Today I had my last doctor’s appointment.
(Cue host of angels singing)
At this appointment absolutely nothing had changed. Â The Bean still has not turned. Â The Bean still is facing the wrong way. The Bean still has not dropped. Â The Bean will still have to be evicted from his home.
About the only thing I did learn is that we have an actual date for the c-section. Â Monday, June 1. Â Mark your calendars! Â I’m excited because I always thought June was the perfect month. Â Not too hot, not too cold. Â And the Bean can have pool parties for his birthday when he’s older. Â As a December baby myself, I was always jealous of those kids who could have pool parties. Â I’m happy for my Bean. Â Pool parties rock.
After I left my doctor’s appointment, I decided it was time to get serious about the arrival of my child. Â I mean, this isn’t just a “could happen any day now” situation anymore. Â This is happening, people. Â And its happening on Monday. Â I had things to do. Â Stuff to accomplish.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
And I started with my feet. Â I got my tootsies a little pedi this afternoon. Â It was delightful. Â I wonder why I haven’t been getting these all along? Â I think they look lovely. Â Just ignore that they are a little swollen in this picture. Â By now I’ve given up on fighting the swelling. Â Its a lost cause. Â So, I might as well have pretty swollen feet.
And the best part is that they will only be pretty SWOLLEN feet for the next 4 DAYS! Â And then they’ll be pretty MOMMY feet! Â So much better.
Let the countdown begin!
On Sunday night, Chris and I had our last official couples-only date night before the baby comes. Â Now, I know that once we have a baby, we will still be able to go out just the two of us. Â I know that our marriage doesn’t just dissolve into a pool of baby food. Â But things will change. Â And even if they change for the better, it will still never just be me and Chris after this. Â I’m super excited about growing our family, but there is a saddness that comes with that as well. Â Its only a small part of the emotions that I’m going through in this last week, but its a very real part. Â I have loved living my life with Chris. Â I know that I will continue to love living my life with Chris. Â But I will still look back and remember these first ten years we’ve spent when we were a couple instead of a family.
So, Sunday night was our date night. Â We got dressed up. Â We went to Olive Garden (because I can’t live without their salad and breadsticks). Â We sat outside on a bench while we waited for our table and we talked about if this was where we had pictured ourselves years ago. Â We talked about what kind of parents we each would be. Â We talked about how to keep our identities while still being the best Mom and Dad we can be. Â We talked and talked and talked.
When we finally got to a table and our food finally arrived, Chris was already a couple glasses into his wine and I was equally as drunk on breadsticks. Â But no amount of breadsticks could prepare me for the one-sided conversation that Chris was about to have with himself.
We were talking about the c-section and that we were ready and felt good about having one instead of delivering naturally. Â I admitted that I hadn’t really thought of it as a surgical procedure yet. Â I was so focused on the fact that it would result in a baby that I hadn’t given much attention to the fact that they would be doing major surgery on me.
And then Chris had the following conversation with himself while stuffing his face and I looked on in horror:
“Of course its a surgical procedure! Â They’re gonna gut you like a fish!” he said, never looking up from his plate.
“Like. A. Fish.” Â he added for emphasis.
“I mean, they’re gonna rip you open and take your guts out. Â I can’t even imagine,” he said, stuffing his face with a mouthful of alfredo.
“I’m glad they’re gonna have that little sheet up cause I don’t wanna see any part of that. Â Guts and babies all over the place. Â Nope. Â Definitely don’t want to see that…” Â he pauses to take another bite of pasta.
“Gut you like a FISH,” he concludes.
This whole time, I have been sitting in horror staring at him with my mouth open, which he would have noticed if he’d raised his head up out of his feeding trough for two seconds. Â Finally, I guess he realized what he was saying and he stopped eating and looked up at me.
“I mean, you’re gonna be awesome, Babe,” he said. Â I could see the terror in his eyes and that fleeting, pleading thought, “Oh, God. Â What have I done? Â I’ve angered the beast. Â Please don’t kill me.”
Lucky for Chris, the waiter magically appeared with a fresh basket of breadsticks which narrowly saved his life.
I cleared my throat.
“Uh, yeah,” I said, trying to maintain my cool. Â ”I guess it won’t be so bad. Â I’m feeling….pretty…confident…I guess.”
“That’s great, Sweetie!” he responded, sensing the danger was over. Â He picked up his fork again and started to stuff his face. Â ”Cause they’re gonna gut you like a fish!”
Way to rebound, Chris. Â Way to rebound.
Late yesterday afternoon I was celebrating my last day of work by laying on the couch with my feet up. Â I know. Â I live on the edge. Â Chris was outside in the Man Cave playing pool with the dogs. Â After about an hour, my cell phone rings and its Chris calling from outside. Â Don’t be alarmed. Â We often call each other from our cell phones when we are in different parts of the house. Â Does that make us lazy? Â Perhaps. Â But I like to think of it as being frugal with our energy.
