August 16, 2011
I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to write you another week of letters. But here we are.
Last night at yoga, my teacher ended class with Exactly The Meditation I Needed To Hear. All about letting go and ceasing to struggle against what you cannot control and being open to grace and did I mention letting go? I tried to be all zen after that. I rocked out to good tunes as I drove home with the windows down on a beautiful summer evening. I scarfed down second dinner while your father told me he “had a good feeling” about you coming that night.
But then you woke me up at 1:45 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep till 3:45 am. Nary a contraction in sight. And well, that kind of sleep should be reserved for mamas with cuddly babies to nurse. Not aching backs and bulky stomachs.
So Oscar’s got nothing on my grouch this morning. Now I know there are many bigger problems in the world to be concerned about. I also know there are many women who would do anything to be in my (swollen, aching) shoes.
But I also know that in my small world, I can think about little else than little you in my big belly. So I (and this hysterical commentary) give myself permission to complain. For a little while, anyway.
Back to work. The only place I seem to be productive these days. Sigh.
August 17, 2011
People love to comment on you. Your size. Your lack of arrival to the outside world. Like any pregnant woman, I have amassed my share of both funny and obnoxious commentary from perfect strangers. But last night may have taken the cake.
I walked up to the cashier to pay for my gas, and she raised her eyebrows at my stomach. “When are you due?” she growled. “Monday,” I replied sweetly. “Can’t come a day too soon.”
“You ever heard of Hypnobirthing?” she asked in a low, gravely tone. My head snapped up from the credit card swiper. Talk about a non sequitur question for a grimy gas station.
“Yeah…” she drawled, raspily. “I wonder if that’s what I did to myself. Cause I was in labor for 36 hours with my daughter. And they wanted to do a C-section. But I refused to sign the papers. They wanted to put me under and I said ‘No way.’ I waited nine months to see this kid come out and I wasn’t gonna miss it.”
“Wow,” I replied, eyebrows raised. “That’s impressive.”
“Yeah, and she was 10 pounds, too. Once they told me at 7 months that she was gonna be big, I just started smoking again. I mean, imagine how big she would have been if I hadn’t stated smoking?! Good thing.”
Hoo boy. From Hypnobirthing to nicotine-regulated birth weight, all in the span of two minutes. I could barely hold in my laughter until I made it back out to the car.
Doctor tells me you’re big, kiddo. Bigger than your brother was, at least. But I think I’ll lay off the Marlboros, if that’s ok with you?
August 18, 2011
Today is the birthday of both of my grandmas. Between those two good Catholic women, they had 13 children. Wouldn’t today be a lovely day for me to birth and you to be born? Lots of good karma floating around us. (Catholic karma, of course. Try to scratch your little newborn head about that one.)
But something tells me both of those fine ladies would smile ruefully and tell me that if they knew one thing about having babies, it was that they never showed up when or how you expected. Darn grandmothery wisdom. Still, I’m banking on their intercession.
Last night we visited with our doula for the last time. This was the visit that was not supposed to happen, because you were supposed to be here already. “Supposed to” is a snarly little turn of phrase, isn’t it? But the evening did pump me up for your arrival. It’s going to be its own snarly affair. But I can’t wait for the hour to come. Because it’s going to bring you with it.
And I am plain sick and tired of picturing you in my head. (Plus I had a crazy dream the other night that you turned out to be twins, and one of you had a full set of teeth. Shudder.) I want to see you in my arms. I want to laugh at your screaming, squished, sweet newborn self. I want to take the first pictures that you will refuse to look at as a teenager, and I will trot them out every birthday and let your siblings laugh at your messy naked self in the bassinet. Then I will remind you it was the Hottest, Most Humid Summer of My Life when I was 100 months pregnant with you, and did you say you wanted to give your sainted mother a foot rub? But I will content myself an eye roll instead. Such is the beauty of motherhood.
Did you know that one of your great-grandmothers once requested a styrofoam to-go cup for the remainder of her luncheon wine at the country club? That’s the kind of chutzpah (well, Irish chutzpah, anyway) that I’m hoping you inherit.
August 19, 2011
Guess what? I’ve changed my tune. I’m actually delighted that you haven’t shown your face yet.
Because late last night a dear, dear friend surprised us with a visit (one that required a 6-hour road trip, no less). And because you’re still cooking, I was able to enjoy a perfectly lovely day with her. The weather was gorgeous; the contractions were few. We shared lots of long chats and laughter and looking ahead to the huge life changes that are to come for both of us. It was a gift you gave to your brother as well, because he got to jolly around with his godmother all day and impress her with his partial memorization of the Nicene Creed. (Latest freakish party trick of which I was unaware.)
So dare I say it – thank you for taking to heart your mama’s mantra of “showing up early is boring.” You come whenever you want to come. Because I can now see the graces of these extra weeks in a whole new light. You are healthy and full-term, and my God, that is no small thing. (Then again, neither are you, but we’re done worrying about your larger size. I never liked smoking anyway.)
See you when you get here.
August 20, 2011
Remember all that nice stuff I said yesterday about you coming on your own time? It doesn’t matter, because I have decided you are NEVER EVER GOING TO COME OUT OF MY BODY.
No, this is not the irrational and cranky conclusion of a woman who woke up at 3:30 am this morning with a hooliganish soccer player doing interpretive dance inside her (and – honest truth here - James Taylor’s “Something In The Way She Moves” inexplicably stuck in her head) and then never.got.back.to.sleep. This is not the hormonal roller coaster of a mother who was counting (yes, she can admit it now) on holding a 3-week old in her arms by this point.
This is an intelligent and rational position, and one that I maintain will enter us into the Guinness Book of World Records as the record-breaking everlasting pregnancy.
I have filled a freezer with one month’s worth of dinners. I have rearranged and cleaned every room in this house. I have washed every possible piece of clothing you could wear in your first three months of life. I have made homemade baby food from the garden. I have even turned to my nemesis the sewing machine and refreshed a whole stack of your brother’s diapers for you. There is nothing left for me to do. And the combined neediness of the toddler and the beagle are slowly draining the dregs of my sanity.
I really wanted to lay off the whine, sweet one. But you’re not making it easy. Off for caffeine…
August 21, 2011
When I was preparing for the piano recitals of my youth, my teacher would always caution me about practicing too much in the week before the big day. “You don’t want to peak too early,” she’d counsel. “You want to still be working on climbing up so you hit the top on recital day – not before.”
The dryer died last night. A sad, overheated, complete and total death. For a home that’s about to add a fourth member – and double its cloth diaper laundry – this was unwelcome news, to say the least. I now fear that nesting has peaked, and we are about to enter into a slow decline of things falling apart. Including, but not limited to: major appliances, my sanity, and this body’s ability to nourish you.
Please, baby, come soon.
August 22, 2011
It’s D-Day. Your due date. Which I know means little to you, and shouldn’t mean much to us either. Especially in a home where we easily drink expired milk (if it passes the sniff test) and happily overlook “best by” dates on yogurt.
But oh. my. sweet. Jesus. in. heaven. and. all. the. saints. I am unbelievably overdue with anticipation to meet you and don’t know how much longer I can wait.
Plus, I waddle now. It’s official. And unattractive.
Also: the whole family is going to have to redo their “baby pool” as of today, because NO ONE THOUGHT YOU WOULD TAKE THIS LONG TO GET HERE.
The oven timer is beeping, little one. The alarm clock is ringing, and the day is calling. Let’s get this show on the road.
Love, Impatience Personified