Five years

Spencer and me in 2010


Five years to the day from when we first met, Spence and I will take our first childbirth class.

Could I have seen that coming? Maybe not on March 21, 2010 — but life moves fast when you’re in love.

Because we had a “date-aversary” before a wedding anniversary, I still look kindly upon March 21. When I started researching childbirth resources, the six-hour class tomorrow — filled with all the “necessities” of getting ready to bring a baby into the world — was the only Saturday available. Everything else was held during the week, broken up over multiple nights, etc., and I’m already tired with a short attention span.

And I really need to pay attention.

I’m 29 weeks along today, the first day of spring, and starting to get these jittery, anxious nerves firing through my body. In the home stretch. This is a phrase I’ve heard often lately — and even said myself — but, honestly, it hasn’t really processed yet. The third trimester sounded impossibly far away when I was struggling to keep down dry toast in those early days, and yet . . .

And yet . . .
And yet . . .

Here we are. Closing in.

I woke up at 2 a.m. this morning when Baby J landed a few good kicks to my left side. I put my hand there to feel that jerky, alien-like movement and was suddenly alert, wide awake. With each punch came the sudden, jarring thought that there is a baby in there. And that he must get out.

I know it sounds ridiculous. I mean, I’ll be 30 years old this summer — this isn’t exactly a mystery or anything. But I’ve always had a mental block regarding childbirth and have been, you know, afraid of the concept, so I was determined to know as little as possible in advance. Ignorance, as they say, is bliss.

That theory worked . . . in the beginning. Back when we were still in shock that I was actually pregnant, I consoled myself with the knowledge that we had so much time before I had to worry about a hospital stay and breastfeeding and pushing and . . . well, everything else.

So much time. Months. Three-quarters of a year.

But now, 11 weeks from D-Day, it’s time to be a big girl.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about what comes after the baby is here. We’re meeting with a day care provider this Sunday, for one, and Spence and I have already started talking about how we’ll be changing our schedules to accommodate the little guy.

Though I know nothing can really prepare you for parenthood, I’ve done some soul-searching about how our relationship might change . . . and how we’ll be growing as a family, not just a couple.

That’s intense, too — but in a different way. A good way. A way that decidedly does not keep me up at night.

But everything else?

Well.

Part of me is ready to get this show on the road . . . I mean, between the back aches, heavy belly, feet swelling, occasional bouts of lingering nausea and other fun symptoms, I’m less than comfortable. I can’t get off the couch unassisted. I’m tired all the time. The weight gain has been hard for me — and I still have months to go.

But another part of me? A bigger part, perhaps? Is totally okay with Baby J just, you know, hanging out in there for as long as he needs to. I recognize that this is a precious time in my life, and I’m not trying to rush it. Spence and I have our happy routines, and I’m content to daydream about all that’s to come.

Anticipation is half the adventure, right?

There’s something to be said for just soaking up the moment. Be Here Now — my life’s mantra — follows me everywhere.

And tomorrow, while I try not to panic and gag at the thought of all that labor entails, I will remember how I felt the day a curly-haired Spencer walked into a cafe and met my eyes with a smile. How we talked and sipped coffee on the first warm day of spring, soaking up the sunshine in a stiff breeze, and how my nerves drifted away immediately.

There was such a sense of this is right, you know? A sense of realness that I have never questioned. Anticipation buzzed right through me.

Five years later, we’ll be listening to the early signs of labor and taking notes. Later, we’ll pop over to the restaurant where we celebrated our first Valentine’s Day — probably one of our last “nice nights out” before Baby J arrives — and likely reminisce about that day at Panera.

It’s fun to remember what was . . . but even better to think of what will be.

As long as he’s next to me.


Wedding

Christmas 2014


Advertisements

38 thoughts on “Five years

  1. So lovely to celebrate being just the two of you before you become three. I remember that last meal we had before I became a mum. It was our 5th wedding anniversary and I was so tired and so heavy. We had early dinner and we left the restaurant so I could go back home to bed to sleep yet again! Such an exciting time for you. Enjoy now and look forward to enjoying those first few moments, days, years when the little chap arrives!

    • Thanks so much! I can definitely relate to being tired and heavy, even with 11 weeks to go. I’m usually out cold by 9:30 p.m., much like the first trimester. Whew!

  2. I am recognizing myself a little in your comment about how you have believed that ignorance is bliss in terms of childbirth. When I took a childbirth class before I had my first daughter (I have three girls, so obviously I got over the trauma), my husband drove home while I cried in the passenger seat. I think I finally realized that I had no choice. There was no way to not be pregnant without some form of pain occurring. I actually think that continuing to be ignorant might have been better because for the next few weeks I had a lot of anxiety about epidurals – something I begged for each and every time, even though I did happen to see the needle during the childbirth class.

    Enjoy the last trimester of pregnancy! Good luck with your class.

