ex·pect : verb \ik-ˈspekt\ :3. to be pregnant : await the birth of one's child4. a : to consider probable or certainb : to consider reasonable, due, or necessary
I am learning with this pregnancy to have very low or no expectations. From what I have seen this is a fairly uncommon thing, but very early on my expectations were pretty crushed. I hate that some of my expectations never came to fruition, but they didn't and I am learning to live with them.
I had the expectation that I would get morning sickness, but not the crazy kind that I had.
I had the expectation that with morning sickness it would go away by week 12, but it didn't.
I had the expectation that I would get the cute baby bump, but I haven't at 33 weeks.
I had the expectation that I was going to get cute ultrasound pictures, but Bug hasn't cooperated.
I had the expectation that my body would be ok during all this, but it hasn't.
I had the expectation that I would be comfortable with myself and my body, that hasn't happened yet.
I had the expectation that I would feel totally thrilled about all this, but I haven't.
Not having these expectations met fairly early on has lead me to having to just go with a lot of things. In some ways this has been nice, but in others it has made things challenging for me.
On the nice side there isn't a lot of planning I can do for most things. I don't have a written birth plan, because it seems fairly futile at this point, but we have made a small list of preferences that we are hoping to have the OB agree to. I don't expect anything to be hard or easy, but it will be what it is supposed to be. I don't have any set expectations of when Bug is going to arrive. I still feel like he is going to be early, but I am not going to be surprised if he decides to come later. We don't have a name 100% nailed down, but we do have one 95% +/- 5% nailed down. There is something mildly relaxing mentally about not having any concrete expectations. Having a lack of expectations (public and to self) means we don't have to deal with as much guilt as we could have.
On the challenging side I want to plan. I want to have some control, but it isn't going to happen. I feel weird talking to people about things that we can't do anything about. I want to talk about somethings, but I don't want to have to explain the whole situation. This has lead to some painful and shameful moments. I don't like feeling flaky when I talk about breastfeeding or childbirth. I have started to avoid mentioning my thoughts on them. I am nervous and I want to talk about them, but I feel awkward about the whole thing.
I have struggled to not have expectations of the birth that aren't positive. I have struggled with keeping away negative afterbirth expectations. I have struggled with negative physical expectations - like my body not stopping the crazy pain it has now. I have struggled against negative expectations of exhaustion. I have really struggled with the negative expectations of my emotions.
Having struggled and fought with negative and unmet expectations has lead AJ and I both to have fairly low expectations from this point on. We have been preparing for the worst in almost all cases, especially the areas we can control. We have made all kinds of pre-made food, we have talked about where we stand on lots of issues, and we have worked to keep things simple. We have come to the conclusion that our motto until Bug gets home safe and sound is, "We are going to do whatever it takes to keep me and him safe and healthy." After we get home we have the motto of, "We will try it until it doesn't work for us, then we will try something else." This way we can work towards what we desire, but if it fails we know that we tried, and we are not allowing guilt about failing to enter into things.
There is no failing as long as all three of us are healthy, safe, and being loved.