I remember how I felt the morning of my wedding. My hands were trembling and my stomach was tied in knots like I had never felt before. I was riddled with nerves, but it had nothing to do with insecurities towards marrying my husband. I had spent over a year (and in some ways much of my life before that) planning and anticipating that day. So much coordination had gone into it, I had dreamed and visualized it so many times over, and suddenly it was happening.
I felt the same way again recently, while managing on a rather large year-long project at work. I had to work out every detail of an international trip for a dozen high school students. When all the logistics and coordination finally brought us to the airport and the trip was actually upon us I remarked to my husband how similar my nerves felt to those on our wedding day.
Twice in my life have I put years worth of planning into a single event, and the resulting emotions were distinct. I commented a few weeks ago that I was sure that embarking on the trip to get our child would feel the same. I have thought through every possible scenario, anticipated every detail, and visualized this trip intensely for over a year. But with the examples above I knew exactly when the event would take place. All the build up was towards one solid and distinct experience. On our adoption road the anticipation has started and stopped many times, the situation has changed drastically in an instant, and more than once I have thought “this is it!”
Last week I found out that M’s C-section is scheduled for a few days later than I had previously thought. At first my heart sank, as I felt the light at the end of the tunnel, the goal we’ve been reaching for, being pulled farther away. But then my husband suggested leaving as scheduled and making a mini vacation of it before the birth. So yesterday we boarded the plane as planned, and began living out the events I have been so carefully thinking through for months now. And I felt… nothing.
I guess I’m so accustomed to things not happening the way I had visualized that I am having a hard time feeling like any of it is happening at all. I sat on that plane feeling surprisingly numb. We picked up the rental car and drove to our accommodation. I decided we should start documenting the experience, so we took a walk to get some pictures with the local scenery. We discussed how we plan to occupy our time for the next few days. All the while I had to keep reminding myself why we’re here!
Then my phone dings, a text from M. Contractions are 4 minutes apart! Suddenly we spring into action, re-packing our stuff, charging our phones, installing the car seat into the rental car. We were moving (and I was pacing) because this was actually happening!
In the end the contractions subsided, the labor turned out to be false. Looks like baby will wait another few days as had been originally planned. But for that moment, as things started to happen, to really happen, I started to feel. This isn’t like the other false starts. Just a few more days now.