Feeble Knees

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Early Transition?

In the course of reading very many pregnancy "what to expect" type of books, I've learned a little bit about a phase during the labor process that is commonly referred to as Transition. It is the point at which all systems are go, and the woman is almost at the point where she can start pushing, but not yet. I've read that it is during Transition that many women experience feelings of extreme frustration and hopelessness that she'll ever get this baby out. Some women begin to think and act irrationally. I remember a friend telling me that when she got to the transition phase, she became combative and told her husband to call a cab, because she'd had enough, she was done with this labor thing and wanted to go home. She also told the birthing staff that she'd like to go outside and have a cigarette, thanks very much.

A couple weeks ago, I found I could already relate, granted on a much smaller level.

I had another one of those moments where I stopped and thought: Oh my head, what have I gotten myself into? I can't do this! We're not ready for this!

I turned to Mr. F last night and told him about it.

"I was thinking today, I don't know if I want to do this right now." Bless him, he took it in stride, knowing me the way he does.
"Well," he said gently, pausing to think for a second or two. "It's kind of late now."
"Yeah, I know."

What triggered all this was the cats. Or I should say one of our cats. He's never been wired completely right, having been separated from his mother a little too soon. The day I picked him up from the pound, he was so tiny and needy. I picked him up and he crawled right up on my shoulder and tried to suck my earlobe. He's almost eleven now, and some days he's acts as if he hasn't aged a day.

This particular kitty is perhaps too attached to me. When I leave the room he follows. Heaven forbid I go into the bathroom and close the door - he'll sit outside and cry and scratch the door until I reemerge. It's trying on a good day. While I sit here and type on the computer he cries and pulls himself up on my leg, sometimes sinking his claws into my sleeve until I relent and pull him up and put him over my shoulder (thankfully the earlobe sucking stopped a long time ago). He tries his best to curl all ten pounds of himself up on my chest and he purrs and drools on me. Some days he seems needier than others. Since I've been pregnant, he seems to have ratcheted up the neediness a notch, and it's getting rather tiring.

The other day he was really acting up, and all I could think was "what's going to happen when I add a baby to this?" I sat in the loo while the kitty cried and scratched outside. I imagined the cacophany of a crying infant AND a crying, door-scratching kitty. Then I imagined a crying infant and crying, door-scratching kitty after a week or two of insomnia. I started to get a little panicky.

I can't seem to raise well-adjusted animals. What on earth makes me think I can raise a well-adjusted child?
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