On Denial and the Third Trimester

Yes, I am hiding. I am pulling the covers over my head and pretending that nothing is changing, even as my belly grows and the baby’s movement becomes more insistent. I used to pore over descriptions of how my baby was developing. Now that they say things like “practicing breathing” and explain that the babe just has to get bigger–no more major structural development–the descriptions freak me out. I am going to have to parent someone. And before I do that, I am going to have to get that someone from inside of me to the outside world. He/she weighs pounds, people. We are talking about fetal weight in pounds now. And I can feel that weight behind the indescribably weird movement that is also magical.

I do have an excuse for some of the time. In true Anne-Marie fashion, I managed to injure some nerve in my right elbow by using the keyboard/mouse incorrectly. It hurt a whole bunch and I could only type with my left hand for a week or ten days. I normally type at lighting speed, so that was really obnoxious. I’m all better now! And practicing better keyboard habits. (Did you know they were serious about that stuff? It’s totally true! Wrists up and elbows off the arm rests, people!)

In happier news, we started taking HypnoBirthing classes from the lovely Kate Sullivan; I can’t recommend her highly enough, New Haven/Connecticut residents. She comes to our apartment and everything! (That did cost extra, but I sometimes feel so anxious about group things that I refuse to go, so I really think we’ll get more out of it this way.) Kate is practical, funny and very calming. I’m already working on using some of the breathing techniques I learned to calm myself down now. Somehow, she and HypnoBirthing are starting to make birth seem like something that I can do and that will be beautiful and precious. And thank God for that, because I was really starting to wonder how I, of all people, was going to calm down long enough to experience the birth of my child without trauma.

I have one more therapy session before my therapist goes on vacation for three weeks. So there’s that. [I simultaneously totally understand why a therapist would need a good long vacation every year and wish that they were not allowed to take them.] The worst that can happen is that a lot of anxiety builds up and I rattle around until she comes back. She’ll come back, though, and we’ll work through it all. Still, I wish that we were NOT working on acceptance and surrender re: the fact that I could actually give birth any time now. It’s not likely, but it could happy. And I didn’t think of that until she brought it up. I just blithely assumed that I had nothing to think about until October 26th or later. So now I’m working on accepting the fact that I have no control over when this baby decides to come out and surrendering to my body and its incredible strength.

Here this! I affirm: my body is strong and amazing and my baby is, too. They will do this thing if I just listen to them and get out of their way. I am not afraid. I trust my body and my baby. I am not afraid.

Convinced? Yeah, well, I was once told that affirmations are obviously for things that are not true (yet) or we wouldn’t need to affirm them. We’d know them. So I am affirming trust until I feel it.

I do have a strong connection with this child. I thought for sure I’d be one of those women who talks to her belly, but really I just talk to the baby in my head. I do sing out loud. With so much movement (really, if you see me, you won’t have to wait long for a chance to feel the baby kick), it’s easy to remember that this is a person with a personality. I think that that is completely awesome. I’d rather be a vessel and caretaker than actually be responsible for shaping a human character, personality, all that, from scratch. Be whoever you are, kiddo; I’ll just do my best to pay attention and respond.

Let’s end on a funny story, shall we? So, I’m going to this huge blogging conference in New York, BlogHer; the plan since I bought a discounted “early bird” ticket sometime in January or February was to go to the city on Wednesday, August 1st. This is how big a dork I am: I got all freaked out and nervous and took forever packing and got us in the car on June 25th, believing the entire time that it was, in fact, August 1st. I figured it out with the help of the friend I’ll be staying with next week somewhere around Greenwich. It was about 2.5 hours, round trip. Yes, that’s right, I thought it was this week and actually almost got there when, in fact, it is next week. We laughed. I laughed especially hard. This is totally the kind of thing I do.

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