the past few days, as i have been steadily nearing my due date, i've gone through various emotional phases of preparing to give birth.

the first stage was can we just get this over with? physically, it just sort of hit me. i had to go through two, three, maybe even four more weeks of this? my ribs feel bruised, my back hurts, my abdomen is heavy, achy, tight, and stretched to the max, i can't breathe... i could go on. i just don't remember being this uncomfortable toward the end of my pregnancy with river. i wished desperately to curl up in a ball and touch my knees to my chest to offer my back some relief, but um... i couldn't. because there is a watermelon separating my knees from my chest. all i could do to try and help the nagging pain is the cat yoga pose (you can only arch your back so much with an attached watermelon). oh, what would i give for an hour-long massage session. yesyesyes, that's all i want! gimme, and i will never complain again!

then i realized, yes, i am very close... and as tired of being pregnant as i am, these are the last days i have with my kid as just river and mommy. i even took a little computer break, because i felt that i was way too preoccupied and lazy, and i kept thinking that my sweet boy was going to be thrown into this new world of mommy and river and baby, and i felt like he really deserved my time and full attention during these last few weeks. i was off of the internet for two days, completely, and then slowly allowed myself to peek into facebook and my email and such. i found that with less of my time spent reading articles, browsing pinterest and commenting on friends' facebook statuses, my house stayed neater as well... because at 10:30 when i would normally be sitting with my ass glued to the chair and my eyes glued to the screen, i was actually washing dishes. and vacuuming. and retrieving toys and such out from under the coffee table. it might also have to do with the fact that i am nesting like crazy, something that definitely did not happen late in my pregnancy with river. i am a much nicer mommy when i am off the computer and my house is clean. and river is a much nicer toddler when i am a nice mommy. who knew the presence of a comfortable distraction could cause so much stress? i need another computer break, ideally until the baby arrives.

and then one day, it was of pure annoyance. i was in a bad mood and simply did not feel like going into labor. i was having lots of contractions, and kept saying to myself, i BETTER not go into labor because i just do NOT want to have to deal with that today and i don't FEEL like taking care of a newborn right now because i am just TOO STRESSED. the mere thought of having to be calm and loose and create a serene environment was awful. i didn't want to breathe through contractions. i wanted to punch a pillow.

the next stage was fear. i can't really wrap my mind around how close i am to giving birth to this baby, and it was sort of freaking me out. when i say i was never nervous or afraid of giving birth to river, i'm 100% for serious. if ever i felt a little twinge of fear, i'd just go watch youtube homebirth videos or read some ina may, and my confidence was renewed. when people asked me if i was scared or nervous, i truthfully told them nope. this time, not so much. it seems silly too, since i had a great birth with river and twenty minutes after giving birth i was saying, "i'd much rather do that again than go through morning sickness." but for some reason, last week, i'd start to think of giving birth, i'd remember how tough it was, to say the least, how painful and how much work it was, and i'd get butterflies in my baby-squished stomach. i started wondering if i could handle it again.

but i'm past that. the final stage is readiness. at least, i hope this is the final stage. a few nights ago, contractions woke me up multiple times. crampy, but not too painful, yet more intense than the regular (still intense) braxton hicks. at around seven in the morning, on four hours of sleep, i woke up and couldn't fall back to sleep because the contractions were that strong. after an hour of this, i texted two out-of-town friends who are planning on coming to the birth and gave them a heads up, saying i didn't really think it was time, but just in case. i was feeling excited and completely at peace. i could feel the pressure deep down, and i prayed that god would help my body open, and that today would be the day. i decided if i really was going into labor, i might as well get up and make myself a good breakfast, since i'd need the energy later. but after i got up, i only had two more contractions before they stopped completely.

so, that's where i stand now. i still freak out a little bit, but that's only when i look around the house and see how messy it is and tell myself i need to finish cleaning it before the baby arrives. but other than that... i'm ready. tomorrow i will be 40 weeks along. this morning i had an appointment with my midwife, and i'm hoping the next time i see her is when she arrives at our home to help welcome our little girl to the world.

alisa and me.



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