Hubs and I wrapped up our final birthing class last night. It was a bittersweet conclusion. While I'm glad that we've now attended 5 classes, discussing everything from breathing techniques to complications that can arise in labor to cloth diapering, and that our Tuesday nights will now be ours again, I feel a bit saddened about leaving it all behind. I'd come to enjoy gathering with the eight other pregos and their partners, all of us first-time parents-to-be, peppering the midwives with newbie questions and then watching, in awe, each class's concluding video of live birth footage. I also really, really liked getting ice cream afterwards. Pumpkin ice cream is a thing of sheer bliss.
It's strange, this in-between space we're now in. It's more than strange-it's surreal. We reached our crucial 37 week threshold yesterday, meaning, barring any unforeseen complications, Nugget can now be safely birthed at home. To think that, at any day, a wee one will be birthed to us, made of us, gifted to us, is something I still can't quite wrap my head around. Rationally, I know there's a baby growing inside of me. That said, it seems impossible, somehow, that that's truly the case.
Each day, I look around the house thinking "there's going to be a baby in here!" I watch the dogs playing and say to them "you're not going to be the youngest beings in the house anymore." They give me quizzical looks and resume their tackling and bone chewing. I wonder how the cats, accustomed to constant doting, will respond to a newborn's cries. I worry about making sure the chickens get enough attention, the bees have their entrance reducers placed back on their hives before labor begins, and that the house will fall into disarray while Hubs and I assume our new roles during those first few days.
More than anything, though, I'm excited. I'm shedding a skin; I'm leaving behind my status of single-hood. Sure, I'm married, and Hubs and I have obligations to and responsibilities for one another. But becoming a parent takes it to an entirely different level. We will both, from Nugget's arrival ever-onward, always, continuously, ceaselessly be responsible for another being's entire welfare. It's a huge mantle to assume. It's exhilarating to consider, and intimidating, too.
Forgive me if I'm scarce around here lately. My body has moved back into sleep and slumber mode. It's challenging to find comfortable positions to sit, stand, or sleep in. I'm queasy all over again. I'm getting rounder by the hour and have assumed a seemingly ever-present waddle instead of my customary, life-long quick gait. I'm enjoying hot tea, warm blankets, epsom-salt baths, husbandly foot rubs, and quiet reflection. I'm thinking about, and talking regularly to, my future son. How awesome is that?
*For more autumnal images chez English, visit here.