"Don't be afraid of your fears. They're not there to scare you.
They're there to let you know that something is worth it."
Sky asked me again if I'd written a new blog post lately. I should want to write. I should want to tell the story of these last couple weeks before a newborn moves in. I'm in such a strange place, though, that I don't even know if I want a record of it. And this isn't really the post I want to write tonight. There are so many other things I would rather say to you (and probably so many you would rather read). But this is my heart's resting place right now, so I would be almost dishonest to say anything else.
Going into this pregnancy, I assumed it would be much easier than the first time around. After all, my body's done all of this before, so it should use some muscle memory or something, right? Other than gaining weight again, it'd be business as usual. I even wrote a post several months ago about how the only differences between this time and last time were small. Well...about that...
I've reached 38 weeks, which should mean I'm getting tired of it all. And physically? Sure. I've been done with it for at least half the pregnancy. This time has been harder than the first time, and not because I have a toddler. I didn't have any Braxton Hicks with Millie; in fact, they seemed like some pregnancy fable to me. Turns out, they're not only real, but some of the articles I've read that say they're just a tight-feeling stomach are wrong. They have hurt, and they've mostly felt like the earlier stages of labor. I've had them since 20 weeks or so, and they've only gotten more frequent and more painful by the week.
I think that's just another reason for where I'm at mentally. I still feel like this. I'm not even a millimeter closer to being more comfortable with everything that's about to happen. For something that is supposed to be so natural, it doesn't feel very natural to brace myself for a hospital visit, labor, unknown complications, or whatever else may come. And with every single Braxton Hicks contraction I have, I'm jolted from denial into remembrance of pain. Every day, it's like a miniature preview of what to expect. It scares me every time, too. Late into the night, I've tried looking up techniques and tips to prepare myself for it. But when I read the suggestions, I roll my eyes at most and end up in frustrated tears by the end, because I think about how useless they all would be in real life. Instead of trying to start labor like I did the first time around, I'm doing all I can to prevent it.
The good bit, of course, is what comes after the fear. I'm grateful that I'm able to separate the two parts. All the babies in Target or at church make me pause and smile lately. Millie loses more and more of her babyhood every day- sometimes it only shows up at night, when she is crumbled into a small, wild shape in her big bed, snoring faintly and looking so peaceful. Sky and I sometimes give her another kiss goodnight before we go to bed, passing the dark and empty nursery on the walk back to our room. It's sinking in that it won't be empty much longer.
Some people say that the pain is forgotten as soon as that newborn is placed in their arms. That just isn't true for me. I'm glad, though, that the part about it all being worth it is actually true.
In fact, that's the biggest understatement of all.