Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Diary of an Incubator: How Are You?

This is probably the question I have been asked the most since I have been pregnant.  However, like the standard, How are you? that people ask, I always feel like I have to answer with, "Ok" or, "Fine". 

Here's my summary of the vast array of feelings I've had over the past nine months:

Excited that we are going to meet our baby soon.  That there is a real person in there.  That we get to give them a name.

Curious about what our baby will be like.  Will he/she be placid or outgoing?  Who will he/she look like?  What areas will he/she take after Duncan or me in?

Daunted.  Looking after a small, helpless human being will be a huge challenge.  I worry that I won't have what it takes, that I might get angry and impatient and resent my baby (postnatal depression is in the back of my mind).

Worried that our baby might be the next serial killer (I know that's irrational though, but, hey, Mr and Mrs Hitler might have brushed that thought aside as well).

Annoyed that people feel they have the right to tell us (particularly me) what to do.  I know myself better than they do.  I'm sick of people suggesting we stay in Perth for a while after we leave the hospital.  Being new parents and staying in someone else's house would be AWFUL.  What if the baby was screaming and disturbing them?  We don't have any close family (i.e. parents, grandparents or siblings) in Perth that we could stay with.  Most people have pokey spare rooms where it's a struggle to fit a suitcase in there let alone a baby.  Plus it would be feel like we had to move twice.  We are in the private system and will be staying in hospital for at least five days.  After that, I just want to go HOME where it is peaceful and there is no-one scrutinising me as a new mum.  I vented to a friend the other day and she totally understood (I'm glad there are some understanding people around).

Offended by the STUPID things some people say (especially strangers or people I don't know that well).  For some reason, people have always felt they have the right to come up to me and just say what they think about my appearance.  Grrr no, why don't you Take 5 or just SHUT UP (especially the mums who keep telling me I'm going to have a permanent beer gut/muffin top/spare tyre).

Peaceful, particularly regarding the birth.  I'm tired of people asking me what I'm feeling about the birth.  When I tell them I'm just trusting God and the medical staff they give me this crazed look like I SHOULD be worried.  I don't have a high pain threshold, but I'm glad there are SOME pain relief options available.  I don't see the point in worrying about the birth.  Yes, I'm facing the unknown, but God is with me and that is enough.

Confused.  This flows on from my previous point.  Other people seem to WANT me to worry.  They ask me if I have a plan.  If I say yes, they laugh and say, "Wait until the baby comes along."  If I say no, that we are just going to 'wing it' and trust God, they tell me I need a plan.  Far out.  I thought Christians were supposed to encourage each other to trust God's sovereignty and not worry.

Patronised.  I'm nearly 30 years old, but some people still feel they have the right to treat me like a child (and some of them don't even have kids themselves.  Good grief!).

Self Conscious.  Sometimes my body shape bothers me.  It's hard not to covet the bodies of other women who aren't pregnant.  I didn't think this would bother me (I have to keep telling myself that I'm pregnant, not fat).

Well.  Many days it didn't even feel like I was pregnant.  Sometimes I would even forget momentarily.

Organised.  Well, as best as we can be anyway.  The baby's room is ready, there are meals in the freezer (no takeaway out here and it's a long way to drop a meal off), the house should be clean when we get back (my parents are petsitting and housesitting for us and my mum is the Queen of Clean).

.  I guess it comes with the territory.

Tired.  As above.

Swollen.  My poor feet look like balloons with little piggy toes.

Breathless.  Sometimes it feels like I'm having panic attacks.

Depressed.  Sometimes everything got too much.

Clucky.  Particularly when I started going through the 'nesting' phase and people started giving us cute little clothes for the baby.

Frustrated that I have to rest and can't do as much as I'd like to.

Shocked that people stare so much at me when I go out (particularly young men).  I thought pregnant women were dime a dozen.

Grateful that we are having a baby, and for a caring husband who will be such a good dad.  He has been so gracious, even when I wake him up in the night with my tossing and turning and leg cramps.  Poor Duncan!  He has to deal with me shouting, "My leg, my leg," then he gets out of bed and flexes it for me.

Amazed.  I can see how God uses the discomforts and sleeplessness of pregnancy to help prepare us for when the baby comes.  I've already had to learn to deal with less sleep and broken sleep.  It will be staying awake to feed that will be the next challenge.

Humbled.  I will never look at a pregnant woman and think, It doesn't look so hard ever again!  Pregnancy is an enormous strain on the body.

Defensive against the barrage of 'advice', unhelpful and discouraging people, people who want us to visit them and take the baby to see them.  I'm getting ready to use the word, "No," often.  If people want to see the baby, they can come to us, and I will let them know if it's a bad time.

Eager to introduce the baby to the pets.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Ebony thinks of the strange creature coming to live in her house.

Sad that a chapter of our lives is coming to a close.  It has been an incredible chapter, not always easy, but very enjoyable.  It has been so good being just the two of us.  The night before Duncan took me to Perth, he said, "This is the last night of just the two of us in our house."  I think I will mourn the loss of this stage of life.

Happy that there are only nine days to go, but enjoying making the most of the time I have left to rest, edit my book, read books, and catch up with friends.

Glad to have the opportunity to relive my childhood in some ways.  I'm looking forward to introducing my son or daughter to the books, toys and movies I enjoyed as a child.

Privileged that we get to teach someone about Jesus.

Thankful that no matter what happens, God is there and He is in control.  That doesn't mean that all will go smoothly.  It just means that Duncan and I won't be alone.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Phew, that's quite a list! I'm tempted to give advice :-) But I'll refrain. You've ended your list well, and I think that is the best thing to cling to at a time of change like this!