“Did you hear what just happened next door?” he asked. Â (Have I mentioned that Chris is the gossip of our neighborhood? Â I’m afraid to know what would happen if he had a pair of binoculars…)
“No,” I said.
“The little boy next door has a friend over and one of them started crying. Â So, Neighbor With No Name comes out and asks whats wrong and the other kid says, “I accidentally hit him in the face”, Chris explains. Â And then he pauses. Â ”Do you know what we are about to get into by having a boy? Â I don’t know if we can handle it!”
Chris goes on to give me a laundry list of all the stupid things he did when he was little that got him in trouble. Â And it wasn’t a short laundry list.
One time when he was about eight he was over at a friend’s house and they climbed to the top of a tree and started yelling out random curse words across the neighborhood. Â The friend’s mom made them get down and then she washed both their mouths out with soap. Â I should mention that this particular friend’s family was all boys. Â Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Â This was the wrong house to use curse words in.
Another time when Chris was about ten he was with another friend and they rode their bikes down to a neighbor’s house and started toilet papering their yard. Â In the middle of the afternoon. Â Of course they were caught and the friend’s mom made them go back down to the neighbor’s house and apologize and clean up their mess.
One time when Chris was 15, he “borrowed” his dad’s truck in the middle of the night to go to a high school party (by the way, he stopped to say goodnight me on his way…). Â He was pulled over by the cops and they reported the truck as stolen. Â They called his dad who had to come pick him up in the middle of the night. Â Chris didn’t stop by to see me for a few weeks after that…
After Chris relayed a few of these stories to me on the cell phone, he kind of paused.
“I’m not ready to handle a boy!” Â he shrieked. Â ”Boys smell and they get into things and they like bugs and snakes. Â I don’t know if we’re ready for that.”
“Well,” I said. Â ”I guess we’re just gonna have to GET ready cause I’m definitely not keeping him in my belly for the next 18 years. Â Besides, I think it sounds like fun!”
“You just don’t understand,” Chris sighed. Â ”You just don’t understand…”
This is my last week of work before I go out on maternity leave until mid-August. Â I thought I’d feel different. Â I thought I’d be excited. Â No more work! Â For two and a half months! Â Its been YEARS since I’ve had an actual summer vacation and I was expecting to celebrate my way into motherhood without my Blackberry.
Turns out that going out on maternity leave is kind of freaky. Â For me, anyway. Â Its not that my job is super important. Â I mean, things will survive without me without missing a beat. Â But stop and think about your own job for a minute. Â If you had to be away for almost three months, what projects would you have to wrap up? Â What would it take for you to actually be prepared for that? Â Yeah. Â See? Â Its a little overwhelming. Â I don’t want to get phone calls or have to check my email all summer long, so I’m trying to tie things up as neatly as I can. Â But its tricky. Â As soon as I finish something, another project rears its ugly head.
And its exhausting! Â I am absolutely exhausted. Â In hindsight, I probably should have gone out on leave earlier given all the swelling I’ve had. Â Just making it through the day physically has taken a huge toll on me, and the bigger I get the harder it has become. Â Take today, for example. Â I only have two days left before I’m out. Â Two little days. Â Anyone can do anything for two days, right?
Apparently not. Â Because when I woke up this morning, nothing in my entire human being would allow me to get up and go to work. Â My feet and ankles were not the only things protesting. Â My back wouldn’t let me sit up, and my eyelids seemed to have become about 10 pounds heavier overnight. Â There was nothing in this world that could get me out of bed this morning. Â Even if it was to just finish out two days of work. Â So, I had to call in. Â TWO DAYS before the end and I had to call in. Â I felt like I had run an entire marathon and then decided in the home stretch that I just couldn’t finish. Â I’m disappointed in myself, but all the disappointment in the world couldn’t drag me out of my bed today.
I’m wondering what this means about me as a parent. Â I’ve always prioritized work very highly on my List of Important Things. Â I take it seriously, I want to be good at it, I try to be efficient and responsible. Â I’ve sacrificed a lot in my life for a good job. Â But I wonder if that will change a little when I have a baby. Â I’ll continue to work, there’s no question about that. Â Not only do we need the money, but I am not focused enough to be a stay-at-home mom. Â I would never be self-disciplined enough to get myself up and going and be productive throughout the day unless I knew I had a boss expecting that from me. Â That’s just how I function. Â So, I know I’ll continue to work.
But will I be as dedicated? Â And if I’m not, am I okay with that?
In the end, I think I am okay with that. Â I think its okay for me to shift my priorities. Â In fact, maybe everyone should re-evaluate their priorities in life every few years – kids or no kids. Â Over time, we all encouter different paths that can alter our perception of what is important, and maybe this is just one of mine.
But in the words of Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll just think about that tomorrow. Â Today, I’m thinking about sleep and heating pads and ice packs and chocolate chip cookies. Â And that really is so much nicer to ponder.