Birthing For the Final Time!

August 22, 2010

I realized I was soon to give birth again while Bret and I were attending our final open house in the Corbin School District this week. As we made the rounds, talking to our youngest daughter’s teachers, most of whom we have talked to many times over the course of the last twelve years, I kept mentioning that this was our last open house ever. After speaking with the final teacher, we wandered off toward the door as he called out, “You still have the next nine months to get through!”

CLICK! KERSPROING! LIGHT BULB!!! That’s when it hit me. Over the course of the next three trimesters of school, my baby would be growing into an adult. No wonder I’d been feeling slightly nauseous lately. And old and tired. I’m pregnant with a brand new adult!

I’ve been through this process twice before, but never quite like this. The first time was totally new and I had no idea what was going to happen. I had no clue how my sweet firstborn would suddenly (at least it seemed that way to me) metamorphose into a young woman, capable of making her own life decisions, through all the hectic messiness of her senior year in high school. The second time around, I knew what was involved, but the second daughter had her own ideas, so events unfolded quite differently, but with similar results in the end–a lovely girl, became a lovely woman.

This time, thanks to Coach Jewell’s offhand remark, and the new trimester schedule at the high school, I’m seeing my baby girl’s senior year as a maternal metaphor. It’s going to be a grueling nine months.

I expect the first trimester to cause some emotional turmoil. I’ll likely feel sick to my stomach at times, as I contemplate all the hurdles ahead, and calculate the financial costs looming in the near future. There will be tears dripping down my face at the oddest moments and full fledged joy as I envision life without early morning school drop offs and scary after school pick ups in the midst of teenage drivers. But those who don’t know me won’t be able to tell that I’m carrying an overgrown bun in the oven just yet. They’ll just think I’ve lost my ability to control my emotions due to menopause.

During the second trimester, my condition will become more apparent to the outside world, as I race around between college visits with baby senior photos in my hands, financial aid applications stuffed in my purse, and dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. But most of my queasiness will have dissipated in the chaos of the holidays and the hectic pace of a stressed out senior who will need me to console her one minute and leave her alone already! the next. There won’t be time for emotional breakdowns in this stage of gestation.

By the time the final trimester rolls around, we’ll all be ready to get this over and done. The weight of the brand new adult in the making will become more burdensome as the time draws near. She will be much too busy to notice the effect all her contortions are having on me, but let me tell you, I will be feeling every move she makes! One minute I’ll be wishing to get on with it, and the next minute I’ll be dreading the very thought of the final push. I’ll know she has to burst forth all grown up and ready to take on the world, but I’ll also know it’s going to hurt a lot more than the first time I birthed her. I don’t want to go through this again! But I’m the mother and I have no choice. She’s coming out of the womb one way or another, so I might as well start practicing my hee hee hoo breathing, and just be grateful I’ve been blessed to spend 26 years with three beautiful daughters.

Did I mention that daughter # 2 is a college senior graduating in December and hoping to move out of our home? I’m not even going to go there in my head right now.

I hear birthing grandchildren is a lot more fun. Praise the Lord and pass the babies!

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of Menopausal Mommy’s Wild Ride. When this year is finished I think I’ll take a little spin on Flying Dumbo for a slower change of pace.