you are familiar, of course, with the five stages of grief, which i think is so insightful and i have seen as really true in my own life at different times, regardless of the grief that i am experiencing.
but i don't think it's just grief. i think it's also the last four weeks of pregnancy, which isn't grief, really, because even if you miss being pregnant a little bit, you're at the point where you're so ready to just be done that it's nothing close to being grief.
so here's how i think it goes (props to elisabeth kubler-ross, of course):
- denial: for me, this manifested itself mainly when i would have a strong, surprising braxton-hicks contraction. it was obvious that it was a contraction, and it would take my breath away for a minute, and then i would be all "lah lah lah, real labor won't be like THAT. it'll build and give me a chance to get used to it before it tries to kill me." and then my husband would ask me, kindly, "do you really think labor won't be that hard?" and i would realize, in a split second, that my logic was stupid.
- anger: this has mainly manifested itself at the women on the babies attack shows. WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID?!? i consistently asked on tuesday night when one woman whined and complained for what seemed like HOURS about her IV. as in she freaked out about the needle that they used to put in the TINY NEEDLE in her wrist. i just kept thinking "does she not KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO HER?" and then there was the whole epidural thing. she had no idea what would happen and that was a whole drama. and then they brought out the instruments for delivery and she apparently had no idea what they were used for...and i was irrationally angry at how stupid she was. of course, for some women, this might be anger at pregnancy, at life in general, for dealing you this deck of cards that involves an inability to sleep and a big cute baby with long legs who likes to kick the ribs when you do finally lay down. your boobs are huge, nothing fits, and you no longer look like you're glowing unless you really work hard at it. some women hate pregnancy with a fiery passion at this point, but since it's been pretty good to me, i haven't reached this stage. but heaven help you if you are an uneducated whiner.
- bargaining: right now, this is manifesting itself in checking things off of my list. "if i clean the floors, Baby Girl, will you come now?" or "if i eat well, maybe it will give me strength for labor" or "i should probably make sure that i sleep some, even though i don't want to, just in case i go into labor." literally. i'm doing laundry and i'm cleaning the house and i'm trying to make sure that i wouldn't be horribly embarrassed if my mom came in the next few days. and that's how i'm bargaining with Baby Girl to come before 40 weeks. do i know that this is insane? yes, yes, i do. that's okay. it still makes me feel like i'm doing something.
- depression: i think this comes when the bargaining doesn't work and the 38th and 39th week dawns and your cervix is still shut up tighter than a drum and nothing's happening. i haven't hit this yet. i am still riding high on hope and bargaining.
- acceptance: duh. you just realize that ain't nothin' happening until Baby Girl decides she wants to come. i'm so glad she has two stubborn parents. (there should really be a SARCASM stage.)