Had a great appointment with the midwife yesterday. We hadn't actually seen Lillian since early December (before the ultrasound) - we had an appointment with her in January, but due to a death in the family she was out of town and we saw a backup midwife instead. So it was great to catch up with her again. Feels like so much has happened since then.
We had been collecting questions for a while, and it seemed that a few of them were about the actual labour and birth (did you guys KNOW that's what happens after pregnancy? OMG!). As she talked about the preparations to be made and the experiences we would have, I felt myself getting a bit anxious/overwhelmed. I also noticed that when I asked questions about labour, they were always in the second or third person, not the first person. Not once did I say, "When I am in labour...", I always said, "So when you're in labour ...". Which is silly because Lillian isn't going to be in labour. Even later when I pointed this out to Chris, I said, "I started to understand that this is really going to happen to us." Again, getting closer, but really? It's not going to happen to us. It's going to happen to me.
I think all of this is likely very normal. I remember Sara commenting on it late in her pregnancy with Scott, when it started to dawn on her that "Oh yeah, I have to do that *labour* thing again. Damn."
So, I am working to come to terms with this. It's odd because I have so many opposite and simultaneous feelings. We all know that I'm a control freak. Lillian mentioned that pregnancy is good preparation for birth and for life as a parent, because things are so often beyond control. I agreed but when I thought about it later, I realized that one of the feelings I often comment on to Chris is gratitude for what I still can control. For example, last Saturday on Date Night I said, "I will really miss being able to bring the baby wherever I go without any real consequences. Right now, all I have to do is eat every few hours, and I know the baby is happy, healthy, and safe. No crying, no waking me in the night, no pooping or puking, everything is very easy." I say things like this quite often. Ultimately, I am stating how glad I am that the baby and his/her care is 100% under my control.
That is all going to end. I'd better figure out how to deal with it.
Another inner conflict is "I can't wait for this pregnancy to end" and "I don't ever want this pregnancy to end". I am used to pregnancy now, it's familiar and if not packed with fun then at least it is known. Motherhood is entirely unknown and thus frightening. I feel both these sentiments equally strongly and at the exact same time.
We're now going to be seeing Lillian every two weeks, so there will be lots of opportunities to work through all my questions and for me to learn how to phrase these questions properly (ie, with me in them). Stay tuned for many more introspective and/or freaking-out posts on this subject.