June 6, 2009

Things I Don't Want

1) I don't want to turn 30.

Last year, when I turned 29, I had this vague notion in my head that went something like this: "Hey, next year I'm going to be 30. How 'bout that?" When I found out I was pregnant and due at the end of May, I was pretty sure that my 30th birthday was going to end up being overshadowed by having a baby. And sure enough, I was right.

This whole time I've been thinking of my 30th birthday as a possible day that Charlie might be born or as a day when I would be so busy caring for him that I wouldn't really have the time or energy to absorb being 30. I guess I really believed he would be born by now; I am disappointed that he hasn't been yet, and I am even more disappointed that we probably won't end up sharing a birthday (as weird as that probably sounds).

So, here I am, turning 30 tomorrow. Charlie is still an inside baby, which means that we can probably do some celebrating. I have no idea what I want to do or what I want. I have no idea how to feel about leaving my 20s behind. We're talking ten years of major pain, major joy, major growth, major realizations. In so many ways I feel that no decade of my life can possibly compare to this one - I have watched myself grow and change in ways that I never would have thought possible when I was 20. But I also know that I'm young and have so many more decades of life to experience.

As I leave my 20s, I am still kind of haunted by the same things that plagued me as I entered this decade. There are things that I haven't "gotten over," but I also believe that there are some things that you just can't or don't get over. I've managed to make a space for these things in my life instead. It doesn't mean that they control my life, only that they are undeniably a part of me. I will probably always have these issues. One of the greatest things that I learned in my 20s is that it's okay to have problems - we all do - and this is one of those things that binds us together as human beings.

When I think of myself as being 30, I don't think of myself in terms of being old. I just want this next decade to be as dynamic as the last. I don't ever want to stop growing or thinking or wanting. I want to continue to evolve. When I turn 40, I want to look back in amazement on my 30s and say, "Wow. What a life I've had." Because that's what I'm doing right now, as I turn 30.

2) I don't want to be induced.

Last night I realized that not only do I not really want to be induced, I am also pretty afraid of it. It happens every day on every L&D ward in the nation, I'm sure, but honestly, I just don't really feel emotionally prepared for it. My whole pregnancy I have been pretty lax about the whole labor and delivery thing. I've always had in my mind that any woman can give birth - if a vaginal delivery doesn't work, there's always a C-section - but the bottom line is the doctor always makes sure that the baby comes out.

I think a huge part of my fear comes from the fact that my OB will not be delivering Charlie. I know this kind of thing happens, but I really didn't expect it to happen to us. He won't be on call again until June 16, and I'll be damned if I'm still pregnant by then - they wouldn't let me stay pregnant that long anyway. When I found out this bit of news earlier in the week, I simply could not shake it off. At first, it was a WTF?! kind of indignation that I felt, but now it's morphed into a full-blown sadness. I feel absolutely cheated by the fact that this person that we've developed a relationship with won't be there to deliver our baby. I can't even explain why, because I know that the nursing staff is much more present and is much more a part of the process than the doctor. Still, I wanted my OB to be the one to catch Charlie as he comes sliding out of the birth canal - no matter how routine it is or may be to an OB, it's not routine to me. I don't want a perfect stranger delivering my baby. I am so sad over this; I just can't help it.

I feel like I don't know what to expect now. I trust my OB and was pretty willing to just go with what he thinks is/was best, but now my whole birthing experience is going to be in the hands of some doctor I've never even met. I am kind of livid about it all. I can't help but wonder now if I haven't put enough thought into what I want from my birth experience; I have been perfectly willing to have a "normal" experience since it's my first time. I figured that I could always adjust things as needed for the next baby - and I'm sure I will do that. But now I'm feeling panicky. Really panicky. Instead of looking forward to my birth experience, I am, quite frankly, dreading it. It's hard enough that I am going to be induced, but to be induced and have my experience be overseen by some doctor I don't know? Let's just say that obviously I am having a really hard time with it.

I'm sure I'll get over it, but right now I feel like I am grieving a huge loss. But I should have known that something like this would happen, since the best-laid plans have this habit of falling apart when you least expect them to.

The best news, though, is knowing that no matter what my birth experience is like, no matter what doctor shows up in the delivery room, at the end of it all, Charlie, Roy, and I will be together.

3) I don't want to be controlled by my own limitations.

My family is painfully dysfunctional. It's something I seem to conveniently forget until I spend any amount of time with them. No matter how old I get, there are things that just never change. And then I realize (over and over again) how emotionally exhausting these things are.

