Yesterday was my due-date.
I looked around at the hand-me-down baby-gear that has been waiting in the garage for months and realized it needed washing, so I dismantled & washed & dried & then reconstructed 2 infant car-seats and 3 infant swings. I re-packed the hospital bag for Ben & me along with the sleepover bag for Sophie (who will be staying with our fabulous neighbor while Ben & I go to the hospital). I also washed 3-dozen newborn-size cloth diapers, although I don’t know why the directions say to wash those things before using.
Then I couldn’t resist checking my campus email, even though I’m supposed to be on maternity leave and letting others do all the teaching stuff right now. I couldn’t quite face academic research, though, so after that I gardened, walked on the beach, ate spicy food, read, chatted with friends, took a long cooling bath (it’s been HOT here: San Diego’s perfect weather is not-so-perfect lately), and tried to massage the trigger-points that are supposed to start labor. I googled “natural labor induction” and learned that the only slightly-scientifically-tested methods are acupuncture or sex, but the best advice I found was to get off the internet and just go take a nap.
Instead, I went to cyclocross practice at a park, to see friends there. I swear, I didn’t actually practice jumping over hurdles with a bicycle — partly because two days ago, at a bbq celebration of another friend’s new backyard rock-climbing wall, another mom justifiably scolded me for climbing up six feet off the ground.
I am actually exhausted — but I’m not one to nap all day, and I am one who has trouble resisting rock-climbing walls. The baby dropped down four days ago, so now my belly feels heavier and I have to pee every 20 minutes. These are the joys of late-stage pregnancy. I’m just grateful I didn’t get them throughout my third trimester. My midwife tells me that I am one cm dilated — which means there’s something happening, but not very much. I get about four contractions a day.
One of the advantages of having a second child is that this time through, I understand that due-dates are guesstimates at best. Sophie was 4 days late, and Everett’s official due-date has varied from Sept 7 to 12th — which means I should probably expect him on the 16th. I even know to be happy that my body is dilating gradually, without the pain of truly active labor. Still, I’m ready to meet Everett now.
When I picked up Sophie from preschool last week, one of her classmates genially asked me, “Is your belly about to explode?”
UPDATE: I forgot to add that, last time through, a Unitarian Minister told me that it’s actually fabulous to be experiencing one of the few major life-events that is unschedule-able. He told me that the Bible actually has two words for time. One is chronos, clock-time, calendar-time, countable-time. The other is the time it takes a fruit to ripen: unmeasurable time. It’s also called God’s time.