The Last Month. I could write an entire series on The Last Month, only I would change the series name from The Pregnancy Diaries to A Month of Fiery, Evil, Miserable Hell on Earth. I think it would be a big seller, don’t you? I’m just being honest, and who doesn’t like honesty? Even if it means hearing the worst of the worst of the worst. I promise it will end on a high note!
Oh, the last month. We made it! My husband is relieved that it’s so close, but I worry it’s more to get me back to normal than to meet his son. Maybe it’s a little of both, but with my constant complaining and sudden 2 a.m. teary outbursts and a complete and utter inability to do ANYthing on my own anymore, I’m guessing it’s about 30/70 – 30% being “to meet my son” and 70% being “to shut her up.” It truly is amazing what has occurred in the past 30 days. Yes, hitting full-term was a very big deal. A wave or relief swept over me as he could now join the world at any minute and be healthy and happy. We made it. I have grown him for 39 weeks and we made it. WE MADE IT! I have to admit that I feel like I was pretty strong and self-sufficient up to this point. But, man oh man, when it rains, it pours and when your overdramatic to begin with, a slight drizzle can become a freaking monsoon in a heartbeat. My mama monsoon season has lasted 30 straight days. Here is an inside look into the life of Last Month Nicki:
Three weeks ago… I woke up with my first “contractions” in the middle of the night. I thought it was just the urge to pee, but it turns out that my body corrolates the two (peeing and contractions), so every time I woke up to pee, I laid back down and got pretty severe cramps. It was like getting your period 7 times a night, without the mess, of course. This is when the lack of sleep started. My new nightly routine came out of left field: Go to bed at 11. Get up at 12:30. Pee (not NEARLY enough to make the trek worth it, in my opinion). Stumble back to bed and wake up husband to move dog who felt the need to keep my pillow warm while I was away for 30 seconds. Lie back down. Cry because the contractions were hurting. Cry harder to wake up husband. Husband awakes. I feel like I fulfilled my duty by making us BOTH suffer from lack of sleep (hey, I can’t do this alone!). Fall back to sleep. Then, repeat this series at the hours of 2 a.m., 4 a.m., 5:30 a.m., and 7 a.m. And, this has yet to subside. Same routine, different night.
Two weeks ago… I started lacking a real concern with my physical being. Not my internal or well-being, but my physical being. Examples: I have not shaved my legs or armpits in over two weeks. Washing my face has become “optional” at bedtime. Pajama pants have been worn to work on more than one occasion (I don’t think they noticed, and if they did, at least they were kind enough not to say anything). Oh, and (this is classic) the other morning I woke up and got undressed to hop in the shower and spotted a GIANT puddle of dried toothpaste sitting directly in between my boobs. Are you KIDDING me? It must have just crusted on there from the night before, but, seriously, who doesn’t NOTICE something like that!? I got a pedicure at least. That made me feel sexy for, like, an hour. Red toenail polish can do wonders for the pregnant woman’s psyche.
One week ago… this lovely little boy decided to “reposition” himself into a position that must be comfortable for him, but it is KILLING me. At first I thought it was just a pulled muscle in my back. I operate like my mother in the fact that I have a hard time sitting still, so at 9 months pregnant, I thought it would be a swell idea to paint our side door and do some weeding. Brilliant. That’s me. Absolutely brilliant. I woke up the next morning unable to move my back and it has stayed that way ever since. Doctor Obvious said I should ice it, heat it, and try to get some sleep. “Wow, I’m sooo glad you were able to help me out with that. I’ve just been running laps around my house and smoking cigarettes on my patio while praying to the sun gods to release the tensions in my ribcage.” Duh. So now, in between my trips to the bathroom, incessant crying, and brutal contractions, I get to deal with back pain. And, I gotta tell you, there are NO good infomercials on at 3 in the morning. I’ve learned to keep a disc of Will & Grace in the DVD player so I can just hit Play when I’m unintentionally depriving myself of much-needed sleep.
Currently, I am sitting here at my kitchen table, 58 pounds heavier than when I started this diary and in miserable pain, but I have a light at the end of my tunnel. We scheduled our baby to be induced this coming Tuesday! I keep reminding myself that I have a maximum of four days left of my current life and soon our family of two will become a family of three and there’s no stopping it. It’s a rollercoaster of emotions and I cried for seven hours straight the day I scheduled the appointment. I think I called my mom three times at work bawling for no real reason…mostly because I didn’t know WHAT to feel – anxiety, fear, happiness, worry, hope, joy, and pain. Mix all of those with a fresh batch of hormones and the “I’d like to schedule my baby’s birth for next week, please” conversation, and yes, seven hours of tears IS possible.
But, a large part of those tears are tears of the unknown..tears of relief that I will soon MEET this handsome little bugger that’s been dancing on my bladder for nine months… tears of the inevitable joys of this unknown land called motherhood in which I am about to reside. This last month has been torture, yes. It has not been pretty. I have not been pretty. Nate has not been pretty. Even Chloe the Dog has not been pretty. We all sludge along through our days blinking back sleep like zombies, trying to enjoy our last evenings of together time. But, the gift that is coming will be worth it. I know this. And, not because it’s what EVERYONE says (“oh, it’s so worth it…the second you hold him, you forget all the pain, blah, blah, blah”), but because in those few reflective moments that I allow myself, I can FEEL it. When I’m up at 4 a.m., I find myself touching my stomach and talking to him, telling him stories about his grandparents and how his mommy and daddy met and asking him if he has dimples and wondering what he’ll be when he grows up. I tell him about his Aunt Julie and how funny she is. I explain that Nate’s sisters may look alike for a few years, but if you study them long enough, you’ll learn which is which. These are conversations that I know I will remember (even if he doesn’t) and this is how I know I’m ready to welcome this little person into my life.
And, whenever I do feel like I can’t handle it and the lack of sleep is too much to bear, I read an excerpt by Jeanette Lisefski that my mom sent me in a card from the book “Becoming a Mother.” I share it with you to help tie all my thoughts together:
He slips into this world, and into my arms, placed there by heaven. Through joyful tears I whisper in his ear, “We are glad you are here. We waited so long to see you.” He opens his eyes, and I am transformed – a timeless moment filled with the infinity of what life is. In his eyes I see total recognition, unconditional love and complete trust. I am a mother. In that instant I feel, and in my heart I know, everything I need to know to guide him. We look for ways he looks like us, and ways he is uniquely himself. We have nothing to say, but our hearts and minds are full of thoughts – of our hopes and dreams for him, of who he might be, of what gifts he brings with him and how he might touch the world. It is hard to close our eyes to sleep.
This is probably the final blog post I will write pre-baby, so I ask for your prayers, thoughts, advices and encouragements. Soon, all of these obstacles will be over – the sausage feet, the beer deprivation, the urinating in softball fields, the spilling, the burping, the nausea…and so much more will be beginning. I cannot wait to introduce you all to Baby Boy Brunner!