Due date. What a misnomer. A logical fallacy. A lovely idea based in science and fact, but a near impossibility due to circumstance and individuality. There is no magical date on which an expected life will arrive – it should really be called a “due month”. Our due date is November 20, but we hope to meet our son this week, a couple of weeks ahead of the medical schedule. I’m ready. My body is ready. It’s all up to baby now.
Pregnancy is wild. It’s like a rollercoaster, except the twists and turns of the rails differ every time you buckle in. Same ride, different track. It’s impossible to plan, and often the end arrives with no warning: full stop; whiplash.
I’m still riding…waking up each morning still gloriously pregnant, my globe of a belly hard as a rock as I slowly, carefully, awkwardly roll out of bed and waddle to the bathroom (for the third time since I laid down the night before). My days are still spent working, then cleaning and organizing, preparing for the new life that will soon inhabit our home with us. Spent battling heartburn when I eat the wrong things or bend over too often to pick up things I’ve dropped. Spent leaning awkwardly over my enormous belly, stretching my back to ease the constant, whining, stabbing ache that seems to permanently reside within it. Evenings bring fatigue and contractions, mostly painless but exhausting nonetheless. And all day, I have the absolute pleasure, the blissful enjoyment of feeling my son moving within me. He is an active baby, and his squirms and twists and jabs are delightful. I’m getting to know him, learning his rhythms, even figuring out his likes and dislikes. I know how to soothe him inside me, how to tell when he’s hungry, how to persuade him to remove his feet from my ribs. He is wonderful.
This pregnancy includes something called prodromal labor – a phenomen my doctor never mentioned that found me experiencing labor this past weekend, but that didn’t result in the birth of my son. Prodromal labor brings regular contractions (mine were 1-2 minutes each, coming every 2-3 minutes for about half an hour) but doesn’t lead to regular labor. That was an interesting experience. I welcomed it as a reminder of what labor is like, and I will draw on it when baby decides to truly make his move.
And so, I ride, fully appreciating the exhilaration of the twists and turns of the track I’m on while eagerly awaiting the full stop that leads to an entire theme park of adventure. I enjoy these last few silent hours, days, or weeks spent as close to my son as I’ll ever be and loving on my pets as much as possible before their world is totally disrupted; I positively anticipate the discomfort and power of the labor hours to come; and I dream of the years ahead for our family.
Any time now, baby. Mommy’s ready for you.