    • Thank you, Tina! I’ll admit to getting teary-eyed a couple times during the class because, as you mention, I realized there was no way to get through this without physical pain. But I actually feel far more confident after learning about the process (and pain management!) than I did before, so that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

  3. Vance came early so we missed the Lamaze classes we’d signed up for. Our nurse gave us “quickie” Lamaze lessons and they really helped. Remember everyone’s labor and delivery are different and most of the horror stories you hear are exaggerated.

    • Thank you, Kathy! You’re absolutely right: everyone is different, and everyone has a different experience. Our nurse leading the class really emphasized that to us, and it was very comforting. We learned a few deep breathing exercises, and I definitely plan to use them!

  4. I too met my better half on Mar 21 πŸ™‚ ….well a year ago! And I am carrying too πŸ˜€ haha..
    Good wishes on the final leg of the journey! πŸ™‚

  5. I remember our childbirth classes we took with our first child 23 years ago. (Oh my gosh–has it been THAT long?!) It was new, exciting, and yes, even frightening (especially when they show the childbirth films–I kind of wanted to back out of the whole thing–ha!). It will all be good though. I promise! I still can do my Lamaze breathing to this day. It comes in handy when dealing with teenagers. πŸ˜‰

    • Oh, the childbirth films were, um, something. I kind of looked away and squinted my way through those, ha! But the rest of the class was actually very comforting, and I feel better knowing more of what to actually expect. I can see where those breathing exercises would come in handy through many different situations!

  6. That was so beautiful! Congratulations to both of you. I wish you an easy labor and fast delivery. You’re very lucky to have been given this precious gift, and it sounds like you’re not squandering a second of it. I love that!

  7. Happy Anniversary !! May you have many more happier times together.

    Loved this BTW “It’s fun to remember what was . . . but even better to think of what will be.”

  8. March 21st. is my youngest son’s birthday. I remember the joys of pregnancy. Glowing skin, beautiful hair, and the births. Then love at first sight that has been growing for 9 months. No last meals together for you two, because there are always babysitters. The 3 of you will now share a lot of wonderful firsts Congratulations.

    • Thanks so much, and happy belated birthday to your son! Pregnancy has definitely been interesting. Though I’m now entering the uncomfortable phase (swollen feet, back aches, lack of sleep, etc.), I do feel enormously happy and almost ready to do this thing. You’re very right about no last meals: I have a hunch we’ll have some eager family members willing to help out when Baby J is here. πŸ™‚

  9. Happy Anniversary! You’re going to do great, but I totally understand your apprehension about the whole getting-the-baby-out part. Although I’ve watched more than my fair share of real-life baby birthing documentaries on TV over the years, and my friends have graphically described all of their labors and deliveries, I’m still clinging to the naive hope that there is some other way to get him/her out. Funny enough, it’s not the pain I’m concerned about – I’m terrified of having a panic attack and not being able to calm down! Everyone has told me I’ll be so distracted there won’t be time to panic, haha.

    I haven’t decided about whether or not to take a class yet. Like you, I feel like I have SO MUCH TIME, yet I know that I am now on the other side of the hill and am running out of time. My hospital offers a shortened class (2 hours) that just includes some info about labor and a tour. That sounds perfect for me, but I can’t wait to hear how your class goes!

    • Erin, I would totally recommend taking your shortened class and tour at the hospital! I legitimately feel so much better for having gone over the basics and learned a bit more about the labor process (especially “real” labor versus Braxton Hicks).

      I thought I would leave feeling even more fearful, but I feel much better. More confident. Our class was also held at the hospital where we’ll deliver, and it was reassuring to literally see where we’ll go, what we’ll do, what the room looks like, etc. As a total OCD patient who has never been in the hospital before, that really put my mind at ease.

      Plus, we learned about breathing! And health! And some child care basics! And our nurse showed our partners how to give us awesome back rubs, because she knows we’re all in pain now. And then the husbands were actually administering the back rubs. So, basically, all-around awesome.

  10. I love this post. You are a great team. Whatever your nerves, you sound very peaceful. Enjoy this time and your freedom. Baby is so all encompassing I barely remember life before. : ) But I do remember our child birth class. I, too, was in denial about labor but I found the class so helpful. It’s nice to feel prepared and to know a lot of possible scenarios for the big day. You’re going to do great : )

    • Thank you, Melissa! ❀ I really enjoyed the class and am so glad we went. I learned a tremendous amount about labor, pain management, etc., and got answers to questions I didn’t even know I had. It was really helpful to spend the day with six other couples, too — all in the same boat as us, of course. It demonstrated that we weren’t the only scared first-timers in the room, and I left feeling so much better than when I entered!

  11. Such a lovely post, Meg. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long for you and Spencer. I’ve been reading and loving your blog the whole time, and this is why it’s so great to make friends online…seeing lives progress, families grow.

    • Thank you, Andi — I totally agree. It’s been so fun to watch blog friends transition through many of life’s phases. Gives me the warm fuzzies. πŸ™‚

  12. Lamaze may scare you, but really when the day comes you just ride the wave. You’ll be fine. Nature kinda takes care of the jitters. As in “I’m so miserable I just want this baby out no matter what”. Life does change, everything changes but it’s all good. It’s a journey. Pros and cons all along the way, but it is fun to watch your child grow and develop into their own person. Just remember, many of us have walked this path so please feel free to draw on our experiences! Happy date-iversary!!!

