“Sure, everything is ending,” Jules said, “but not yet.”
— from A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
Today I am 35 weeks pregnant and have 35 days to go. I either will or will not last 35 more days – it’s not an exact science, this pregnancy thing.
Baby girl hasn’t dropped, but I’ve had lots and lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions. At Tuesday’s appointment, my doctor confirmed that the baby is head down, which is a relief because that’s step one in my master plan of not having a c-section. This week, we attended three classes – one on what to expect during labor and delivery, particular to my insurance company and the hospital where I will deliver; one on how to care for a newborn, where the fake baby for diaper changes was a hermaphrodite, shockingly; and an all-day Lamaze class yesterday. We have one last class – the basics of breastfeeding – this week, and then, apparently, we’ll know everything.
As we speak, David, who long ago volunteered to be responsible for the laundry in our relationship, is sitting in the next room sorting all the clothes, blankets, sheets, towels, washcloths, burp cloths, and bibs we’ve so generously received from friends and family – seriously, we’ve bought her almost nothing in those categories, except for Tigers and Braves gear. He’s alternately marveling at how tiny the things are, wearing her hooded towels, and lamenting how many of the things say “machine wash separately” but don’t also say “with like colors.” Spoiler alert: He’s not going to wash them separately.
We also just had a 10-minute conversation on whether to use the bottle of Dreft we were given as part of a shower gift – we think baby-specific things (dish detergent, blenders, laundry detergent, plastic containers) are generally a racket and not worth the mark-up. It seems the makers of Dreft somehow convinced the world it was best for babies, but I don’t get it, because it’s not as if it’s fragrance-free – it actually kind of stinks, in my opinion. In the end, we decided to go ahead and use it – no sense wasting it – but we won’t buy it ourselves. We’ll stick to our usual All Free and Clear.
People keep asking me if we’re ready. I always say, “Yep, just about.” But really, I’m thinking, “Does it matter? She’s coming whether we’re ready or not.” I keep trying to control the things I can – the nursery is all but done (we’re waiting for Sears to finally ship us the last two drawer fronts for her dresser that were damaged in the initial shipment and we need to hang the pictures); we’ve got a Pack-n-Play and a swing and the carseat (still need the stroller, though, I just remembered); I’ve got a list of stuff to pack for the hospital and the baby’s bag is started; I’ve got my birth plan all, well, planned, I just need to actually write it down. I think I’m more or less trying to ignore the things I can’t control – when is she coming, will there be some kind of emergency, what if David can’t get to me when I go into labor – because why borrow trouble, right? Of course, that’s easier said than done.
David is amazing. I feel really lucky that he’s the one by my side through all of this. He’s so sensible and not easily flustered, so I know I can count on him to be calm when I’m not and to be my advocate in the hospital. He was so good at Lamaze class yesterday when we were practicing all the breathing and relaxation techniques, and I know he’s going to be such a big help to me when I’m in labor. On top of it all, he’s a total softy when it comes to the baby; he took her sonogram picture to work to put on his desk. I just love that – he’s already so proud to be her daddy.
Pregnancy is, give or take, 40 weeks, but “term” is considered 37 weeks. So, we’d like this little one to stay put for at least two more weeks, but we’ll be happy – if not ready – to greet her whenever she arrives.