Well, the school year is over, my hospital bag is packed, the baby’s clothes are washed and folded, and her bedroom is in a decent state of tidyness. The only thing left to do is wait.
About two weeks ago, I had the sudden and dramatic sensation that the baby was going to come any day now, which prompted a wave of stress and hurried preparations. There were some physical signs to support this idea so I don’t think I was/am totally irrational. I prayed fervently that I would have time to enter my grades, and then that I would finish the last week of teaching. And then a few days ago I prayed that I would recover from the nasty sore throat and cold that I picked up. Now that I’ve fulfilled my teaching duties and am on the mend, the sense of urgency is slowing down a little bit. Judging by my continuing shortness of breath and the pain in my ribs, I think baby’s still sitting pretty high and not in a hurry to be born tonight. Or tomorrow. As a result, I am finding myself with a little bit of leisure time that I didn’t expect to have. I have cleaned the apartment (although, I must admit, not with with the nesting frenzy that other women describe). I wrote 23 more thank you notes. I washed the sheets. I bought materials to finally put together my wedding photo album. I plan to work on a commission that I’ve been putting off for weeks.
It’s really strange to have time for these things.
While temporarily pleasant, I know that this situation cannot continue forever. For one thing, I am just plain running out of room inside. Whenever I feel the least bit bored, I can stare at my stomach and admire the shifting lumps that are all I can see of my child at the moment. It’s like an unpredictable ocean with waves that have no discernable cause: there will be two little ripples, a giant breaker, silence, and then a series of lapping waves that move from one side to the other. It’s amazing and (unfortunately) somewhat uncomfortable. While seemingly enormous on the outside, the inside of my stomach isn’t big enough anymore. This knowledge helps me feel better when I think about the process of birth and how unpleasant it must be for the baby. If I was pushed and squeezed and shoved out of my nice warm home into something cold and bright and uncomfortable, I’d cry too. But the lease on that nice warm home is almost up, and it’s non-renewable.
In the meantime, our poor dog — who has no idea what changes are coming to her comfy little life — has finally realized that there’s a lot less room on my lap than there used to be. This was the scene today when I was writing notes in the kitchen and she made her usual request for UP…
…only to discover that the scant inches between the table and my belly were not very accommodating.
At first she was a little miffed…
…but, being a practical beast, she decided in the end to make the best of a less than ideal situation.
I think that this is a lesson that befits us all right now.