This weekend my ankles exploded. They just blew up. I think it was the plane ride I took to visit my family in Atlanta. My hands got really big, too. I couldn’t get my wedding rings off because they were so big, but after some lotion and screaming and pulling, I was finally able to yank them off. Thank goodness because I felt like my finger was about to shoot off my body.
All of these little nuiances of pregnancy are startling reminders to me that I am nearing the end here. And I’ve heard that at the end of pregnancies comes a baby. Whoa. I realized this week that I am 26 weeks pregnant. At 28 weeks, I start my third trimester. THIRD TRIMESTER, PEOPLE. As in, I’m almost finished. In fact, at my last doctor’s appointment, my doctor said I should start packing my hospital bag in the next few weeks – “just in case.” I almost asked, “Just in case what?” but I figured I’d go home and Google it instead so I didn’t give away that I have no clue what is happening here. And this brings me to my current crisis…
I don’t know what’s going on. I have no clue. I mean, I know I’m big and that there’s a baby in there. But I’m not quite sure how he’s gonna get out. I have an idea, thanks to my 6th grade Health teacher. But I really have no clue. And the even more startling thing is that I don’t really want to know.
Chris and I are deciding if we want to take childbirth classes. You know, where they teach you how to breathe and what’s going to happen and where the vending machines in the hospital are. For a long time I said I didn’t want to take them. I tend to be a worrier and I thought that if I knew too much about what was coming, I’d just freak out. And if there’s nothing I can do about it – why worry? Ignorance is bliss, I say.
But as I get close to the end here, I am starting to reconsider. What if something goes wrong during my delivery and they have to change plans? I wouldn’t know what the hell was going on and that would really scare me. And what if they start using words in the delivery room that I don’t know and so I don’t understand what they are saying? And what if weird things happen to my body during the whole “shooting out” part and I don’t know what’s going on? I’m starting to think that it might be helpful to have some idea of what to expect. I think maybe that my ignorance about this might end up stressing me out more.
I mentioned all this to Chris and I said that I really wanted to go to these classes, but I was scared to go. He looked at me, completely serious, and said, “Please don’t make me go to those classes without you.”
What a great idea! I hadn’t even thought of that! Chris could go for me! He could get the whole gist of what’s going to happen and then just give me the highlights. What a great plan! But I get this mental picture of him sitting around in a circle of pregnant ladies, holding a blow up doll, trying to do breathing exercises and as much as that thought makes me laugh, I know its not possible. For one thing, that might be the actual line that he will not cross (I’ve always wondered where that line was). But for another, I really need to just man up and go.
For 6 months I have prepared for this big event. Shouldn’t I know what it involves? Its time I put on my giant mom-panties and toughen up. Hiding my head in the sand is not going to prevent this from happening and its not going to make it any easier either. So today, I’m doing it. I’m buying it. What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I’ve been too scared to open it until now. But I think its time. 6 months in, and I think its finally time to know what to expect. Who knows? Maybe I’ll read it and get really excited about the miracle that is about to happen. Or maybe I’ll read it and it won’t be as scary as I think it will be.