Turniphead is due today, whatever that really means.  For three weeks, I’ve been “full term,” meaning that he or she has been physically mature enough to be born.  We’ve been told “it could be any day now!” for the past 20 days, and still counting.

My bag is packed and sitting by the door.  A list of the things I’ll need at the hospital but have been using in the meantime is taped right next to it.  The carseat base is strapped into the back of my Sentra.  Gone are the days when I would justify going one more day without shaving my legs or washing my hair…now I’m showering compulsively, just in case I have to go to the hospital before I get another chance.  I have a hard time leaving work undone at school, just in case I don’t make it back to finish the next morning.  I can’t go to sleep with dishes in the sink or clothes draped over the chair, because what if I go into labor during the night?

On top of it all, I’m monitoring my own body like a hypochondriac.  While I know that at some point, labor becomes unmistakable, the early stages seem to be less predictable.  My water may break, or it may not.  If it does, I might notice, or I might not.  I might feel sharp cramps or dull aches.  I might feel pain in my abdomen, or maybe in my back.  Or both.  So…basically, any sort of strange and persistent discomfort between my ribs and my knees could signal the early stages of labor.  Gues what?  That’s what the last month of pregnancy is–discovering all sorts of new and strange pains and pressures.

I went back to work last week, so I’ve had the huge blessing of full and busy days to keep my mind occupied.  But I haven’t ever completely shut out the constant running narrative beneath the surface…”Ouch–is this it?  Is this the last time I’ll be able to go to the movies/go to bed/go out to eat/clean the floor before TH comes? Could someone else finish this if I didn’t come back tomorrow?”  I mentally plan my escape from every public place I visit just in case labor pounces on me with sudden, violent force.

It’s all very mentally fatiguing!

In the meantime, every day that goes by lets me get a few more things taken care of, a little more rest, another chapter read in my book, another episode of Alias watched without distraction.  So I’m trying to enjoy these final days, reminding myself that TH is a lot lower maintenance inside than out.  Because I never know when he or she will be ready to make an appearance.  It could be in the next five minutes.  Or the next five minutes… Or the next…


6 responses to “Waiting.

  1. Janice Chisholm

    Loved it – I was wondering how you were doing and what you were thinking on this “due date”. If he is born today, you could refer to it as the “dude date”. This will be a good way to keep up with you without taking you away from TH. I love the artwork at the top, too. Glad I could be the first to comment. Very fun. You are a good writer – I knew you would be.

  2. sleep in if you can, rest as much as you can, and stock up on groceries, snacks, juices, toilet paper, laundry detergent, paper towels, etc…you won’t have the time or energy to shop anytime soon.

  3. I remember the Saturday before Caleb was born; I slept in and realized that it was probably the last time I’d sleep in for a long long time.

    The good thing about most labor is that it’s not as fast as it is in the movies. So maybe that’s not the greatest news, but it is good if you have a few final things to do before heading to the hospital!

  4. Yeah, I took a shower, had dinner, and went to Target before going to the hospital. You will probably have lots of time to kill once you notice labor has started before you can even be admitted. I noticed consistent contractions around 4:30pm, and did not go the hospital until 8:30pm. Then I labored through the night and got my epidural at 5am, then had Owen at 2 pm the next day. However, if your water breaks on it own, you should go straight in 🙂

  5. OK, so I am coming through this weekend, and I would LOVE to stop by and see TH… inside or out. 🙂

  6. can’t wait!

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