We are nine days out from a scheduled c-section to welcome our son.
And here's the unglamorous truth: I am more excited about relieving the pain, discomfort and sleeplessness of this last trimester than I am about anything else.
I know I should be more excited to meet our baby and get to know him and hold him and fall in love with every little snuffly noise and half-formed gassy smile.
Instead, I'm counting down the days when I will be able to sleep for two whole hours uninterrupted by the feeling that someone is blowing up a beach ball under my unpliable skin.
I'm looking forward to the time when I don't calculate the risk/reward ratios of letting my cell phone ring versus going downstairs to fetch it. When I won't lose heart contemplating the return trip, listening closely for a tone indicating a voicemail and avoiding the stairs if I don't hear one.
I'm anticipating the day when the floor will come back to me as a reachable entity; when something falls there now I feel like it has to be of immediate essential need to attempt recovery; otherwise, it is like space garbage, allowed to float away and out of my orbit, it seems so far and perilous to go there. I might not have the oomph to get back up, you know.
And most of all, I dream of the day when I won't be in near constant discomfort, sliding into long bouts of pain that don't do much for my ability to be loving and gentle and a joy to be around.
People have been really puzzled about that last one. Pain? Really? Where? What does it feel like? At my last appointment my doctor even decided we should strap a sensor to my belly and make sure I wasn't in labor. "You shouldn't really be in pain," she told me sincerely.
Oh Lady, this pregnancy has never really been a "should"-following ordeal. It has been boot camp. And I'm almost done. I'll be so happy to be done with all the parts of it that made it hard, I haven't yet embraced the excitement of the prize at the end. The infant who even now is acting like it is imperative to practice all his Yoga poses, all his breakdance moves, all his synchronized swimming acts, before he has to leave his little swimming pool and wait for his muscles to get strong enough to be graceful again.
Nearly every night I think, "Surely this is the pain that is a prelude to labor. Surely I wouldn't feel this badly just because." Sometime around 4 am when my exhaustion overcomes the discomfort I have to concede that boot camp is not over and another day of dragging myself around awaits.
So the little accomplishments seem monumental.
I take a shower.
I make dinner.
I iron exactly one shirt of Bill's.
I sit and watch sweet Landon play.
And I wait for the miracle of the mindwipe a newborn will have on me and make all the trials and tribulations fade away to almost nothing. Almost forgotten. Like a planet finding a new star to orbit, I will be caught in a spell as powerful as gravity, as compelling as a law of physics: falling in love with a son.
In the meantime, please don't mind the spray and fuss of my griping. I am a miserable beached whale who can't remember the bliss of the ocean and feel helpless in this in-between, unnatural place of pain. Just as soon as I get off this sand and find my way to the ocean depth of mother love again, you'll see. I'll stop acting like a baby and begin cherishing one.