Today is our baby's due date! Michael and I woke up this morning, registering first that the baby didn't arrive last night and then realizing that today was the day we've been holding on to for months. That said, there's been no activity to indicate today will be any different than yesterday, or any in the last couple of weeks. It looks like our little girl is just going to stay put for a bit longer.
I've been trying to remind myself that keeping her healthy, safe, and growing is a blessing. She's a little one, and it's good for her to bake a little bit longer. But Michael's and my patience is wearing thin - we are just so excited to meet her!! I'm utterly uncomfortable, am tired of being in transition, and have silly day dreams about laying on my stomach and resuming a life in my old body. Plus, if one more person says, "No baby?!" or "How are you feeling?" I'm going to flip. I'm ready for this next phase, to embrace my little girl, to not fear labor any more. One day soon...
Simultaneously, I must say, when I feel my little lady's foot kicking, I am reminded just how much I'm going to miss feeling her presence every day.
Today I didn't go to work. Instead, I have been sleeping, putting together our baby book, watching horrifically bad television, and enjoying some peace and quiet. I stupidly put together a "to do" list, but I'm successfully avoiding almost all of the items on it. And I'm hoping that this calm will encourage our little girl to join us.
On Sunday night, Michael and I watched C-Span and celebrated as the House passed health care reform - what an utter thrill!
Because this is my job and I love it, I've been reading as much as I can about the implications of the reform, the analysis of its passage and the impact of the process. Two strikingly different articles struck me today, one by Bob Herbert and one by Alex Massie (found via Andrew Sullivan on The Atlantic). The Herbert piece highlights all that's wrong in American politics, while the Massie article commends the uniquely American democratic process. I highly recommend both!
(This should be a longer post, but let's be real - I can barely think about anything unrelated to this baby. So it is the best I can do!)
Michael is free from the tyranny of his work email account. We spent four hours walking for 6 miles around the City, enjoying the sunshine, stopping randomly at Chipotle and PinkBerry and Gap and random stationary stores. We enjoyed a Saturday without fear of Michael's job, and that was a blessing beyond words.
And now we're off to John & Anna's for dinner! Heaven.
Yesterday was utterly exhausting. For details, read here.
Today, in an effort to listen to my bosses, I decided to work from home in the morning and then take the afternoon for myself. The morning was lovely and leisurely - I did laundry, taking the stairs each and every time, and cleaned out my inbox at work (down to just 50 messages!).
Just a little past noon, I slowly made my way downtown for a nice, easy doctor's appointment. Relieved when it finished, I set about to enjoy the day. I got my hair cut, picked up a new teapot so that we'll be able to make more than 1 cup at a time when my mom and brother are visiting, treated myself to a PinkBerry, and strolled through stationary stores in search of beautiful new cards. I soaked up every last bit of sunshine and warmth, knowing that this brief glimpse of spring will likely disappear in just a few days.
Throughout the day, I thought a lot about the way strangers treat me right now. Sometimes it was annoying - while at the beauty salon, a random woman put her hands on my belly without even looking at me, for example. But overall so many people are insanely wonderful. They tell me I look great, they ask God to bless this baby, they give me a large rather than my requested medium at PinkBerry. I feel so welcomed into a New York community I didn't even know existed. And I know I will miss it. Perhaps carrying a little girl around our fair City will open the door to yet another unknown and equally kind world...
I do have to share one more pretty funny event today. On the train, I sat next to a young man who could not keep his eyes open. He kept falling asleep and then startling himself awake as he fell. Every time his eyes closed, his head would fall almost to my shoulder and then he would jerk himself awake. It was hilarious!
Last night, Michael and I revived one of our favorite traditions: an evening stroll. His current job is one that demands late evenings, so for the past year and a half getting home in time for a walk was pretty rare. Our evening strolls, routine during our graduate school days, took a back seat to a furious rush home so that we could eat dinner before midnight.
But yesterday's warmer weather and Michael's pending departure from his current job allowed for a leisurely stroll through the streets of our new neighborhood. We've been dying to stretch our legs out around here since moving in, but the cold winter weather and late work nights kept us both from being out and about. Walking around last night - through Riverside Park, in and among the college students rushing to class nearby, to PinkBerry for ice cream and Chipotle for coke - left us both with a sense of freedom and grounding that we've been missing for quite some time. Michael's new job (and daylight savings and warmer weather) will allow for more strolls like these, and that may just be the greatest benefit of the whole transition.
