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In-between Places

Hubs and I wrapped up our final birthing class last night. It was a bittersweet conclusion. While I’m glad that we’ve now attended 5 classes, discussing everything from breathing techniques to complications that can arise in labor to cloth diapering, and that our Tuesday nights will now be ours again, I feel a bit saddened about leaving it all behind. I’d come to enjoy gathering with the eight other pregos and their partners, all of us first-time parents-to-be, peppering the midwives with newbie questions and then watching, in awe, each class’s concluding video of live birth footage. I also really, really liked getting ice cream afterwards. Pumpkin ice cream is a thing of sheer bliss.

It’s strange, this in-between space we’re now in. It’s more than strange-it’s surreal. We reached our crucial 37 week threshold yesterday, meaning, barring any unforeseen complications, Nugget can now be safely birthed at home. To think that, at any day, a wee one will be birthed to us, made of us, gifted to us, is something I still can’t quite wrap my head around. Rationally, I know there’s a baby growing inside of me. That said, it seems impossible, somehow, that that’s truly the case.

Each day, I look around the house thinking “there’s going to be a baby in here!” I watch the dogs playing and say to them “you’re not going to be the youngest beings in the house anymore.” They give me quizzical looks and resume their tackling and bone chewing. I wonder how the cats, accustomed to constant doting, will respond to a newborn’s cries. I worry about making sure the chickens get enough attention, the bees have their entrance reducers placed back on their hives before labor begins, and that the house will fall into disarray while Hubs and I assume our new roles during those first few days.

More than anything, though, I’m excited. I’m shedding a skin; I’m leaving behind my status of single-hood. Sure, I’m married, and Hubs and I have obligations to and responsibilities for one another. But becoming a parent takes it to an entirely different level. We will both, from Nugget’s arrival ever-onward, always, continuously, ceaselessly be responsible for another being’s entire welfare. It’s a huge mantle to assume. It’s exhilarating to consider, and intimidating, too.

Forgive me if I’m scarce around here lately. My body has moved back into sleep and slumber mode. It’s challenging to find comfortable positions to sit, stand, or sleep in. I’m queasy all over again. I’m getting rounder by the hour and have assumed a seemingly ever-present waddle instead of my customary, life-long quick gait. I’m enjoying hot tea, warm blankets, epsom-salt baths, husbandly foot rubs, and quiet reflection. I’m thinking about, and talking regularly to, my future son. How awesome is that?

*For more autumnal images chez English, visit here.

18 Responses to In-between Places

  • sk says:

    oooh, I miss The Hop! I also miss Ultimate Ice Cream– I think that place is my all-time fav ice cream shop. I used to always get a scoop of Ginger and scoop of Mexican Chocolate.
    Hope you get lots of rest and relaxation before labor begins. Best wishes! I'll be looking forward to reading about your birth experience (if you choose to share it)!

  • nicole says:

    a beautiful post. your sincerity comes through so clearly in your writing.

    looking forward to the new arrival with anticipation and love.

  • Liane says:

    it's just completely awesome.

    i'm a mum of three. it's scary and utterly fantastic and makes me tear up every time just to ponder it. still, after 20 years.

    best thing about life. for real and true.

  • Amanda says:

    This is so awesome! I'm so excited for you and sending best wishes during the final countdown for little nugget to arrive! xo

  • Meg says:

    Congratulations on making it safely to the important 37 week mark! Best wishes to you and yours.

  • A beautiful post! So very true. I am excited for you, as well as getting more excited and nervous about my little one arriving soon as well. Best wishes to your growing family!

  • CallieK says:

    I'm sure it matters little from someone you've never met but I am so happy to hear you will be birthing at home. I've been blessed to be present at 46 births and the home births always seem so much more peaceful. If there is one thing I can tell you at this point it's to trust yourself and your body- that, and be well rested and hydrated. If you think of it, perhaps you will post when you begin your labour so we can all send good thoughts and energy your way. Blessings.

  • It *is* awesome. A giant hug as you fortify yourself for the big push!

  • Christine says:

    best wishes!

  • Shannon says:

    Best wishes to you!!! And definitely get all the rest you can!!!

  • Courtney says:

    It is so awesome, Ashley. So awesome. Best of luck in these last days before Nugget makes his appearance. I'm sure your animal family will be happy to welcome him to the household.

  • Elle Ross says:

    I know exactly how you feel! At 32 weeks I'm still waiting for the reality of a baby to hit me. I asked my mom when it would and she replied “Never. It will always strike you as amazing and unbelievable.”
    Thanks for the beautiful fall pics, I'm really missing it down here in Florida!

  • That was a beautiful reflection that made me tear up. I hope I get to experience this feeling of wonderment, soon. Sending love to the three of you and your menagerie!

  • joanna says:

    such a great post – wishing you a beautiful birth day as you welcome your little miracle!

  • pamwares says:

    Awesome indeed! Congrats on 37 weeks. A good milestone. My friend at work just made it there as well. She is just as excited and thrilled…slightly nervous as well. You have big jumps ahead!

    Looking for the the future posts and the pictures!


  • Lisa says:

    Very darling post. Good wishes to you and your husband and baby on the way. What an exciting time!

  • Kimberly says:

    Sending calming, gentle birthing thoughts your way Mama.

  • Mallory says:

    Little family, I love you!