I'm 35 weeks pregnant now. If my labour history holds true, I've about a month left in my pregnancy. This weekend I wrote up our massive "to do" list of things that need to be done before our baby arrives -- before our daughter is born and fills that last little corner of our family.
It's a long list.
It's a really long list.
Fortunately, my 8mos pregnant panic -- a maternity tradition for me -- seems to be kicking in and lending me a bit more energy than I've had in recent weeks. Things are getting crossed off, one effort-filled item at a time.
We are planning a homebirth. We birthed our third child at home and it was the least stressful birth I experienced up to that point. This time I'm heading into the final stretch already stressed out about any number of things, so keeping things low key and uneventful is a high priority for me. A big part of that is keeping this birth at home.
Another big part will be hibernating with my baby and keeping visitors at a distance.
I need to be selfish this time around and focus on just me and our baby. This last year has been an emotional rollercoaster and the timing of this birth will be difficult, falling around my brother's birthday as well as my own. I know if I invite visitors, I will switch to focusing on them instead of taking care of myself. Keeping depression at bay this year has been challenge enough for me.
I don't have any emotional energy to spare.
This is our fourth baby. I went back to work less than two weeks after the birth of our third (though I am taking longer this time). I know how I handle the postpartum period. I don't need the assistance I might have found helpful with my first and second -- I'm old hat at this now. I know what I need to heal and we have a plan in place.
I am making myself take the time and privacy to relish something wonderful.
I have mentioned before that I'm having a lot of trouble connecting with this pregnancy. My eyes are set on the final goal -- a healthy, happy baby and a safe birth -- but this pregnancy has felt more like an obstacle I need to overcome. Had I felt this way with my previous pregnancies I would have found it hard to shake feelings of guilt, but fortunately I am owning my feelings. There are valid reasons why I feel the way I do -- it would be unhealthy to ignore that and pretend everything is fine.
This is my tenth pregnancy -- of those ten pregnancies I have three children, and soon will have a fourth. I don't want to experience the uncertain limbo of pregnancy again. I am finished with wondering if things will end in my favour this time.
I am done.
#BabyTheLast will arrive when she should -- no sooner and no later. I'm not hoping she arrives before her due date, but I will be happy when she is in my arms and not inside me. I am ready for this stage of my life to be over and to enjoy what is to come.
Now, where is that list...