cafe mama

entering the mind of the married mom

miss me? - April 24, 2005

I've been hibernating as of late, and those of you who only check the front page of my blog probably thought I'd gone into blog hiding. Or something of the sort.

Not true! I've been very busy chronicling my experiments with the early stages of labor on my pregnancy blog. If you miss me, check there for an intimate, and detailed, play-by-play.

The big news: I'm close to going into 'active' labor. Hey, it could be this minute as I'm writing to you!. I mean, it could. I just had a contraction...

Not that contractions are anything new. I've been having contractions since week 30 or so. Today marks the official start of week 37, which is considered by doctors and midwives near and far as the stepping-off point for labor. I'm now "full term." Meaning that I have permission to go into labor. Permission is a lovely thing.

But ... I'm really working on pregnancy virtue priority #1: patience. I've promised myself not to go to the hospital until my contractions reach their "frequent, painful" status - five minutes apart, lasting one minute each, for at least one hour. My stopwatch has been going for the past 87 hours, 44 minutes, and has taken 70 splits (you can't average out because I don't take many splits while I'm sleeping, for obvious reasons). You can bet that I'll know exactly when that happens.

In the meantime, I thought I'd give you a couple of my least-favorite parts of this march towards birth, and then if I decide I'm in a good mood, I'll go on to explore the best parts.

1. People asking me, "when are you due?" I'm due May 15. However, the exact due date is completely immaterial to the baby's eventual birth date, and I hardly need to be reminded how far away it is. I am due now, or in five weeks. And I'd rather not illuminate the distinction.

2. Not knowing if every contraction I endure is an indication of things to come. It's highly frustrating to not have a grip on your body's progression toward it's goal. I'm sure it's why so many women gladly schedule elective c-sections. I can't imagine anything less attractive - yet, at some level, I can't blame them. I'd really like to be able to schedule the baby's birthday. You know, in a completely natural way. Maybe if I just want it enough?

3. All the things I can't do at 9 months of pregnancy. I have daydreams of lying on my bed on my stomach, typing on my laptop. Of running springily up hills. Of mountain biking in the mud. Of high jumping and pole vaulting. Of drinking a martini at my playdate today. But, none of this is advised.

So, what do I like? I love the energy I have for sewing, and knitting, and organizing. I love that I finally scrubbed my walls and dusted the shelves in my stairway. I love that I have complete and utter power to keep a little human safe inside me. I love that the entire life of a person is before me, a free pass to create something beautiful and loving and as perfect as people can be. I love that I have the magic experience of birth to look forward to, whenever it comes, and that the not knowing - the surprise of date, circumstance and mood - is part of the magic. I love that I am preparing for a special kind of marathon that only women can endure, that I am so uniquely qualified to put my mind and body in sync, that I have the power to birth a baby. I love pregnancy and childbirth and I'm so excited for every second that awaits me. And I love being a mama, for now, for the coming days, forever.