28 January 2010

Body, mind

I had a prenatal massage this afternoon, a fantastic Christmas gift from my parents. I always love getting a massage (not that it happens that often; maybe the last time was a year ago?) and I was especially looking forward to this one, given the extra aches and pains associated with loosened joints and a squirmy baby's worth of extra poundage hanging off my frame. Also, last night I found it nearly impossible to sleep in any comfortable fashion, so I was really ready to relax.

The body-length bolster that I was to curl myself around looked promising, and the room was, as one would expect, suitably soothing. The massage itself was fantastic, thoroughly working all the sore spots I knew I had and some that I didn't. I was just disappointed in my inability to just let go, TURN OFF my brain and fully enjoy the moment. And then I found myself analyzing the fact that I couldn't turn off my brain, an endless loop of internal narrative.

One among many of the subjects that flittered across my consciousness concerned the music playing in the room: the obligatory Native American flute and oriental plucked strings. Who decided that this kind of music says "relax" to people? What if I would relax more easily to the strains of Bach or some smoky jazz? In fact, the more I thought about it, the more the airy flute and pseudo-eastern plucking got on my nerves. Counterproductive, to say the least.

Then, various anxious reflections on the state of my body and continual self-reassurance that any massage therapist will have seen things much, much worse and that's his job anyway and if he was grossed out by touching other people's feet he wouldn't have chosen this career.

And of course, the background hum--the insistent basso continuo of my days--of wondering about baby. When? is the first bone to worry over pointlessly, and then, scenarios of labor and delivery, and postpartum recovery and visitors and in general...life. With a baby. I'm constantly trying to visualize it but no matter how much I imagine and plan it seems impossible and distant and not something that is going to happen to me any moment. Technically, I could have a baby--our baby!--in my arms by this time tomorrow. If that isn't an overwhelming and scary thought, I don't know what is. Both because of what has to occur before getting to that point, and because of what being responsible for a whole new person means.

For what it's worth, though, I don't feel like anything is about to happen. My due date is another week and a half, and I think it'll be at least that, if not beyond, before baby makes an appearance. There are no signs--no further contractions, no nesting (I wouldn't mind a little of the nesting urge!), no dilation. But again, maybe it's just my inability to imagine it happening that makes it seem so far away!

Sigh. I'll just keep on with my daily smoothie fix (20 degrees and snowy outside and all I want to eat is frozen and cold food!), running around to appointments, trying to get enough sleep, and lots of leaning forward to encourage the baby to stay in a labor-friendly position. And then one day it'll happen. Just like that.

1 comment:

Astrid said...

Hi Robin! Lovely to read your news here. Such an exciting time as you don't "really" know what to expect even though I'm sure you have read (like I did) every book on the subject or have been talking to the midwives. I was happily surprised how natural everything seemed to me. I wasn't scared... which, when I think about it now was weird but I guess I just got caught up in the moment and counting the minutes between contractions :)

Have you found a name yet?

Good luck and the best possible wishes for a calm and beautiful birth experience... and remember to rest as much as possible now in these days of waiting! (And then I can't wait to read the next chapter :)

Love (mummylove) & hugs from France ;)