I have been so focused on the countdown to meeting our boy, I haven’t had a chance to live in the moment of it all. This week it has hit me; he’s really coming – any day now. The emotions are catching up to me, and I suddenly have all the feels. Sean is right there with me, expressing how anxious he is to be a dad; I can’t wait to see him hold baby Ivan for the first time.
We’re trying to find bouts of quiet time acknowledging that these are the last days we will be Mr. and Mrs. as we know it. We have been making a point to put down our cell phones in exchange for quality time, going on dates and trying new restaurants when time allows. Ironically, all we talk about now is parenthood. Our lives have already been forever changed by this little dude.
I’m trying some of the popular – but safe – labor starters, including lots of walking, pelvic floor exercises on the exercise ball, and two cups of red raspberry leaf tea per day. I’m at that point where everyone is asking me how I’m feeling – I wish there were obvious pre-labor signs I could share, but I still just feel super pregnant. Granted, every labor is different and all the signs are different. Some moms say they felt fantastic before labor, with bouts of crazy nesting. Others say they felt sick and thought they had the flu before labor kicked in. Some walked around in early labor for weeks, effaced and dilated, while others transitioned out of the blue overnight. I’m taking each story with a grain of salt and listening to my own body, one day at a time.
My biggest worry at this point is that he just won’t come and I’ll have to consider induction options, but it’s a worry I keep tucked away because it’s not worth stressing over, especially when he still has time. Technically, we could be pregnant for up to 42 weeks! *Please, no!
My second biggest worry is comical – that my water will break like Niagara Falls in public. Sometimes when I’m walking I can hear liquid swooshing around, or if I’m lying next to Sean we will both hear weird noises coming from my belly. We both laugh and joke that my water is about to break – but, perhaps the swooshing just signifies that I’m well-hydrated? I have been drinking so much water – it is amazing how much water your pregnant body demands.
And then there’s the worries of the fourth trimester. Will my instincts kick in? Will I recover well? Will breastfeeding come naturally? These small fears are already teaching me a valuable lesson – the need to surrender control. Things will happen as they are meant to.
Taming the control freak in me is my doula. She spent time with Sean and I this week going over exercises we can do at home in early labor that will alleviate the pain of contractions and encourage Ivan to stay in the head down birthing position. It was surreal going through these motions, realizing that the next time we call her will be the real deal!
We also completed an Infant CPR course offered at the hospital, marking the completion of our long baby prep to-do list. It was weird driving away from the hospital knowing the next time we check in will be to push this baby out!
We’re officially ready and on standby to meet you, Ivan!