    • Thank you, Sandy! I figure that, when the time comes, I might actually be calm as a cucumber (er, perhaps?). I keep thinking about all the chaos, panic and anxiety leading up to our wedding day . . . and then the strange, otherworldly calm that enveloped me that morning, wrapping me in a protective bubble where nothing could touch me.

      This will be, um, a bit more painful, for sure, but it’s still a life-altering moment. I will definitely be leaning on my blog parent friends for help, camaraderie and reassurance that I’m not insane, so get ready! πŸ™‚

  13. Congratulations to both of you on five years! I hope your class today was able to inform and calm your nerves. I think the best advice I received when pregnant with my first and SO NERVOUS about childbirth was this: Inform yourself, speak to your husband about what you BOTH want for that day and know that you are in this together. Then, on the day of baby’s birth, relax as best you can and do what is right for you and the baby. This brought me so much peace on both of my daughter’s birthdays but especially the first because it was all new. And thank God for this advice because nothing went the way we thought it would but it was still amazing and miraculous! Finally, let Spencer be your rock on baby’s birth day. He may not tell you this but he’ll probably need to feel like he’s helping you bring the baby into the world. Rely on him; he’s your husband, Baby J’s daddy and you’re all going to be a family.

    • Thank you for the lovely thoughts, Sheery — I really appreciate them. Knowing Spence has my back — literally — has made all the difference in the world for me so far. I’m hopeful that, when the big day finally comes, I’ll be ready and calm. I have some more research to do, but I’m already light years ahead of where I was before our class last Saturday! So glad we went, and so grateful for everyone’s support!

  14. (Tried posting a comment earlier but I got an error message, so if you get two from me, that’s why. :))

    I’m totally freaking out about the labor/delivery process, too. I was in denial for a long time but now, every time someone comments on how round my belly is getting or how much the baby is growing, all I can think is, “Yeah, and it’s only going to get bigger before it has to come OUT!” It terrifies me. We’re taking a class in May, closer to the due date, because I’m afraid I’ll just forget everything if we do it too soon.

    Happy 5 years to you & Spence! Hope you enjoyed your night out. πŸ™‚

    • Stephanie, I can’t recommend a class highly enough! Though I’m still very nervous, I keep thinking of that old cliche — knowledge is power — and left the hospital feeling far more comforted than nervous. Just knowing what is normal and natural versus what is not was very helpful. Our nurse was great, and I feel like less of a basket case now. Which is a good thing, I think. πŸ™‚ Sending good vibes to you!

  15. So sweet! Happy anniversary to you two!

    I felt the exact same way as you. I’ve been completely terrified of childbirth for YEARS, even before I was pregnant. For most of the pregnancy, I chose to just think about how far away birth day actually was… and then we were in the car on the way to the hospital and all I could think about was the fact that I had to get him out somehow and I reeeeally didn’t want to. Once I had the epidural, life was good and we were all chatting and hanging out… but then it came time to push and I remember telling the doctor I didn’t want to start yet unless I really had to and he told me there was no use in waiting so I just had to do it. While it was NOT fun and was the most physically exhausting thing I have ever done, I promise you that you will feel no pain the second they hand you your little man. For two weeks after he was born, I looked back at those moments and basically shuttered, telling everyone I would never do it again, but eventually it started to become a fond memory, and I’m sure I’ll be doing it again in a couple of years time.

    Sorry to leave a novel of a comment, but I went through these same exact feelings and we all came out just fine in the end! πŸ˜‰ You are doing all the right things to prepare and I PROMISE that if I can do it, you can do it… and it will be one of the happiest days of your life! I am so thrilled for you. Just remember the end game when you’re going through it. Keep thinking of finally meeting your baby and imagine what he’ll look like, then suddenly he’ll be in your arms.

    • Thank you for the kind words and support, Steph! I’m glad to know I’m not alone. I’d wager that many first-timers approach the idea of childbirth with a mixture of terror and excitement, and I keep thinking about what it will feel like when we can hold him and see his face for the first time. That will definitely make it all worth it.

      And as my mom often points out to me, many women have two, three, four children . . . so they’re not so deterred by the first process that they won’t do it again! πŸ™‚

  16. Aww what perfect timing for your class! And I think it is totally normal to be worried about this..I’d be more worried if you WEREN’T!

    • Thanks, Joanne! Some mamas-to-be seem totally cool and in control, and I haven’t been one of them . . . but I’m working on it. I’m sure we all feel a potent mixture of nerves and anxiety at some point or other — just a matter of mastering it!

  17. I still remember when we chatted on the phone after that first date in 2010! I remember how excited you were! Love that this is how your story is continuing πŸ™‚

    • Can you believe that was five years ago, Jess?! I can’t. I really can’t. So glad you were there to squee with me! ❀

Comments are closed.