Today a colleague of mine took me out to lunch to wish me good luck on maternity leave. He works for the CDC, so we don't see each other too often, but meet on a weekly (disastrous) teleconference with a team of about twenty million people.
We had an incredibly pleasant meal, sitting outside and soaking up the first rays of spring.
The remarkable element of the whole lunch was the lack of one topic of conversation: the baby. For the first time in about two months, I made it through an entire event without someone asking if I'm ready for the baby, or what I've done to prepare, or how I'm feeling about motherhood. As I walked back to the office, I thought about how much I appreciated this little reprieve. Obviously all I can think about these days is this little one about to make her debut. But it felt good to talk about work and other elements of life for just a little bit this afternoon.
This weekend, my dad and brother joined Michael and I to face the floods of New York City. They came up to visit on Thursday, just in time to witness the craziest, rainiest, windiest, wettest weather we've had in quite some time. Simultaneously, on Saturday, we lost heat and warm water and gained a couple of leaks in our roof. Despite these major handicaps, my dad and brother - ever the relaxed gentlemen, kept a positive attitude, laughed as umbrellas flipped and pants got soaked.
We had a very nice visit - one we had hoped would be marked by the arrival of our little girl, but wasn't. We spent a lot of time sitting in warm restaurants, eating delicious food, and in a theater, enjoying some mindless entertainment. It was thrilling to see my dad so excited for his first grandbaby, sharing his enthusiasm with folks at the movie theater, at Home Depot, and a restaurant or two. Witnessing this kind of love we already share for our little lady makes Michael and I so thrilled for her birth.
Henry is getting ready to graduate from college, and every time he visits, I press him to move up to New York. I love spending time with him, with his relaxed, easy-going manner and nerdy enthusiasm for biology and (occasionally) history. My dream is to have him in the City, somewhere close by where we can meet for tea or coffee, where we can host him for a weekly dinner, where he can get to know his niece and she can know him. There is the slightest possibility that he will make his way up here after graduation. I'm holding out hope...
In the meantime, Dad and I compared stomachs this weekend - Dad is in red, I'm in white. Who's winning??:
Well, it finally happened. I had my hormone-induced (please, Lord, let that have been hormone-induced) pregnancy melt down. Yesterday, while walking around and making my way through our typical Sunday routine, I heard from many a stranger about what I can and can't do because I'm pregnant, about how pregnant I really look, about how much labor is going to hurt, about how my life will change when the baby arrives. At the farmers market, when the seven millionth woman looked at me, asked me when I'm due, pointed to her loud, obnoxious kids and said, "Good luck. It's crazy," my flip switched. I came home, laid down on our bed, and started crying. Hysterically crying. Ugly, gasping-for-air crying.
Michael immediately came to my side to start comforting me, and in about three minutes we were both laughing at how ridiculous these tears were (okay, maybe closer to five minutes...). Our lives are certainly about to be upended, but as Michael keeps reminding me, it will be fun! And we'll have a little one to share the insanity with!
I feel insanely big now, and pretty uncomfortable. I'm ready for this little girl to come on out and meet the world. She's officially full-term, which is thrilling. Of course, our doctors office doesn't induce until you are 42-weeks along, which is still FIVE weeks away. That is utterly terrifying. But I'm hoping she decides to join us sooner, rather than later, now that she's done baking and is focused on getting big.
So here's me at 37-weeks:
And, when I finally dried my eyes and calmed down yesterday, I realized Michael was making headway on the baby's room! He washed all our baby supplies, so they are ready to cloth and comfort our girl. And he got our crib all set up to look like this:
Well, this baby's arrival is within sight! We have less than one month to go - at least, that's what we're hoping (26 days until her due date). Michael and I spent this weekend preparing, just in case she arrives early. We now have a mattress for the crib, diaper wipes, onesies, an adorable dress from BabyGap, an infant car seat and all the trimmings that we can anticipate. I'm still on the lookout for a good sling (any suggestions?), and the hospital bag needs to be packed, but we're doing pretty darn well, overall.
And now it's nearly impossible to think about anything else. We have baby things throughout the apartment - books on sleep training and making our little one the happiest of them all, strollers in the hallways, diapers in the living room, and her bedroom littered with supplies. Because of my size, it's now impossible to do any task without being reminded how very pregnant I am, as getting up and down, walking after being stationary, even being stationary, induces some discomfort somewhere.
I have an insane amount to get done at work before this baby arrives. This type of transition is such a difficult one. I need to stay committed and focused to get things done, but I also need to start letting go, should I have to leave work tomorrow. I am so grateful to my job and my colleagues - they are all so excited and supportive.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."