I'll stand, thanks

By Published On: July 4th, 2014

I mentioned to someone the other day that we took […]

jt0704I mentioned to someone the other day that we took the kids stand-up paddling at Tahoe over the weekend, and you would have thought I told her I went sky diving. Full on pearl clutching—“You didn’t get on a board, did you?”
Oh. Well, yes, I did. I love paddling and it’s been so hot and what am I supposed to do? Sit still until she’s born?
Is it just me, or do very pregnant women make people a little nervous? For four pregnancies now, I’ve found that folks regularly offer me a place to sit or want to carry things for me. Good intentions, I’m sure, but it’s usually asked in a mildly scolding way, like they can’t believe I have the nerve to just stand there, all pregnant, when someone in my condition should so obviously be seated. And what am I thinking, holding that grocery bag? A gallon of milk is heavy and that can’t be good for the baby.
It’s worse now that I’m this close to the end and look like I might explode any second now. People seem to be even more anxious, inquiring worriedly about whether it’s okay for me to be doing whatever it is I’m doing. Like standing on a paddleboard or carrying all that milk by myself. And when I say I’m fine, thanks, it’s no problem, the follow-up comment is always, always a version of the same—“I bet you’re ready for that baby to come now, huh?”
I am ready, yes, but I’m not carrying groceries or taking a spin on a paddleboard in an effort to hurry things along. I’m just doing what I normally do, because the alternative—sitting on the couch with my feet up, staring at the clock—makes me want to scream. And let’s be real, I don’t have time for that. Let’s do the math here. This is number four, which means I have three kids already, and they insist on doing things like eating multiple times a day and running off their wildly excessive energy. But that’s a good thing, really, because it gives me something to do besides count down the minutes until our little girl is finally (finally!) here.
So here I am, two weeks out, and nothing is happening. No baby yet. No real progress – one measly centimeter dilated and 50 percent effaced. No contractions. Just me and my enormous belly. I can still carry the milk though, and we’re planning to head back up to the lake with the boards this weekend. Unless we’re busy having a baby.