October 1, 2011

Multitasking Heart

First the good news: the big 20-week ultrasound was last week, and it was more or less a smashing success. I say more or less because the tech had trouble getting a good image of a couple of baby bits, so I squirmed while she dug in the wand. I have no idea how long it took - 45 minutes? But now I have sore muscles connecting my pelvis to my hips.

Anyway, I digress. She asked if we wanted to know the sex, I said yes, and she said something like "Well there's this thing here between the legs".. I'm thinking yes - it's a dash in a snowstorm - so I said "What is it?" and she kindly pointed out that it's a penis. I felt just slightly silly (but later learned that DH couldn't tell either so we can be ignorant together!).

So yeah. Somewhere around Valentine's Day I'm gonna give birth to a boy.

Me. Give birth. Have a baby. I'm actually pregnant and it's not going away. I feel him bumping around in me, and see (and feel) my body changing rapidly.

I am blown away by this every day. When I thank Jesus for this amazing blessing that I can barely comprehend, I start to cry (usually at a time when I can't like in the car, at work, or outside walking).

Meanwhile, DH is awake at 3 a.m. most nights trying to figure out all the details of the parenting universe while I toss and turn trying to figure out how to stay comfortable long enough to sleep more than half an hour at a stretch.

I truly do not understand how any woman can honestly say she loves being pregnant. Emotionally it's a variety of wonder, terror, and joy. Physically it's a major pain in the ass. But it has to be worth it, right? Just kidding. Sort of.

Rather than ruminating over the complexities of parenthood (which makes my brain go numb), I can't think more than six months ahead. I'm debating what kind of childbirth I really want to embrace. The epidural is fine, though I truly loathe the idea of having a footlong needle stuck in my spine while my pee drains into a bag. Part of me truly wants to feel the act of giving birth, though. Like somehow being numb from the waist down will disconnect me from the experience a bit.

My coworker used the hypnobirthing method with amazing success, which makes me wonder: could I do it? She said it was definitely not pain free, but she was able to manage it and stay calm. She was in labor for all of six hours. Okay, I don't think that means I'd have the same experience but I gotta wonder if there's really something to this. Obviously there is. I will do research.

And now the bad news. My grandmother is dying. She suffered congestive heart failure the day before my ultrasound. She's apparently conscious now but isn't connected to reality at all. I wish so much that I could be at her side, even though she'd probably not know me, and just pray and be there. Death isn't new to me: I've lost a great grandmother, grandfather, and other grandmother not to mention a couple of uncles. I have held a bedside vigil. I don't wish her to recover - her life has dwindled to medication and the white walls of a nursing home while her mind is trapped in the prison of dementia - I wish for God's mercy to end her suffering and bring her home. God's will be done.

So my heart vacillates between joy and sadness, hope and longing, the future of my son and the past of one of my mothers who helped raise me. Yes, it's the cycle of life. No beginning comes without something else ending, does it?