Friday, December 08, 2006

38 Weeks and Counting

Each week, each day, sometimes each minute of the pregnancy is different. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Sometimes it feels like I'm on a racing roller coaster, sometimes I'm watching the landscape change from the window of a train, sometimes I'm stuck in traffic or waiting at the airline gate.
I'm well aware now that our lives are about to change forever but I have only a vague idea about how. I can only liken the feeling to the anticipation you feel before a major trip. What will it be like there? Who will I meet? How will it be familiar, how will it be different?
Statistics fan that I am, I've been feeling confident that Cholent will arrive no sooner than her due date. Late arrivals are more common for first babies. Both my brother and I were born late. So while I'm huge now and can readily smile and agree with well-wishers say "Oh, any minute now!" I haven't really been believing that internally. Not, anyway, until yesterday.
Suddenly towards the end of the work day I started to feel funny. Not physically. Sure my ears and cheeks were burning red (as they've been daily every afternoon for a while now, a sort of hormonal heat that makes me want to emerse my head in a bucket of ice-water). And I was experiencing the belly hardening Braxton Hicks contractions, but that too was not really new. Nope. This new funny feeling was in my head.
I looked out my window at the familiar view of MegaCorp's huge construction site and the mountain that is Haifa just beyond. I felt like the colors had a new intensity, the greens greener. And the crane was moving in slow-mo. I might not see this view again for a while, I thought. I could go home tonight and have a baby, I thought.
I confided my thoughts to Esti, who urged me to go home. She's right I thought, after 5:00 came. What am I doing here? I had planned to buy fish but decided to skip it and go home.
I called Adi and left him a message on his cellphone. He turns it off during classes. Turns out he doesn't always remember to turn it on in between. I tried hard to sound calm and make it clear that no, nothing was *actually* happening yet, but... that I felt funny and would appreciate it if he could come home right away after class.
I drove home in a bit of a daze, very aware of the Braxton Hicks bowling ball in front of me and the highly uncomfortable strap of my seatbelt that really didn't fit around it.
I started to feel VERY focused. A list of action items formed in my head: bake brownies? repack my hospital bag? shower? straighten up? work on Adi's grad school applications! yup. Suddenly, those MUST get done. Now. Tonight. Maybe stay up completing them.
I straightened up, showered, ate, started the brownies and sat down and in a fit of focus made a final (brilliant) edititng pass at Adi's personal statement. I made it sharper and tighter. He'd have to like it. Where was he? I fed the cat and ordered more food for her. I called Adi again and left a text message. I decided he was going to have to learn how to keep his phone on vibrate, and would have to warn his teachers that his wife is very pregnant.
Finally Adi burst in, a look of concern on his sweet face. He had just heard my messages on the way home, after watching a Yiddish movie at the library. I'm fine, I reassured him. But we're completing at least one grad school application now. Today.
OK, OK, he said.
I was p-r-e-tty bossy, directing his focus back to the task whenever he tried to kiss or distract me. I could have the baby TONIGHT I told him, so let's do this.
OK, OK! And so we did. It took about two hours and we still have a paper to translate, but it was a real milestone.
Task complete, I accepted a piece of hot brownie with ice cream and we started watching a wierd movie, Hard Candy, before Adi fell asleep and we went to bed. My belly felt ROCK hard. I made sleepy Adi touch it and warned him that I'd have to wake him up if the baby came.
But no, we slept through the night. Well, not counting the 3 or 4 times I got up. And I still was up in time to catch yet another sunrise. Glowing orange ball today. And I had WEIRD dreams.
But no baby yet. Good. That gives us time to wrap up the rest of the applications!!!



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1 comment:

laura aka hellbennt said...

my first baby was born 4 days before his due date...it started w/ just one contraction that was distinctly not a braxton hicks...it didn't hurt; it was mildly uncomfortable...I knew this was the start...I didn't get another until hours later. It's an odd feeling waiting to see how your labor will progress...
baby #2 was born on his due date; I've heard that 15% of babies are born on their actual due dates. May the force be with you!!