It’s 5:46 a.m. Thursday morning. For those of you who know me, this is not an hour I am generally awake. In fact, it’s often one of my prime hours for deep slumber since falling asleep at night is not something I’m good at. But by 5:46 a.m. usually, I have tossed and turned my way into drool-accompanied oblivion and you could set off a firecracker next door and I wouldn’t wake up.
But not today. Today is the official mark of 39 weeks of pregnancy completed. That means one week, technically, to go before the LD enters the world outside my tummy. My tummy, which contains him and keeps him safe. And quiet. And without a need for diaper changes. Or feeding. Or nurturing and stimulation of the kind that will make him happy and see him grow up to be a good, bigger dude. Right now, he is a blob inside me, one that I joke endlessly about given his effect on my figure, my comfort, my sense of dignity.
But very, very soon, the blob becomes a real little person, who looks like something, has a personality, and needs his parents desperately and incessantly.
Am I excited? Yes, I am. I love falling in love, and I can’t wait to do it again, and enter into what so many say is the most profound bond possible. But I am also terrified. I feel almost shy to meet the LD—what if each of us is not what the other expected, bargained for? What if I can’t morph seamlessly into “mom,” that most powerful—and to me so far in my life—foreign of roles? What happens to the me who was not a mom? Does she disappear, usurped by a brain and set of hormones dedicated slavishly to the care and protection of a baby? What does this transformation entail? Is it like an alien abduction, or a less dramatic shifting of priorities?
More practically, will my famous gag reflex stick around for my own baby’s poops?
All these questions are ricocheting around my addled head, complicating the traditional and socially condoned sense of pure excitement I’m supposed to have right now. But I’m giving myself a break. This is like stepping off a cliff into the unknown. I don’t imagine jagged rocks below, with a pack of vultures and hyenas anticipating my fall. Nor do I expect a cushy landing all decorated with hearts and pretty things. I can’t really imagine anything, in fact. I just know life is about to change immeasurably, and it’s a strange feeling knowing it’s going to happen in a matter of days.
So if I’m not on here for a while … you’ll understand. I’ll be trying on a couple of new hats. Or something like that.