Congratulations. You’ve made it to 39 weeks. Let’s,
for the sake of being the hopeful, positive creatures we are at this point, because we are desperate, call this the last week of pregnancy even though we know there is a chance it continues for up to two additional weeks, in which case you are off the hook for murder,* paying taxes,**smiling at the elderly and peeing on the couch.
(*,** It should be noted you are legally not off the hook for murder, or paying taxes, but you don’t have to smile and you will pee on the couch.)
While every pregnancy is different, by 39 weeks I can say with confidence there are certain absolute truths regarding how every woman thinks and feels as she begs, pleads, prays and obsesses over any kind of sign that her pregnancy is finally drawing to a close, in the form of hours and hours (and hours?) of excruciating pain otherwise known as labor.
Absolute Truth #1: Your Body Is A Eerie Combination Of A Wonderland And A Train Wreck.
In a nutshell, you are a hot mess. Hot literally, and messy too, on account of all the drips and drizzles of crap you didn’t know you spilled all down the front of the ski slope you previously referred to as your stomach. Your boobs hurt, your skin itches, and you can’t bend down enough to put on pants or socks without sounding like a Wooly Mammoth unsuccessfully trying to free themselves from the La Brea Tar Pits.
Overall, you feel as though you’ve been run over by a herd of stampeding goats, after being turned into the human version of a fois gras duck, and tortured using one of those Inquisition-style stretchy wheel things. IT IS NOT A PRETTY SIGHT.
But, my fair maiden, let me assure you, this is all in the plan because all of this suffering puts you in the right state of mind to deliver your bundle of joy, which is to say you no longer care what that entails. Someone could tell you Leprechauns will climb inside your body, wrap rainbows around your baby’s ankles, and drag it out, while a unicorn provides a magical epidural with its horn and you’d be like, “SIGN ME UP! But first maybe check to see if that unicorn is covered by my insurance?”
And speaking of magic, let’s not take away from the magic that is growing another human inside your own body, because that is some wondrous shit.
Absolute Truth #2: You Have A Single Track Mind
At 39 weeks your mind has one message for you, which I’ve taken the liberty of putting into the form of a poem to maximize your enjoyment:
Stretch marks are red.
Veins are blue.
Get this baby out of me.
No longer is the outfit you will wear home of any concern, nor do you think it’s weird you’ve set up the hall closet as a “temporary” nursery. You have no idea how you are going to pull this whole thing off, but by golly, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be. In the words of our good friend, Bruce Buffer, “It’s Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime,” and now it’s up to your precious bundle to pull the rip cord and get this show on the road.
Absolute Truth #3: Your Soul Knows Best
I’ve never been one to sugar coat anything (besides my morning coffee), and at 39 weeks, I’m not about to start. You never know how you will feel upon first holding the bun that has been in your oven for the better part of a year. For some, I imagine the reaction is on par with the double black hole collision that just happened and somehow wrinkled gravity possibly opening the door to time travel (don’t quote me on that synopsis). For others, the bond takes time and is less like soul crushing love, and more like your soul being crushed like a wilted lettuce leaf in the jaws of a tortoise.
No matter what your experience, one thing is for certain: Eventually you find your footing. If you can quiet your mind and calm your body, your soul will tell you everything you need to know and want to hear. You can do this. The labor, the sleep exhaustion, the tighter budgets, the tantrums, teething, illnesses, potty training, sleep training, schools, bullying, teenagers, boyfriends, driving, college…Everything. If you dig deep, you can see that the very most important absolute truth of all is how capable you are. You just grew a human, damn it! The rest of this is a cake walk. A very long, uncomfortable cake walk where you don’t often get to eat cake, and you question every step you take, but hey, at least you’re in the presence of cake, right?
Now realizing your abilities, and giving yourself a much deserved high-five may not be something you are able to do at 39 weeks. But that doesn’t take away from it being an absolute truth: You can do this. All of it. And your soul knows it, so when the going gets tough, get quiet and find peace in its simple message.