3 Week Countdown and the Magic Question: Are You Ready???

our little girls face at 36 weeks ultra-sound

our little girls face at 36 weeks ultra-sound

“Are you ready?” This is the magic question at 9 months pregnant and 3 weeks to go until our planned C-Section on Aug. 8th! Everyone is asking me this from the check out lady at my local organic market to my family and friends. Ready? Hmmm, is anyone ever really “ready” to have a baby? This is the magic question and it seems to deserve a pretty amazing answer so I’ve been giving it a lot of thought.

Part of me wants to say YES! I have been ready to be a mother since I was about 10 years old and I started the “Mother’s Helpers” baby sitting service in our neighborhood in Tucson, AZ. All I wanted to do was baby sit everyone’s kids and soon after I launched my first business venture, I was booked solid and had to enlist other “mother’s helpers” to fill the load. I LOVED taking care of children and people just trusted me. This went on for years. There were a couple of families I baby sat for every summer in Coronado, CA when we vacationed there and truly there wasn’t anything that brought me more joy than watching those kids at night (and playing with them during the day on the beach as our families would hang out in one big group almost daily). The best!

By the time I was entering college I think I knew I was “weird” because when my girlfriends would talk about what they wanted to be when they grew up (in a very serious, slightly “I am woman hear me roar” but not like a loud roar, more of a cool roar because we went to NYU and thus were sort of above roaring kind of way)….the first thing that I thought was “a mom.” GASP! Dare I say that out loud? No, no, I’d pick something else to speak on but that was my real answer. I would even fantasize about being a mom sometimes and dream about how it would feel, how it would look, how I would be with my children. Those thoughts always brought me a lot of peace. I never thought I’d have to wait until 34 to actually become a mom but as life turns out in a perfect surprise in the way only life can, here I am and the other part of my dream is my partner in this mother thing- my partner in everything, my husband. The road to him wasn’t a perfect dream but being with him is and so because I’m with him, yeah, I’m “ready”.

But are we really ready? My latest pregnancy insomnia situation would tell you no- no we are NOT ready and let me tell you WHY (but let me wait until about 1:30am to start thinking about it and then I’ll tell you by about 3-4:45am). We’re not ready because we don’t know exactly how to deal with every single parenting situation I can think of between the hours of 12-5am. We aren’t ready because we haven’t discussed every single detail of how we’re going to do every single thing. We aren’t ready because of the unknown, because of the scary, because of our own issues that we’re still working on with in ourselves, because of our fears. We aren’t ready because I don’t even know all the reasons why we’re not ready but I know there are so many more of them!

So, no- we’re not “ready” but you know what we are….we’re “set.” We’re set to go. We’re set because I’ve got us so outrageously organized that we could go into labor right now (please God don’t let me go into labor right now) and everything from our hospital bags to the emergency call list to the baby’s nursery and all things needed to care for her are all set and done. THOSE things, are ready. We’re set because I’ve got a planned C-Section (because I have to have one and have finally come to terms with that at 9 months pregnant). While I re-coup I have all the help I need with family coming in and a night time doula, to allow me to heal while still being 100% there for our little girl. Everyone who’s going to be around her has taken the latest infant CPR training course and has had a shot necessary here in Washington because of an outbreak of whooping cough, which can be deadly to a newborn (really people please vaccinate your kids this is ridiculous). So we’re set on safety and support. We’re also set because I’ve read a ton about everything newborn related and feel pretty prepared. We’re set because I’ve decided how to set up doing things but have a back up plan if they don’t work well with our baby (remember man plans and God laughs). We’re set because we’re organized and we’re informed.

I feel like I’ve practiced my entire life for motherhood by watching other’s parent, by taking notes from my own parents, by baby sitting, being an observer, reading, dreaming about it. Even living my life and learning and growing, evolving into who I am today and all I know today was preparation. I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my whole life sometimes knowingly sometimes not. I am so set, so organized, so excited and over the moon about this that I can barely breathe as I think about holding her for the first time. I’m ready to be her mom as much as I can be today and tomorrow and the next and the next it’ll probably be the same answer.

I’m not ready to love her though….because I already do and truly, that’s all SHE really needs from me, isn’t it? There it is- magical answer to the magical question. Now I just have to get through the next 3 weeks and perhaps at some point, get some sleep (that may help me get even more ready).



Miracle Moments

20 Weeks UltrasoundBabyFace

If you’re like me, the day/night before you have a big deal OB/doctor appointment or ultrasound you are riddled with worry and terrified something will be wrong. You stay up all night with concern. Essentially, you make yourself crazy. I’ve discussed this with some friends who are also currently pregnant and it seems we all tend to do the same thing. Some of us pray, some of us chant, some of us eat ice cream, some of us watch TV or movies to try to distract our thoughts. Either way you spin it, the night before one of your major OB or ultrasound appointments is nerve racking. Then, all of a sudden, you’re laying there on the table waiting for someone to tell or show you that your baby is okay, that everything is perfect and that you have nothing to worry about at that moment. Most of us are lucky enough to get that news although not all of us. It’s because of that fact that we worry. Every mom to be knows the odds- that some of us are and some of us aren’t going to be the lucky recipients of good news. My guess is that this will continue to happen until the baby is actually born and then it will manifest itself in new ways of worry that pertain to the baby’s health moving forward. I guess this is called being a mom!

That gorgeous, perfect, amazing, adorable, miracle of a photo above here, is from our 20-21 week ultrasound yesterday. We were lucky enough to be told our baby girl is looking perfect, that her brain, her heart, her kidneys, limbs, spine, lips, hands, feet, etc. are all where they should be, as they should be and looking wonderful. There I was on the table holding my husband’s hand with happy tears streaming down the sides of my face. We were squeezing each other’s hands every time we watched the ultrasound move to check another organ. She was moving around through the entire ultrasound! My husband joked that of course, she was dancing because she takes after her mom. He later joked when the tech was checking out her femur bones that she’ll probably have 6′ legs on a 5’10” body like her mom. Once things started going well in that room we relaxed, we could make jokes and we could enjoy each moment. Then, at one point, our little baby seemed to have her arm bent over her head in the same exact way her dad tends to fall asleep! He turned to me and said “Oh my God! Just like me!” It was just awesome. It was awe inspiring. It was a true miracle to watch. It made me believe in a higher power on another level, truly.

When we got home, I collapsed. My body gave out, my brain stopped working and I just couldn’t do one more thing. Finally all the worry, the sleepless night and fret caught up to me and I just fell into the couch. I could hardly even make it to the bed a couple hours later. Granted, we just came off of moving into a new home. I had been pushing myself for days packing our stuff up and then moving and unpacking and setting up our home. (Doing something like this is much harder pregnant and certainly pregnant and dealing with fatigue, migraines, etc. but better at 5 months than 9 right)?! I was exhausted going into this “night before a big ultrasound worry” but then it just zapped me completely. Luckily, I have a husband who understands, who steps up and who takes care of me in these moments. For that, I’m beyond grateful.

For these moments of miracles, for these tests and ultrasounds that make us crazy concerned, that drive us to pray and chant and stay up all night no matter how exhausted we already are…they are so worth it. They are also just one more part of the equation that makes us what we are in the process of becoming….a mother.

Now it’s time to get some rest and enjoy my baby dancing around inside me. Until the next big appointment! Here’s to getting some sleep!