One thing that being a member of my particular family has taught me is that we do indeed have limits - but at the same time, we are only as limited as we let ourselves be. Life seems to have beat down my family in a way that some members of it just can't or won't recover from, and I find it just as heartbreaking now as I did when it was actually happening. It is so hard to watch people you love let themselves become negative and bitter and sure that they will fail. I almost want to walk away sometimes and never look back. But I never would. Because these people, no matter how freaking sad they are, no matter how much their sadness wears on me at times, are people that I love - and will always love.

I just don't want to be like them.

(Note: I'm being super duper general in this section even though the family members I'm referencing don't read this blog.)


So there you have it: my list of current things that I don't want. Obviously, I'm in a sad place right now, but I guess it's to be expected, what with the pregnancy hormones and being overdue and all. I don't think I could have ever suspected how much being overdue would affect me emotionally. I am kind of a basket case sometimes.

Come on, Charlie! Give your tired ol' mom a break. Please?


cowboyboot lady said...

I am sorry to hear you are sad. I spent these last two weeks being sad and it really stinks!

Think about this...sounds like you and Charlie will have b-days one day apart. They may not be on the same day, but this way you can have two full days of celebrating! Think about it…Roy can take you and Charlie on trips to celebrate over an entire weekend! Two days of fun-filled family birthday celebrating! Two cakes over two days! Double gifts! I am jealous! It could be better this way…more celebrating over more time. And just being one day apart…there will be no break in between all the celebrating.

I am sorry about your OB...that does really stink. He should have told you well in advance that he wouldn't be around on/near your due date to deliver Charlie.

As for turning 30…don’t worry about it. My birthday is in two weeks and last year at this time I was about to turn thirty and thinking of all the things in my life that I had not accomplished yet (married, children, career) that I had always thought I would by the age of 30. Well...here I am, nearly 31 and still have not accomplished much. But all that really matters is that I’m happy, right? That’s what I keep telling myself. And a majority of the time, I suppose, I am. You have so much to be grateful and happy for…Roy and Charlie and more! Let Roy pamper you on your b-day…rub your feet, paint your nails, prepare you a nice bath, cook you breakfast! :) You can be well rested and ready for Charlie on Monday! A whole new day of celebrating!

Btw, my friend was one week post due date and the night before her induction, her water broke and she went into labor. They rushed themselves to the hospital just hours before they were scheduled to be there anyway! Her body started the process on its own, but the doc did also still give her the meds for the induction. She was glad that her body at least started the process on its own. You never know what could still happen!

Thinking of you! And Happy Birthday!!! Enjoy a new decade of being whoever you want to be!!!

Angie Eats Peace said...

I am so sorry you are in a sad place right now, friend.
But, definitely to be expected, with everything you are going through.
C'mon, Charlie!

Lydia said...

Don't worry--you won't have time for sad soon! Charlie will come when he's ready. My sister was miserable right before her water broke. All she wanted as for my nephew to get the hell out already! It will happen.

30s are great...fear not. I wouldn't trade my age for anything. it's fun to see where life will take you. The best really is yet to come.

Hang in there and good luck!

alyssa said...

I'm sure you know this, but I was reminded today at a baby shower that having lots of sex helps to naturally induce the baby. A guest at the shower today was due today and the grandma of the mommy we were honoring is a birthing coach...she suggested lots of sex, despite not being in the mood ;) Thinking about you guys!!

JennB said...

Dear Charlie,
All the dancing I'm doing is making me tired. Can you come out now?


Crazy Daisy said...

Happy Birthday Leslie! My wish for you is that you are happy, healthy, and enjoy the day!

If you think of it this way... Your 30th bday is your last day without Charlie in your arms... It is the beginning of the rest of your life!

Yeah, okay, kinda cheesey, but really, have a great one!

phairhead said...

happy birthday, les!!!! i'm going to be 34 this year and i feel like i'm starting my life over as a 22 y/o. i live at home, am unsettled in my career. but life is sweet anyways

don't blame you about the induction. thinking good thoughts for you and the family

Anonymous said...

happy birthday! sorry you're in a sad place right now. but its only a matter of days before charlie gets here and you can be together as a family :)

Eric's Mommy said...

I love reading your blog. We are a lot alike.

I too turn 30 this year, in August, and I am not sure what to think.

When I had my son there were a few doctors that I saw throughout my pregnancy, except one. What do you know, she just happened to be the one who delivered him.

Happy Birthday!!

Nanette said...

Sorry that things are feeling rough for you right now. And I'm particularly sorry to hear about your OB. Hopefully it won't be something that will matter to you post-delivery.

inflammatory writ said...

I just got back from SF and thought FOR SURE you'd have popped that kid out by now!

Hang in there chica! And Happy Birthday!

amber said...

I'm sorry to hear you had such a rough time this weekend. I hope you're feeling a bit better and that the labor process isn't too overwhelming. Hang in there.