It hovers on the horizon, and with it come a mess of thoughts and emotions.
While 37 weeks is considered to be full term, I certainly don’t expect this baby to arrive that soon. Left to do its own thing, I don’t know when my body will be ready to give birth…it’s never been given the chance to say so because I’ve always been induced. Because I went overdue with both of the boys, I just expect that if we leave well-enough alone I’ll have a late baby, so realistically I figure I’ll be pregnant until the end of June. My logic is that I’d rather be pleasantly surprised by our baby coming earlier than that, than be frustrated that things are taking so long. I’ve done the overdue thing, where every day feels like a week, and people think they’re helping by saying things like,
“No baby yet?”
“You’re still here?”, or
“That’s going to be one big baby!”
I know people don’t mean anything bad by it, it’s just an attempt to make conversation. People want to say something, so they say the first thing that comes into of their head. For the record, a “How are you doing?” would go a lot farther in reaching out to an overdue mom. Due dates aren’t magical, as anyone who’s gone overdue can testify.
So while I expect to go past due, there is always the possibility that I could give birth before my due date. My mind swirls with thoughts about whether I’m ready if that were to happen. As far as being materialistically prepared, the answer is yes. We’re not wanting for anything – we’ve got the basics. Clothes. Diapers. Bassinet. Blankets. Breasts. Yep – check, check, check. There are also a lot of non-basics in this house after having already had three babies. Emotionally prepared? I’m not sure.
I know the postpartum period is rough. I know how little sleep a new mom gets. I know how much I’ll cry. I know how hard it is to get food in the mouths of my existing family 3 times a day, not to mention food in the baby’s mouth 10 times each day. I know how greasy my hair will get from not having time to shower, and how no amount of make-up can wake up my tired eyes. It’s all this that I am not sure I am ready for.
And what about labour? If I were doing the same thing I’ve always done I would feel far more at ease, I’m sure. If I were planning on going to the hospital I would have a pretty good idea what to expect. I don’t mean that I am uneasy about my choice to birth at home, only that the unfamiliar and unknown is always coupled with a bit of anxiety. Every birth is different – will I be able to handle this one? I know I’ve been strong enough in the past, but will this time be different?
At the end of the day, I know the answer is to cast all my cares upon Jesus. It won’t do me any good to fret and be anxious about what might or might not happen, what the unknown could bring, when the baby will arrive, or how I will adjust to the reality of having four kids. I know He cares for me, and that is enough. He has appointed a time and place for this baby to be brought into this world, he sustains everything by the power of his word, and I am safe and secure in him.