Speaking of thinking things will never happen... I'm totally in that place that dreams wrote about in her comment of a couple of days ago: I'm pretty sure I'm going to be pregnant forever. It's not a length of time thing. I'm well aware that the majority of first time moms go past their due date and I'm only just on the eve of mine. It has two distinct parts, actually:
The first is that I simply can't conceive of labor actually happening. When we were ttc, I could understand on an intellectual level that it was very likely we'd get pregnant someday, somehow, but I couldn't imagine it in any kind of visceral way. I'm having a similar experience now. M tells me at least once a day that "there has never been a case of a baby staying in forever," and I can obviously wrap my head around that reality. But then there is the (totally separate) concept of ME giving birth to an actual BABY, and that is something that seems so bizarre and foreign and impossible that I simply can't imagine it. I had a dream about a week ago where I had given birth and didn't have a single memory of it. I kept telling M and our doula how easy it had been and how I was stunned that it had all gone so smoothly. They just kept looking at each other with traumatized looks on their faces, then back at me in confusion, as if they were trying to decide if I really believed that. Finally, they gently started asking me about whether I really didn't remember specific incidents (i.e. me screaming hysterically and neither of them being able to talk me down or the doctor sternly instructing me not to push because it was too soon and me completely disregarding her instructions, as I had every other instruction anyone gave me during the marathon ordeal), and I really didn't. It was a terrible dream and I woke up completely shaken by it. The thing is, that's kind of how the birth actually is in my head: A big, blank space of nothingness. I realize that actual, ordinary women have babies everyday, I just can't imagine or believe that I'm about to be one of them.
The second part is that all of the contractions and false labor I've been experiencing has really messed with my head. I was SO SURE I was in labor last week and I went through all of the mental and emotional steps one goes through on the brink of something like that. And then nothing happened. And then nothing happened for another day, and then another. Now I feel like a part of me just thinks, "Well, I guess that isn't going to happen after all." There isn't any angst there or anything, it's just resolved in my head somehow: I was ready, it didn't happen, so I guess that's that.
I say I have no angst about that part, but don't let that fool you into thinking everything is peachy around here. My hormones and emotions are out of control. I was so frustrated and disappointed to wake up this morning with no signs of impending labor. I am in awe of people that go a week or more past their due dates and manage to maintain any semblance of mental health. These last couple of days have been among the hardest parts in this journey - perhaps even on par with some of my most trying ttc days - and that is something I never anticipated. I'm doing my best to keep my spirits up, but I'm tired of being big and uncomfortable and sitting around waiting for this enormously life-altering and totally unpredictable thing to happen. It's just harder work than I thought it would be, that's all.