I wanted more than anything in the world for my baby to get out of my belly. My entire body hurt all the time. I was so tired of being pregnant! I felt massive, like a beached whale. Moving was agony. I went downstairs in the morning and only went upstairs once a day when it was time for bed. One day I went downstairs but forgot my mobile phone upstairs. I cried when I realized it. I cried over a lot of things. A TV commercial for antidepressants made me cry because the people in it looked sad.
I wanted my baby to be born but I still worried like a worrying worrywart. I secretly felt that my baby deserved more than I could give her but that I wasn’t brave enough to trust her care to those who could give it to her. Was I too selfish and immature to me a mother? Would I depend too much on my mother? What if I was a horrible mother? What if I just couldn’t do it? I was going to have this teeny-tiny, helpless little person completely dependent on me for everything – on me and me alone.
I was overwhelmed. I felt like I couldn’t do it. I wanted my baby to have everything in the world, to be happy and know that she was loved, completely and totally. I wanted her to be safe and secure and comfortable. I didn’t ever want her to feel scared or worried or sad, and I knew I couldn’t control that. It scared me. And there were so many things I couldn’t control! SIDS and car accidents and random violence and whooping cough and so many other things … what if something awful happened to her? I hated the thought that I wouldn’t be sealed to her, that something could happen to her and she’d be lost to me forever. I get all teary just thinking about it now!
I loved my baby more than anything, and I prayed that it would be enough. More than once I lamented to my therapist that things would be so much easier if some nice man would take pity on me and marry me. I suggested marrying a man who needed a green card, or a gay man who wanted to get his parents off his back. My therapist said that was a bad idea. He never has had a sense of humor, that man.
It came down to this: I knew deep down that my baby deserved so much better than me. But I was too selfish. I admitted it. I knew myself. I love too much, too quickly, too deeply. I knew that I would set eyes on my baby girl and never want to let her go. I’d told myself before that I’d decide for sure what to do with my little girl once she was born, but I was lying to myself. I knew I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t possibly not be this little girl’s mommy.
My due date came … and went. I was never one of those women who want to deliver early. I wanted my baby in for the full 40 weeks. But past 40 weeks? I knew I was going to be crabby until she came out. Being past due is perfectly normal, but I was a million percent sure of both the date of my last period and the day I’d gotten pregnant. I was done cooking.
I don't know what I expected on my due date, really. Trumpets and fanfare, maybe. The beginning of labor. A party. A phone call. A migraine. Anything. Nothing happened. Nothing was ever going to happen that day, and I knew it all along.
To take my mind off things, my mother took me to see the movie "Up." I wrote about that *here*. I'd expected a fun little cartoon but it turned out to be quite a tearjerker. I couldn't imagine how devastating it would be to get the news that Carl and Ellie got. That sort of shock should have pushed me towards adoption, but it had the opposite effect. My baby seemed more precious than ever, and I thought to myself that I simply couldn't bear it if I lost the one good thing I had going in my life.
And, I thought, how could anyone ever love my little girl as much as I did? I couldn't fathom it, so I pushed it from my mind.