I love a good analogy. And one has been stuck in my mind for weeks now.
My journey to parenthood, and the imminence of labour and birth, are comparable to queuing for and riding a rollercoaster. In particularly the ride Oblivion, at Alton Towers.
I’ve been loitering near the queue for this ride for a few years now, Dave has been eager to get on and try it for ages but I’ve been holding back, waiting til I’m ready. It’s a scary ride you know? What if I don’t like it?
Well over 2 years ago we plucked up the courage to join the queue. Some people would use the fast track lane to get on the ride quicker with such enthusiasm that I thought they must be mad. I preferred to take the traditional queue and take my time. Sometimes there would be queue jumpers which would piss me off – they should wait their turn like everyone else – but at the end of the day, we were all going to get on the ride eventually.
You know halfway through the queue you get those signs that say “this is your last chance to change your mind” where you have one final opportunity to leave the queue and not go on the ride? We passed that point months ago when we found out we were pregnant. We are in it for keeps now. The only way to leave is to finish the queue, complete the ride, and get off the other side.
I’ve felt sick to my stomach since. The anticipation, the fear, the excitement. Have we made the right choice? Can we do this? What if it’s horrible? What if something goes wrong? What if I can’t do it?
Dave has been by my side in the queue from the beginning, his eagerness and encouragement getting me through the inevitable nerves.
In the queue we met our antenatal gang. We watched them all, couple by couple, embark onto the ride, looking equally as terrified as us, but then going on to complete it and get off the other side with ridiculous smiles on their faces. They’re all stood with the spectators now, ready to watch our turn, cheering us on and shouting out that we can do it.
Other people I know in real life, people who follow my blog, and those I follow on Instagram who had similar due dates to me – have ALL ridden this ride, come off the other side, and are waiting for me to join them there.
It is just me left.
Whether I like it or not, it’s my turn. Now or never.
I’m on the ride. Dave is beside me and holding my hand. We can barely say anything. Dry mouths. Clammy palms. Stomachs in knots.
This is it.
The ride is starting its first ascent. It’s slowly chugging up to to the top of the highest point. After that, it is literally a rollercoaster of twists and turns, highs and lows, that await us. We don’t know what it will be like, but we do know this. There will be tears. There will be sick. There will be shit.
We’re at the top now. This is the point where the ride is suspended over the precipice and we’re looking down into Oblivion. We have no idea how long the ride holds us there for. Seconds feel like minutes. Minutes feel like hours.
It is the not knowing that is the most gut-wrenching. When is it going to drop? Is it now? I don’t know how long I can stand this for.
I just know we’re committed now. Whether the ride drops us today, tomorrow or next week, we will soon complete this ride. We’ll get off and join the others. With the same ridiculous and euphoric smiles on our faces.
With our baby in our arms.
And in a few years’ time, we’ll probably re-join the queue and do it all over again.