Listening to: My beloved's steady hammering as he works on the back patio
Outside: Crisp and clear under a cerulean blue sky
My baby's due date is now approaching so quickly that I feel like the last eight months have been a blur.
When I first met my midwife, at about eight or nine weeks along, and she told me a typical pregnancy lasts around forty weeks, I thought, freaking hell, that's forever.
Perhaps it's just long enough for you to say goodbye to your old body (lithe, athletic, slim. You know - and can see - where everything's at) and say hello to this giant whale that you've become.
It's enough time for you to think back on all those jeans you've carelessly zipped up, covering sexy-time underwear that you no longer have any reason, or desire, to think about, and then, with a resigned sigh, throw them - everything that resembled your old life - into the back of a dusty wardrobe, with a very (very!) faint glimmer of hope that you may ever pull them on again.
More importantly, it's time enough for you to set the record straight with yourself. Yes, your body changes. Yes, strangers give you unwanted but well-meaning advice and prophecies (and horror stories) at the cash register in the supermarket. Yes, you can get up to pee five times a night and still function like a semi-normal human being at work the next day. But in this great wealth of time, you discover these are merely all obstacles in the way of meeting your new child, and these obstacles will pass. Minor annoyances such as these, eventually, don't matter anymore - at least, for me, by week thirty-six - and you simply grin and bear it and focus on loading up the shopping cart with more tins of food
To date, I walk, sit and stand like a pensioner. I groan when I am not aware of it. I drop things on the floor and I stare at them, and they stay there.
But she, my precious Jellybean, has taught me what is real and what is important. Before she's even taken her first breath. Here's what I've learned: the importance of thinking positive, eating right, drinking lots and lots (and lots and lots) of water, and taking baby steps. This rollercoaster we call life, with all its ups and downs, rolls as quickly or as slowly as we want it to go. Baby steps we remember. What's important: every last pebble in the sand.
As one of my friends said, "Remember, remember every little thing."
And so. My hospital bag, packed full of all the goodies of marathon labor, is the size of a small car.
Bring on the Braxton Hicks! Bring on the deep breathing, the panting, the pushing!
(But, dear Jellybean, let's leave it for a while, at least, because right now it's arts and crafts time. Mama gotta make a scrapbook.)
Keepin' it real.