I have been thinking a lot this week about transitions.
The chew-your-nails-off-with-terror transition that signifies the progression of labour from the, I believe, comparitively quite tranquil first stage, to the second (IE: the part where vulnerability, pain and anxiety are at their peak, all the while the alien being inside you claws, rips and tears its way out of a tiny hole in your genital regions).
I am really quite frightened about that. Because it is so unknown. I cannot micro-manage that...because I do not know what hormone-induced emotions will surface, nor how they will manifest physically.
I never forget the woman in a reality birth documentary series on TV who was so zen about her meditative birthing experience. She had her support person whispering mantras to spirit the pain away during contractions, whales moaned via loudpeaker in the background and she looked very stoic as she closed her eyes while the muscles peformed their inevitable, automatic clench. Occasionally, her lips would purse, but it was the only giveaway that things were not completely normal and fine inside her skin.
Some edits later and Regan from The Exorcist had replaced zen woman. She was bellowing and writhing and sporting wild, white eyes of panic as she yelled abuse and orders to her clearly-rattled support people. It was terrifying.
Will that be me?
I am also anxious about the transition I will undergo from working professional to stay at home mum.
That thing that has own its own acronym: SAHM.
I have been working full-time as a journalist since 1996. For five days a week, sometimes more, that is what I have been.
Hard-working, sensible, professional, thorough, doing my job. A job I became qualified for after three years at university.
I go to work and I have full knowledge of what the day will bring in terms of what is expected of me, what I need to achieve to feel fulfilled and ensure my job is done properly. It is very satisfying.
I am about to switch, not only jobs, but entire careers, mindsets, time zones, body clocks, routines and physiological functions.
I am about to become a new person with a new, incredibly important job. A job that does not come with a degree or any opportunity for pre-preparedness study.
It is scary to think about. But then, of course, we went through the same thing before J was born.
And we muddled through.
It’s what most rational, sane, adult people do.
I just wonder how rational and sane you can really be at 2am when you haven’t slept for three days and your baby is screaming for no apparent reason.
We are now down to seeing our OBGYN weekly, the baby’s room is set and ready to go and our ante-natal classes finish this week.
It feels like the end of things, the tying up of loose strings.
It’s incredibly exciting but also bloody daunting.
Our lives are about to change forever.
Intellectually, I know they will change for the better. Of course.
But I wonder how much of me will mourn the loss of the life we lived before.