This idea of a due date is funny. I realized at some point that I was sort of thinking of it like a timer. Like I’m a soup that just needs to boil for a certain number of minutes. A cake that has to bake until the timer rings. And then–poof–I’m done. Or rather, she’s done.
But it doesn’t actually work like that, as you might imagine. Instead babies can come whenever. I thought this one was coming about a week ago when I woke up in the middle of the night with regular contractions. I was so excited, but also caught so unaware, that I immediately got up and finished writing cover letters for academic jobs I’m applying to this year.
About halfway through a second cover letter, I suddenly realized the contractions had stopped. And then for several days there were no more contractions, no more move toward the BIG DAY. Just me and my big ol belly and waddle walk.
Then last night, I got excited again. I started having contractions in the car. Marta and I had just arranged a babysitter and were planning to go see a movie. We’ve tried to do this a couple times in the past and something related to my pregnancy always interrupts us (see previous post about my painful pelvic-expanding disorder). So when I got my first contraction I started cracking up. “I think my body is going to spoil our date again,” I told Marta.
But, of course, I was wrong, which was actually good this time. We went to see Hell or High Water, the Jeff Bridges’ movie set in West Texas. The baby kicked and my belly contracted throughout the movie, but nothing regular or painful. Marta and I got to actually spend some time alone (they call this a babymoon in the pregnancy literature) and I got to laugh at Marta trying to understand West Texas accents on the screen. All in all a good night–and probably a little less trying than a night of labor.
Today we have a baby shower to attend, my first and only shower, and I’m also glad that the baby has decided to wait until we get to that event. After that, though, I’m fine if she comes. I’m almost at 39 weeks now. I wrote to someone that I feel like a melon on toothpicks, and it’s true. The other day at the gym a woman in the locker room told me that my belly was “super cute” and, though I appreciated her compliment, I was sure at first that she was talking to someone else. I mean, I like my belly. It’s actually pretty fun to have this new appendage, but cute is not a word I would use for it. More like large and in charge.
As for my pelvic expanding disorder, I’ve been getting better. I go to a see a chiropractor one a week, a physical therapist once a week, and then several times a week I go to this special pool and walk around with a bunch of old people. I still use a walker to get around some, but I can also walk without it, which is good. Nico is convinced that all pregnant people need walkers and I’m trying to disabuse her of that fact.
She is also very excited for this baby to come. We helped her pack her overnight bag just in case she has to go stay with someone when the birth begins (if my dear ol’ mom can’t get her in time) and after her bag was all packed, she started asking none stop if Timotea was coming now. What about now? What about now?
It’s hard to explain to her that we just don’t know when her little sister is coming. At her daycare, they are all about planning one’s days and about scheduling and Nico’s really into that right now. She likes to play pretend classroom with us, a game in which she’s the teacher and we are her students, and a lot of that involves her standing up by this chalkboard we bought her and talking to us about “the calendar.”
According to my calendar, I am due on Oct. 25. It’d be nice if we just knew the baby was coming that day and could plan accordingly. But it’s also kind of nice to realize that she could come at any moment. That her unpredictability in being born is pretty in keeping with the unpredictability of childrearing in general. There are, after all, so few things in life that are unscheduled these days.
All of which is to say, I’m trying to enjoy the waiting game. And I’ll be back soon, hopefully with some big news.