The other day the trustworthy medical professional who loaded my shopping cart at Wal Mart eyed my protruding belly and asked when the baby was due. When I answered (September), she shook her head and clucked her tongue: “I don’t know if you’re going to make it. You’re carrying really low.”
I was as surprised by my response as anyone: rather than feeling offended, a little bit of hope rose in my heart. “Do you think he’ll come early? I might not have to be pregnant all the way past Labor Day?” I wanted to ask.
This was the first time I’d ever thought about Cheerio’s arrival with any amount of impatience. Up until now, I’ve considered every day with only one needy child to be a blessing. But all of the sudden, I’m ready for this baby to get here.
It’s been over 100 degrees for a month, Cheerio is sitting low in my belly like a ton of bricks, I feel my stomach straining like an overloaded grocery bag, and none of my clothes fit comfortably except for one black dress that is shaped like a Hefty bag. On top of it all, my most recent e-mail from BabyCenter reminds me that Cheerio is only 4 pounds now, so he’ll actually DOUBLE in size before he’ll be any kind of ready to proceed into the world.
For all my impatience, there are plenty of reasons to be glad we’ve still got over a month to go: we have some big home-improvement projects we’re planning to finish before the Newborn Fog descends on our family, I have not done any shopping or organizing for our little guy, and I’m planning to get some extra meals put up in the freezer while I’m still thinking about cooking.
Then, of course, there’s Abby. Two days ago she was so difficult I told Stephen, “Start thinking about which child we’ll be putting up for adoption, because I can’t take care of two of them.” Then we have magical good days where she is such a delight to me I want to throw myself at her feet and apologize for the trauma we are about to inflict on her by removing her from the center of the world.
But the good-and-bad news is that no one is really asking my opinion on the timing of this whole event, anyway. I’ve got about a month to do what I’m going to do, and then we’ll be a family of four!