An overwhelming swirl of emotions

Hey Four!

This is just so weird.  Now that we are down to the final stretch I can’t believe how strange I feel.  I am all over the map emotionally…and I think it must be normal.  One of my friends at work told me how when she got to a certain age she did not want gifts for her birthday, but rather each year she would give her mom a gift on that day…as a thank you.  She had learned, through becoming a mom herself, just how overwhelming the whole thing really is.  So annually she made sure to thank her mom for that.  I got rather emotional as I heard her say this.  I never, ever could have been empathetic about that until these experiences.

I am still awake at the wee hours of the pre-dawn.  In those quiet moments I may play some music on the headphones and just let the emotions wash over me.  Often there is this strange sense of spirituality and timelessness that just wraps me in the feeling that I am so tiny, yet love and life are so vast.  All of the specifics of my life’s experiences are part of what shapes me, but so is being able to plug into moments not recorded on a calendar somewhere.  I am not wording this well.  I guess there is a new-found appreciation for what a mom goes through beyond the physical aspects of pregnancy.  The physical side alone is super intense and certainly a wellspring of strength and endurance for any women to take stock in.  However, the emotional piece of it all is extremely intense too.  I remember studying Victorian era women’s literature.  The theme was so much about attaining a proper match.  The maid was this prized chess piece that a family played in the strategical game of social betterment.  Her struggles were balancing the pull to do her duty to the family at the cost of attaining true love.  This all led up to a satisfying resolution where the woman was married to her Prince Charming…the end.  And that was it, the end of the maid.  No one wrote stories about Victorian marriage and the woman’s role to birth babies as that was not romantic.  There was this one piece I read where a woman writer did explore the fear and loss that women experienced at this point and with my pregnant brain I can’t remember it specifically.  There was a concept of loss that came with this.  The once free-spirited maid coming into her own identity of fiance who shelved it all to strive for her family…which is a noble, but was also expected.

Where I am going is that motherhood has come a long way.  Now it seems that there is much more support and celebration for motherhood.  I just never really attempted to wrap my brain around it.  I recall now that I was rather indifferent about my mom when I was a younger girl.  I didn’t admire my mom’s role and sacrifices when I was little, and then when she got sick, I just harbored more resentment that I didn’t have a “normal” mom.  As I grew older I still didn’t really empathize with moms.  Even when my sister had her first of three I thought how nice it was.  Nice was a bland appreciation for her shifting her life from downtown career woman to suburban stay-at-home mom.  I just didn’t get all the rest of it.  I just saw her savung money on childcare.

As I sit here typing I feel you moving.  It is so strange to talk to a bulge in my belly.  It is strange to see you moving and know you are so real.  It still worries me that I could do something wrong or that you might have some kind of problem I can’t fix.  I feel hopeful and helpless at the same time.  I am excited and scared.  I want to be a good mom and I worry that I will be a mess.  There is so much that sends me from one end of the spectrum to the other.  It is so bizarre and there you are connected to me and pushing on me.  It is all so amazing!

And I think how each woman I know has her own experience of this too – this strange overwhelming swirl of emotions.  They all had to get through their own struggles and achieve their own balance.  They all had to find their way and create their own story.  I guess it is something that I could only come to really appreciate by having my own path to explore.  The ambivalence that was there before is completely replaced with awe for each woman’s story.  I find myself reading the posts on the April 2017 Birth Group online boards and being filled with admiration for these ladies I don’t even know.  There are more and more posts with “He’s here” “She’s arrived” from the women who have gone early.  Even through typing I can sense their relief and joy.  In some cases there is worry.  It is all so great to hear that they are crossing the finish line and holding the realization of their dreams skin-to-skin up to their hearts.  Getting to that moment still seems like a dream right now.

Today we have a few appointments.  First we are doing a growth ultrasound.  I hope that you are measuring normally.  If you are too small it means you might not be getting the nutrients you need.  If you are too big, it means that I might not be able to attempt to push.  I still expect you to have a larger head.  That was the case with the previous scan.  The doctor will review the scan with us and pass along his recommendations for the birth plan.  Then we will go upstairs to do the NST, which will hopefully show some kind of uterine activity.  So far it has been pretty chill.  After that I believe we will have a cervical check and then we are off to run errands.  So I am excited to see you on the screen.  I am also hopeful for good news.  You still move around but not as herky-jerky as before.  It is more like turns and little bumps.  I felt bigger 2 weeks ago.  I am pretty sure you have dropped, so my breathing is a little better.  Today I woke up with a sore throat.  I think I may have a little sinus thing going on, which could be allergies.  I am drinking some tea right now to try and help me open up.  So time to get ready for the day.  I hope you are well little one and that we are still on track for an April birthday for you!  Keep being strong!

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