Sunday, June 1, 2008

Suspension of disbelief

I am sitting in the nursery. In a beautiful glider intended for breastfeeding, next to a crib filled with blankets and stuffed animals and adorable bedding, across from a changing table filled with baby clothes. There are also strollers (yes, multiple ones, I regret to say), a carseat, a swing, a bouncy seat, and assorted other items on the premises. There's a breastpump, a set of BPA-free bottles, diapers, wipes, kid books, and baby first aid stuff. There are baby carriers, a breastfeeding pillow, and books on every table advising how to get through labor and get a baby to sleep properly.

There's also a creature in my uterus that's stirring around right now. S/he is quite active and seems to have a definite schedule.

All of this seems to point to an actual live human being entering my family in the next month or so. In fact, at nearly 37 weeks, the kid could arrive tomorrow and probably be just fine (but, note to kid: please don't come yet. The world is harsh and cruel, and you could probably stand to cook a little longer.).

But I still find all of this pretty impossible to imagine. Yesterday, a friend asked about setting up some of the baby gear, and -- partly in an effort to keep my living room looking normal for another few weeks, and partly out of a self-protection mechanism I'll get to in a sec -- I said no, let's wait. She laughed and said, wait until what, you're in labor? And I thought, yes, perhaps labor will be an excellent time to fuss with poorly written instructions for items made in China. Or maybe when we're home from the hospital, sore, and overwhelmed and exhausted? That sounds perfect.

Maybe if I knew the gender this would seem more real. Or maybe if I hadn't spent two and a half years trying to get to this point, agonizing over infertility and watching two pregnancies go down the drain, I'd actually feel able to really connect with the being inside of me. I haven't sung to it as I imagined, haven't played the music for the fetus as I always planned. (In fact, I don't like calling it a fetus at this point. Isn't it a baby by now, asked the staunchly pro-choice feminist as she cringed a little inside?) I talk to the baby sometimes, occasionally encouraging it not to head-butt my cervix and asking it to consider going to sleep when it's 11 pm and I'm tired of the constant fluttering. But I don't know that I've connected with this baby in the way that I imagine others must do with their children. Can it really be the case that I'm going to be a mother?

Last October, just after my IVF procedures, a friend asked, when will you know if it worked? And I answered, in about nine months. It's coming upon that time. Even though all evidence points to success, I will still believe it when I see it.

PS Some stats:
Number of pounds gained: 29
Number of sympathy seats provided to me on BART: 4
Number of sympathy seats provided to me on Muni: 0
Number of people who've said I look small or even "tiny" for where I am in the pregnancy: 10+
Number of times I've run into people I know in the last two weeks and have had to tell them I'm pregnant: 2
Weeks of gestation it took for a woman I see once a week to realize I'm pregnant: 36
Percent of gender-specific dreams I've had where the baby turned out to be a boy: 0
Share of close friends surveyed who think this baby a girl: 4/5
Weeks since the amnio that I've managed to not call the perinatologist to find out the gender: 20
Number of non-stress tests performed thus far: 4
Number passed: 4
Times I've had heartburn during this pregnancy: 0
Number of contractions I've felt: 0
Weeks the baby has been head-down: 8
Pairs of work-appropriate pants that I can comfortably wear all day: 2
Pairs of work-appropriate shoes I can tolerate wearing all day: 4
Percent of rings that no longer fit me: 100
Number of days officially left in this gestation: 24


bleu said...

Congrats, it is so exciting. I was in that unreality too. I didn't do as many things as I planned while pregnant. When mine was born though, it was instant for me, and hugely intense.

Do what feels right and enjoy it all.

Much love.

Desaray said...

I just found your blog and am touched by your entry. I'm young and far from this goal, but this is *exactly* how I imagine I will feel. Like my belly will be a fourth wall.

Kim said...

It's so nice to hear from you again. I've been thinking about you alot lately and wondering how things are going.

A little more than 3 weeks huh?

I'm so excited for you!

Lizzie said...

I am soooooooooo excited for you. Deeply, deeply happy.

Shelly said...

Hi Sweetie. It's Michelle from LTTC. It's been so long since I checked in with your blog. I'm SOOOOO happy to see you at this point - in a nursery, ready for a baby. You can check out my blog and see where I am - with a 4 month old daughter, which is as unbelievable to me as being in your 9th month of pregnancy is to you. I'll check back in soon to read the good news. Best of luck for a swift and easy delivery. Hugs!

Jennie said...

I *love* Harper's Index type statistics!