Another Day Before
Several years ago, I wrote a post about some feelings I was having after my first son was born. He came into the world suddenly, significantly early and largely without warning. It struck me how we feel one way on a certain day, and then suddenly something major happens, and everything is topsy-turvy, never to be exactly the same as it was. I was intrigued by looking backwards at the feelings and details of life just prior to the event, fascinated by of the blissfully-unaware-of-what's-coming feeling, and by how the curve ball comes and rearranges life forever.
Today is a new version of that feeling, because I already know that today is another one of those days before. I am already tuned in to the fact that tomorrow morning, somewhere around 7:30 a.m., my life will be forever changed. This is what it is to have a scheduled delivery of your baby. Not a method in favor by the doulas and midwives so in vogue right now, but the method that is the best for me in this particular pregnancy.
Tomorrow morning, I will deliver a tiny baby boy, and then be responsible for him for many, many years to come. Today, besides my husband and my cat, I am responsible for only one little boy, who already knows how to pull his pants on and even brush his teeth reasonably well. He can get himself a glass of water and tell me if something hurts. In other words, while he is not necessarily easy to care for, he is nearly an adult compared to the bundle that will be placed in my arms tomorrow morning.
It's intimidating to start again with an entirely new human. Daunting to think of the coming six months when he can't sit up yet, when my eyes will be drowsy and my arms will ache. Worrisome to think of my mature little three year old, perhaps not feeling quite enough love or attention, or possibly even not liking his new brother very much, especially when he notices the constant stream of attention warranted by a newborn.
It's exciting to think of getting to know this new human to whom I am committed in spite of having no information about him. It is wonderful to imagine the possibilities wrought by the presence of a new personality in our little family. It remains overwhelming, yet motivating, to remember that every day is an opportunity to be my best self, in order to lead these boys by example, particularly when it is easy to identify recent moments when I could have been a calmer, wiser or more thoughtful parent. Every day is an opportunity to improve, and nothing makes that more clear to me than my role as Mom.
It's exhilarating to think of the end of pregnancy...delightful to muse on the possibility of finally going for a run soon, after many months of feeling nauseous, weighed down, awkward, heavy, and/or slow. I look forward to the freedom of no longer having to fret about the quality of my middle-aged eggs, of no longer having to track my cycle, and of no longer worrying about the impact of an extra beer or a little too much caffeine. While working hard to not wish away the early stages, I will still be grateful to gradually move closer to a time when maternity clothes and bouncers do not need to absorb space in our life, budget, and home.
But all of that starts tomorrow. Today, I'm still blissfully, mostly unaware me, in the familiar routine of life on the day before.