I hate uncertainty. This is unfortunate since my life has been full of uncertainty since I went into pre-term labor on January 31. In some ways, actually going into labor was always going to be an unplanned occurrence. After all, very few babies are born on their due date. However, I dealt with that problem by determining the likely range of dates Calvin would be born on. Based on all the stats I could find, it was likely he was going to be born at least a week after his due date. Based on Jaeger’s birth and my feeling that Calvin wanted to be early, I decided I should also allow for him to show up as soon as he was technically full-term (3 weeks before his due date). As a result, I created my plans with the expectation that Calvin would be born sometime between March 5 and the first part of April.
I set up a marathon of meetings and classes to be sure that by the end of February, Jaeger and I would be in the position to be perfect parents. We’d already taken the Bradley childbirth classes and infant CPR/First Aid. In addition, I had signed up for baby care and breastfeeding classes. I scheduled almost every Wednesday night in February to talk to Jaeger about various things I/we felt needed to be done before Calvin was born (guardians, wills, after-birth work schedule, etc). In addition, my baby showers were planned for February and I was planning to pick up any necessities I still needed for Calvin after they were over.
Then Calvin decided he wanted to come a little early. One of the clearest thoughts I had in the hospital the Saturday night I went into labor was, No, he can’t come yet. We don’t have our wills prepared. Very quickly it became apparent that I was likely going to be in the hospital until Calvin was born which could be any day. This was ruining all my plans. The only coping strategy I could come up with was to completely ignore the future and instead focus on the moment and being glad that Calvin was still inside me for a little longer. Anytime I thought about the future it looked scary and uncertain so I immediately blocked it from my mind.
After two weeks in the hospital, when Calvin was 34 weeks, Calvin was at a stage where Longmont United would most likely be able to take care of him so PSL in Denver let me go home on bed rest. Once home and it became apparent that Calvin might not show up immediately, I decided it would be worthwhile to try to think about a future that might be a week or more away. Thus, on the couch with my Internet accessible computer and phone handy, I started trying to arrange all the loose-ends that my unexpected trip to the hospital had left dangling.
I started thinking about the future that might exist in a couple of weeks and it scared me. I know nothing about infants. Absolutely nothing. I know almost nothing about children except what I can remember about myself. I had read some parenting books before I had gone into labor but these last couple of weeks I read several more books and watched a DVD on infant care that Jaeger checked out from the library for me. A couple of nights ago I lay awake worrying about where Calvin would sleep. We have a bassinet in our bedroom but our bedroom gets down to 60 degrees at night (our heating/air conditioning system has issues with the 2nd level) and I don’t have the foggiest idea how to get the temperature up to a suitable level for an infant. My mind flittered between massive layers of clothing to putting the space heater we have in the basement up in our room (though I’m not sure about the safety of that).
Today was my first official day off strict bedrest. My doctor informed me that I should still take it easy but it was probably okay if I puttered around the house as long as I didn’t over-exert myself (she really emphasizes the importance of being well-rested before baby arrives). I’m still dubious about climbing stairs so I spent most of this morning on the couch like I have for the past week. I briefly got up and opened our front door to see if any of the numerous items I ordered for Calvin had arrived yet. They hadn’t but it gave me a chance to see what a beautiful day it was outside (our living room blinds are broken so they can’t be pulled up to see out the window very well). I decided that I should find some way to get outside for a couple of minutes.
Since I was hospitalized, I haven’t been outside for much more than 5 minutes. Once when Jaeger was working from my hospital room, he did manage to coax a wheelchair out of the nurses and was able to wheel me outside. However, at that point it was uncomfortable to sit up for more than a few minutes at a time so we had to go back inside fairly quickly.
After lunch, I went out to the garage and discovered a sleeping bag that I often keep in the car during the winter just in case I ever got stranded. I dragged the sleeping bag, a fluffy romance book, and my ever-present water bottle outside and lay on the grass. It was incredibly relaxing. I lay on the grass outside reading and occasionally putting my book down to enjoy the beautiful day.
While sunning outside, it occurred to me that all this stuff I’m worrying about now will eventually be irrelevant. I started day-dreaming about being able to walk around the neighborhood with Calvin in his stroller and once again going on epic day hikes with Jaeger while he carries Calvin around in our spiffy baby backpack.
I need to starting thinking about the future again. Not just the future within the next couple of weeks. The future when Jaeger and I finally bring Calvin home and we can start learning the best way for us to be a happy family together.