I will have a baby within the next two weeks. Before October makes its way into the world, so will my daughter.
This was the plan. Get pregnant, grow a human, push her out into existence. This was the plan all along.
But today there became an end date, a period at the end of the sentence. Soon I will be a mother.
I am now full term. I'll be 39 weeks pregnant in two days. After that comes 40. And three days after that comes my scheduled induction.
I went to the doctor for my weekly checkup this morning with a question in my back pocket: what happens if she doesn't come before my due date? I was excited to learn the answer. I've been tired of being pregnant for a very long time now -- almost since the beginning, really -- and I am eager for this pregnancy to end. My feet hurt. I'm swollen. Carrying all of this weight around is tiresome, and watching the scale continue to creep up is horrifying. I'm exhausted. I can't sleep. I can't tie my shoes. If I drop something on the floor, forget about it, that's where it stays. The pain in my back is downright agonizing. Flipping over in bed (because my hips are on fire) is a seven-point turn that takes a full two minutes. I can't get out of the bathtub by myself. I could go on. Suffice it to say, I am ready. And so as I prepared to ask what happens if she's late, I did so with eagerness and excitement.
But now I feel overwhelmed.
I told my shrink this morning that I haven't been scared or nervous about giving birth or taking care of a baby. There is so much that is unknown about the entire process to me that I felt I couldn't really get anxious. Anxiety is about lack of control, and so much of what will happen is out of my control that my normal instinct to fret and worry hadn't taken over. Even when I showed Dominique a video of a vaginal birth. Even when we watched a woman on YouTube get an epidural with a giant, frightful needle. Even then I felt calm.
But not now.
Now there is a known stopping point to this life that I know and a trigger preparing to be pulled in less than two weeks' time. I am going to be admitted to a hospital. They are going to put drugs into me that will cause my uterus to contract painfully. I will need to hold my breath while I receive an injection into my spine. I will have to push. It will be hard, and I will be hungry. I will grow tired. I may rip and tear. I may need to be cut open. I may need to be wheeled into surgery and have a human pulled out of me from the inside. And all of that possibility is now squarely on the calendar.
September 27th. If I don't go into labor on my own, I'll go into labor on September 27th.
And I'm scared. I didn't think I would be, but I am.
Billions of women do this. Hundreds of billions of women have done this. I can and will do this. But it seemed less terrifying when there wasn't a red circle around a Tuesday at the end of the month.
It's all too much to think about. I'm going to have a baby, and then we're going to take her home. To our house. Where the shower curtain is currently mildewing and the refrigerator needs a good cleaning. Where the floors are hard and the tables have pointy edges and two people who have never changed a diaper in their lives live.
I know we are capable, and I know that we will do our best. We will be good parents, all signs point to this. We love each other fiercely, and we already love this baby more than just about anything. But ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod.
Obviously, I'd like to go into labor naturally as opposed to being induced. Counting down the days until you know you're going to do something monumental and frightening is infinitely more daunting than letting it spring up and surprise you.
But here we are, the three of us.