Is this for real?

As the impending arrival of my baby approaches, I am often struck with the thought (and title of this post), Is this for real? I don’t mean this in a “this is unbelievable” way so much as I mean it is a thought I have that often precedes, coincides with, or follows my questioning of new sensations, experiences, labels and overwhelming amounts of information related to”this is what happens in pregnancy and beyond” kind of way.

When I say struck with the thought, here are a few examples from the past week where I found myself uttering, Is this for real?  (and possibly some other choice words)

  • a super crampy tummy feeling that may or may not have been a symptom of early or approaching labour (now leaning toward not so much a sign as the baby is still inside me… although this feeling has returned today);
  • reviewing the “stages of labour” online and wondering…. ummm do I need to remember these or will I be good either way? After all, they are inevitable, right?;
  • reading an article in a parenting magazine that made me want to scream, “NO! This should just not happen…EVER”;
  • having a “stretch and sweep” attempted at the doctor, which led to clawing the wall like a cat! …and the scheduling of another attempt this coming week;
  • having some tightening of my stomach periodically and wondering, is this a contraction?;
  • wondering over and over when it is we head off to the hospital? Is it 5-1-1 or 4-1-1 or 3-1-1 + that list of “go immediately reasons” that the doctor and I review every week…

If there is one thing I believe is for real, it is that, already, my journey to parenthood is one that requires that I try to remember to roll with it. And, well, choose how to frame and process my experiences for myself.