Dispatch from 41 Weeks

This isn't going to be a coherent blog post because I’m not in the mood to write anything coherent much less feel-good.  I am 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. I’ve been ready to give birth for nearly a month.  I'm confused, discouraged and mental.  I do all the things.  Acupuncture, walk, “relax.” I tentatively tried some old wives tales but the truth of the matter is that there is really nothing that I can do on my own to get this party started.  I’m not down to get meds to force contractions, so I've got to hang out.   Meanwhile, the clock is ticking because I can only give birth at my birthing center for 4 more days.

I should preface this by saying that this is all totally unexpected.  I thought I would go early for reasons that seem laughable now.  Look how I’m carrying!  I have false contractions like every day!   But nothing in our household has gone according to plan this summer.  If anything, I’ve been smacked with lessons in surrender and trust and faith and relinquishing any control I think I have.

And yet I resist because I am.  Probably the best advice that I’ve heard so far came from a prenatal acupuncturist I hired four days ago.  She is an elfish woman with a majestic tattoo of the buddha on her upper arm and smudged, lined eyes.  She makes house calls.  She bikes in high heel clogs and speaks in a soft stoner sort of way that makes me pay attention because everything coming out of her mouth is the sage advice of a healer.  I know she’s a healer because she made me cry without stopping in our first session.  I wasn’t expecting any sort of emotional release.  This wasn’t therapy or a good book.  This was needles to usher contractions.  But, she saw my red eyes and tense jaw and manic gestures.  She sat cross legged on my floor while I withstood another hot flash despite my very cold central AC apartment and asked what I was feeling.  I tried to ignore the needles on the tops of my feet.  I closed my eyes.  Then I hit it on the head. I missed my mom.  It was grief and it was back.  She advised me to cry, packed up and left.

After that session, I cried for 36 hours straight.  I am actually still crying but now it doesn’t surprise me.  I am waiting for my mom but she is not coming to be with me during the birth.  I’ve got pictures of her in my office and on my phone but a good part of me forgets that she is dead even four years later, even though there are no new pictures of her on my phone.  See, I want for her to be here and so that means that she should be here. 

While I wait, a small storm of rage churns.  It is angry, then it rests.  Last night, I couldn’t sleep.  I stumbled to the kitchen, ate a peach and spoke to my husband about how I have no control over this waiting game.  But I don’t think I was clear about what I’m waiting on.  How do you move forward while one foot is lodged firmly in the necessary nostalgia of having your mom?

I saw the acupuncturist again yesterday and we went full throttle to usher in contractions.  I still felt emotionally rattled but she thought I looked like I was in better place.  I’m trying not to cling to that session as the thing that will do it.  Anyway, I tend to forget this whole time line is determined by the baby.  The baby releases a hormone that causes a hormonal reaction inside of me that begins the process.  With all of the pineapple eating and acupressure and pigeon pose, I forgot that the baby is who is being born and not my mania, not my grief, not my anxiety.  I've got to move through them for anything to happen.