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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Surreal

"Mom-to-be" technically does describe me, but somehow I can't really feel it yet. I've tried to buy things in stores--nothing major, just small things, and I can't do it yet. I want to feel like a real mom-to-be, but it all seems unreal at this point. Am I destined to be unprepared for new baby days, or will this eventually wear off? Unprepared is a term I use lightly anyway, because the only things I will rally need are a car seat, diapers, and food, but...well you guys know what I mean. Nursery ready and waiting. I thought I had made peace with that, with the idea that we would buy a car seat, register for everything else, and then just wait, but now I'm having second thoughts. There would be something comforting about having a room all set up and ready to go when THE time comes. Yet I'm still a little bothered by the idea of that room sitting there empty for who knows how long.

I guess it comes down to how long we've waited for this phase of our lives. I've already spent so much time dreaming and hoping and planning for our baby in my head and in my heart, that now when I actually do have something to plan for, it seems like I should be waking up to reality at any moment. Why can't I allow myself to believe we're really going to be parents? I guess this is just a defense mechanism...some subconscious attempt of my mind to protect my heart? I really don't get it. I expected to be (and was at first) on top of the world where all this is concerned, but now I'm just doing nothing in regards to our "paper pregnancy," which is unnerving. Literally I am W.A.I.T.I.N.G. and it's already getting pretty old. I want to do and dream and create.

I can't help but feel that if I were really pregnant I wouldn't be feeling this way. There, I said it. That's what's REALLY bugging me. Even though I have long since given up the idea--or even the desire of--a physical pregnancy, I guess I have this notion that if my body was changing I would be more able to believe in the reality of impending motherhood.

I am a planner, I like to have all my ducks in a row. Where school is concerned, for example, I can't stand unknowns and not having everything neat and organized. Just this week I had to find a teacher to observe for this coming semester, and until I got that taken care of I literally felt a queezy feeling in the pit of my stomach. The irony of having to wait and basically having to be unprepared--entirely at the mercy of decisions made by other people--when it comes to the most important job I will ever do (motherhood) is not lost on me. Clearly there is some lesson...some discipline for me in this, but what? How am I supposed to react or behave? I have no clue, but one thing I do know is that my own indifferent reaction to all this really and truly is driving me crazy!

12 comments:

Reggie Boppy said...

Hi Melba,
I'm a fairly new read, but love your blog. I am also at the waiting for a match stage in our adoption process. I understand how you feel about setting up a nursery. For me, I feel like an imposter when I go into baby stores to look around. Sounds terrible I know, but the uncertainty of how long this paper pregnancy will last is torturous. I finally bit the bullet and forced myself to buy the basics, like onesies, diapers, bottles and friend gave me her bassinet. All of it is stuffed in the closet so I don't have to look at it on a daily basis. Maybe you could do the same? Just starting on the basics and doing research on the other expensive stuff has made this process seem a little more real, I hope it does for you too soon. :)

Debbie B said...

I had the opposite problem. I wanted to buy everything. We set our crib up before our first Home Study was supposed to take place, March 31, 2006!
We had a few bumps in the road so it was up for a long time. There were many days that I just shut the door. But there were also days that I went in there and was on my knees praying and crying and also time spent dreaming. But I'll never forget telling my husband that I just wanted to take the crib down and box stuff up for a time while we waited. He told me, with the saddest eyes ever, that I can't do that because he goes in there and talks to our child.

So having a nursery set up for us was both good and bad at times. But it was a place to go when we needed the reminder that we will be parents. And we even moved during our wait so I had to pack up a nursery that had never been used and prayed that the next place would hold our child.

As far as feeling like a mom-to-be. I felt like one but no one but my bloggy friends, husband and my sis-in-law treated me like one. It was hard to be with family on Mother's Day specifically for 2 years and not be recognized as a mom-to-be like pregnant moms would be.
I bet if you allow yourself to buy even one small bib or something you'll start feeling like the mom you will be one day soon.

Tracey said...

Allow yourself to buy just a little something...or maybe
plan using decorating magazines....I know it's hard...I'm there with you! God Bless.

Ashley said...

Melba, I saw the waiting period as a pregnancy. If I were pregnant, I'd be working on the nursery, reading baby books, etc. So that's just what I did. When decorating we tried to be pretty neutral. Our carseat fabric is neutral. What I did do (and I regret) was buying TONS of baby boy clothes when we were matched with a bmom expecting a boy. Now that it seems our placement is about to fall through, I have drawers and drawers of boy clothes. It's hard to even go in there. But before our recent experience, I loved going in to our nursery and showing it off. We still left a good amount of things to register for after the babe gets here. I just say- do what you want. I'm a huge planner so this way worked for us. We also had friends bring over quite a bit after the baby was born. Have fun! Don't hold back! This is YOUR pregnancy. :)

Karen said...

From my experience, it probably won't feel real until you hold the baby for the first time, although being matched will help some of the surreality you're feeling now. My advice is not to buy too much gender neutral stuff, just the basics, because when you find out the gender you'll want to buy some things that are gender specific. Also, worst case scenario is having to run to Target and do a fast shopping trip for essentials because your baby has already been born and you need the stuff now...and that worst case scenario will be so much fun that you won't care! :) And after the baby is home people will be constantly asking you what you need because they'll want to buy you presents, so leave some things on your list to tell them about, because it makes people feel good to give you something useful.

Nancy said...

I think we're struggling with this together, Melba. I can only hope it passes.

Sarah said...

I don't even know what to say except that as a fellow planner, I completely know the queasy feeling of unrest that comes with the unknown. And with motherhood, "queasy feeling" doesn't even begin to cover it. These ladies have wonderful words of wisdom... I just wanted to say that I'm sending cyber-hugs through the blogosphere :)

Yoka said...

I am glad we had so much stuff given to us for free from friends. It really helped in the beginning and I was o.k. with it because we hadn't bought it. It was like friend's stuff sitting in our house waiting to be picked up.

I didn't want to buy anything and we didn't buy a whole lot. The only thing we bought in advance was a travel bed.

Do whatever you feel comfortable with. You can have a room picked out and paint it thinking you are painting for your future baby. Painting with a newborn is probably not a lot of fun...

Rebekah said...

I'm so with you, girl. I registered this weekend because my friends convinced me it was a good idea. I also let them talk me into having a shower on November first.

I stood at the check-in counter at BRU amidst the bulging bellies and felt like a complete and utter phony. I only stayed long enough to get my tags for the invites and registered hangers so my registry could be started...It was so bizarre, so UN-natural. I can't help but think, "is it EVER going to feel real?" I think I go through the motions-decorate the nursery, plan the shower, etc, in hopes the time will pass quicker. None of it makes me feel like a mom-to-be. I think holding MY baby is the only thing that will make it reality.

I find comfort in the fact that I'm not alone! I'm so glad we can be honest about our feelings, without getting ridiculed!

katd said...

Let's see, does it ever feel real? Well, Lily is 17 months and I have moments where I still pinch myself. :) I love what you say here about being a planner. I can totally relate; the not knowing was one of the worst parts for me.
You're so not alone! :)

Michelle said...

Melba:

Hang in there! I did the "not going to buy a thing" approach and once we were picked (for essentially a baby born situation) my DH and I had the best time running through Target getting everything we needed. Although very different than a typical preparation for a baby coming, it was fun in its own way and avoided the issues of the "taunting" empty nursery.

I do hope your wait will soon be over.

alicia said...

I hope your waiting is almost over. I think it makes sense to be scared to start setting up a nursery, I think a time will come when it will feel right and you will go crazy with the nesting!