I’m 35 weeks pregnant and will be “full-term” in about two weeks. My actual due date is at the very beginning of August.
How do I feel about meeting baby in August? I am excited and curious to see what this next little person will be like. Will he be anything like me? The first turned out to be a carbon copy of her dad (in both her physical features and her personality). I should have known when she shot out of the womb looking exactly like him. It’s like she got everything from him, save for the Y chromosome.
But among the feelings of excitement and curiosity are also a bit of fear and anxiety. You see, I know better this time. I know that entering into motherhood isn’t all beautiful and rosy, mixed in with a bit of fatigue. I know that feeling of exhaustion beyond belief (I once asked my cousin, who is a doctor, if I was going to die or lose my senses from sleeping so little because it didn’t seem humanly possible for a person to function off of so little sleep for so long). I know what it’s like to wonder if I will ever sleep again (usually at 3 in the morning when you know the rest of the world is fast asleep). I know that bonding doesn’t always happen immediately (and sometimes, not for a long while), and sometimes it feels like there is a new stranger in your house to whom you have just become a slave. I know that breastfeeding can be a painful journey, and not one that all moms are able to continue through the first year (or in my case, after the first month). I know what postpartum depression feels like, having to make the decision to go on medication, wondering if I would ever stop feeling like a failure or like I could ever get a handle on this new mom thing. I also know that much of my memory of the newborn stage is marred by my postpartum depression (PPD), which felt like it lasted forever (when in reality it only lasted a couple months).
On my birthday which passed a few weeks ago, KK asked me what I wanted in this next year. And I couldn’t think of anything else except for wanting to really enjoy my new baby this time around. I know it’s hard to enjoy all aspects of the newborn stage, what with the physical recovery from labor, the sleepless nights, and sore, leaky breasts. But I would like to be able to look back on this time with my son and not shudder.
My expectations are different this time around. While I know my experience with PPD doesn’t necessarily mean I will go through it again, I also know that it is a very real possibility. And I know I won’t have the same first-time mom anxieties again, but sleep deprivation can make any sane person a little mad. I’m really hoping this little guy likes to sleep. A LOT.
For now, we wait with anticipation and a little bit of nerves. All I can hope for is a healthy little baby in August, and pray that I don’t lose my mind in the process. Here’s to the next five weeks of wondering, waiting, hoping, and longing.