17 days to go

May 10 is so close. So, so close. Mary would be full term if she was born today. I am done with school for the semester and crossing things off the to-do list like a madwoman, but there is still so much to do. As long as Mary stays put until her due date, I think we will have enough time to be physically ready. Her stuff will be purchased and washed and organized and ready for use. We will have a birth plan. I will have waded through at least some of the books and resources I have accumulated about how to birth a child and be a good mom. God willing, she will have a pediatrician and a child care provider (for the fall). (If anyone knows a good pediatrician in the Detroit/ Ann Arbor area, send their contact info my way, please!) These things will all get done somehow.

But Heaven knows if we will be emotionally ready. CAN you be emotionally ready for a new baby? I don’t know. I know that Matt and I take turns saying things like “I hope I’m a good parent” and “How do we know if we’re ready?” and “I’m scared.” People ask often if I am ready to not be pregnant anymore. I am ready to be done with the physical symptoms of being pregnant. I am ENORMOUS, my back aches all day and wakes me up at night, this kid is very good at kicking my ribs and lungs, and I can’t really wear shoes anymore. I mean, I wear shoes anyway, but it sucks. But every time I feel a twinge of pain anywhere in my abdomen, my immediate thought is Please God, I can’t be in labor yet, I’m not ready. I think maybe I’m just too Type A to be comfortable with this situation. Everything about birthing and mothering is a big huge unknown to me and very much out of my control.

Most of my prayers these days are petitions for calm. In my mind, I know that God loves Mary and us and we will all be ok. I know that I would be better off (and maybe even able to enjoy this time) if I could just lean back and trust God to carry us through. I can’t seem to convince my heart of all that, though. Anxiety pops up all the time and manifests itself in sudden tears, fits of irritation, and dramatic 1 AM chore sessions because I just can’t let it go for the night until it’s done. Deep breaths; more prayers for peace of mind.

Complicating everything is the fact that I have tapered off my antidepressant medications so that Mary will not have to go through withdrawal after she’s born. I’m hopeful that we’re off meds for good. I’ve been medicated for something like six years, so adjusting has been interesting. Most of the time I’m fine, but the sudden bursts of emotion and the lack of control over crying are a lot to handle. It’s manageable for now, but the jury is out over whether I can cope long-term.

To the good, I have felt showered by support lately. Our friends from Ford threw us a delightful baby shower, and it was so touching how many people came to celebrate with us. A few people I know through school and church have reached out to me in the last week and asked to hang out. I have gotten several sweet emails and phone calls from out-of-town friends. All of it combines to make me feel loved and wanted and appreciated. I need that so much right now.

Matt continues to be the most loving and supportive husband ever. Words cannot express how much I appreciate him.

The burden is heavy right now, but I’ve been given the help I need to carry it. Praise God.

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