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Week 38: Ready or not

It’s funny how things change from one pregnancy to the next. As my due date looms ever nearer (just 12 more days to go!), my attitude and actions towards the big day this time around couldn’t be more different than they were with my first pregnancy two years ago. With Jacob, I couldn’t wait until...

It’s funny how things change from one pregnancy to the next. As my due date looms ever nearer (just 12 more days to go!), my attitude and actions towards the big day this time around couldn’t be more different than they were with my first pregnancy two years ago.
With Jacob, I couldn’t wait until that first contraction hit. I had my bag packed and waiting by the door from 37 weeks onward. My birth plan–make that three copies of my birth plan–were neatly typed out and tucked inside. Every baby item was in its place in our apartment–every inch of which was scrubbed and sanitized. The fridge and freezer were stocked with snacks and quick meal options.
I was convinced that I was going to go into labor any minute for those three weeks. I cried my eyes out when I went past my due date and with every day that past, I became more sure I had just developed elephantitis of the stomach region. It was the longest 13 days of my life. (I finally went into labor naturally the day before I was to be induced.)
This time, I’ve flown past my “38th week” mark, and nary an item is packed. In fact, I just returned from being out of the state for a month. My house is a mess. Vivian Jayne’s clothes aren’t washed, sorted or folded, let alone stacked neatly in dresser drawers. The pantry is stocked with a half-bag of stale tortilla chips and a jar of fudge ice cream topping. And, my birth plan can be summed up in three words: “Have a baby.”
I keep telling myself–and others when they ask if I’m “ready”–that I have “plenty of time” since, after all, Vivian Jayne’s brother was two weeks late. Moms with more than one baby have gently reminded me that second babies tend to come earlier and quicker, but somehow their warnings don’t seem to phase me.
I just can’t seem to face the fact that she really could be here any day. Maybe it’s mental and physical exhaustion settling in after a major family loss over the past month (more on that later). Maybe it’s my subconscious pretending that if I don’t acknowledge her coming that she’ll stay in there and bake a few months longer. Or, maybe my baby bump actually IS elephantitis of the stomach this time around.
We’ll know for sure in about two weeks … or, if I’m lucky, maybe four.

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