disorders, Positive Discipline, Social Thinking and mindfulness. Her popular keynote speeches, classes and workshops in Seattle have been described as rejuvenating, motivating and inspiring. Julietta has learned the most from her own three daughters, ages 9, 6 and 16 months.
P.S. As a bonus, here is the latest text exchange/cautionary tale between my younger sister Emily and I, who does not have children and missed the memo (as your friends or family may have as well) on what to do when she gets “the call”. This is filled with profanity, because she swears like a sailor and insisted it reads authentically only if I type it verbatim. A lot of profanity. You have been warned and it is NOT required reading:
Sister: What’s up dude do you feel any contractions yet??
I better be numero uno on the phone tree
I can't wait to yell MY SISTER IS HAVING A BABY! & run out of the office with papers flying
Me: I better be numero uno on your "favorite peeps" list and yes contractions and exhausted and weird symptoms but I still think she’s a few days out...except there IS a full moon tonight.....
Sister: omg f yes
Full ass moon
I can’t wait to rush around the maternity ward yelling shit
I NEED A CATHETER!
WHERE’S THE NURSE?!
GET ME A FUCKING SANDWICH!
What other weird symptoms
Dude so excited
*You’re hella regretting inviting me lol
Jkkkkk I’ll be quiet and helpful I promise
Me: Wait-- Em
Sister: Uh oh what
[At which point I dial the phone freaking out that she misunderstood me weeks prior when I said how I was so happy that she was going to be able to come to the hospital for this baby since we hadn’t lived in the same city before with the other two and told her that she wasn’t invited to the ACTUAL BIRTH -- She understood and wasn't planning on being in the birth room ["I would totally fucking faint"] .. we were both laughing so hard but silently as she was at work .. it was a quick convo and we hung up, after which the texts resumed]
Sister: Rereading this .. SO GODDAMN FUNNY
IT TOTALLY READS LIKE I’M IN THE BIRTH ROOM
I am silently rocking with laughter right now
Sister: I meant the maternity ward lol
Like where coffee and shit is
Me: IN THE MOVIES
HAVE YOU EVER VISITED A NEW BABY??????
What WARD are you talking about?
The one on Friends?
Sister: Is there no waiting room? With food? And coffee? And everyone hella happy? And books and tv and shit?
WHERE THE FUCK DO WE SIT?
Me: You come to our room! Like a hotel! There’s a main lobby but that is for the hospital.
Sister: Wait omg what!??
But what about when it's like 20 hours of labor!??
You don't have your room yet. ?
Me: ohhhhhhhhh nooooooooooo
Sister: omg what
Me: YOU WAIT UNTIL WE TELL YOU TO COME. YOU DON’T TAILGATE IN THE PARKING LOT
Sister: I just had to take off my glasses bc I'm crying laughing so hard
So I don't wait in the lobby????
Me: Jon doesn’t run out to the lobby screaming “it’s a girl!” And wiping tears away as he lights a cigar!!
Sister: WHY THE FUCK NOT
I hella thought the phone tree was for LABOR!???
Me: I thought you meant metaphorically
Sister: You just contradicted yourself
I have no idea what's going on
Well you saved me 20 hours I guess
I thought I'd be up in the lobby! Pacing and shit!
Waiting out the labor!!!
Eating sandos from the cafeteria!
Me: We will tell you when we are laboring so you know it is IMMINENT AND TO LIGHT A CANDLE AND SEND POSITIVE ENERGY
Sister: And hella being all tribe like w the other peeps
Me: CUT TO
12 hours later
When Jon texts and says "Healthy! Room 1789364!"
Sister: Ohhhhhh shit dude
Me: THANK GOD WE CLARIFIED
Sister: Maybe your Sproutable article should include THAT shit
So fools like me don't appear chillin in the hallway
Me: I am so blogging this conversation
Sister: Make sure you include the expletives so it's authentic
I have tears streaming down my face
Me: I actually just had a contraction bc I was laughing so hard.