Life Beyond the Bump

I’ve started thinking recently about what we’re in for in the next 6 months or so.  We’ll be 26 weeks along in a couple days, so…shit’s about to get real up in here!  It’s become blatantly obvious that I am all knocked up so strangers have started commenting – so for the most part, I just thank them.  It’s easier than explaining a complicated situation AND I hate overt praise.  I hate it beyond explanation.  When people tilt their heads and tell me how amazing this journey is, how wonderful I am, when they CRY, I feel truly awkward.  Don’t get me wrong, compliments are lovely, but this isn’t something I need to be praised for… It was just the right thing to do.  My littles haven’t caught on yet either, which is both a blessing and a curse.  The longer I have to wait before explaining to them, really, the better but I live in constant fear that some well-meaning stranger will be the one to tell them. At 32 weeks, if they haven’t asked, we’ll have to tell them.  We’ve prepared them with books and relationship building with Mom and Dad, so I expect they’ll handle it admirably, but it’s definitely an intimidating notion.

My imagination of what life beyond the journey looks like is a little hazy to say the least.  There are obvious unknowns like labour/delivery and relationships but I try to picture everything else and can’t really make it make sense.  The plan is to pump milk for Squiggle for at least a while… But how long is “a while?”  Will I have the stamina to keep it up?  Will it even work?  While I’ve always been a proficient breastfeeder with no supply issues, I’ve never had too much luck with pumping, nor am I really a fan.  Will it be difficult to get up every 3 hours to struggle to pump for this little sweet pea?  The last thing I want is to feel resentful – really to feel anything other than pure love for her.  I will have the body of a woman who’s just had a baby, but no baby to explain my haggard looks at the grocery store.  Will I be able to handle the awkward small talk from people asking when I’m due – or worse yet the daily strangers like the Starbucks barista or neighbours asking where she is: “I thought you were having a baby!”  How will our days look?  Will I bounce back as quickly as with my own two?  Will I struggle emotionally?  Will Mom and Dad be ok with maintaining our relationship? …and the big one: how fat will I really be?!

There’s no way to know, and that has become quite scary!  Then I read back in my own history, all the apprehension about matching well with Mom and Dad, about transfers and contracts and I realize… The worrying is pointless.  We’ve got this.  There is no reason at this point to believe that it WON’T work out.  Until I’m given a reason to worry, why bother?  It feels as though a weight is lifting as I accept that I am simply along for the ride.  The beautiful, imperfect, messy, terrifying journey has no control mechanism, we must simply roll with it.  At some point, in the interest of candor and cathartic honesty and,I will try to write the fears down and release them but for now, I will try to accept that I cannot plan or foresee what’s around the bend.  All I can do is brace myself, surround myself with love and support, and turn the corner with an open heart and mind.

Actually, all I can do right now is have a snack.  Worrying…tomorrow.