I remember those halcyon days when I was pregnant with my first child in New York. I left work a month early to “get ready.” Since I had no kids, “getting ready,” entailed long lunches with friends and family, museum visits to exhibits I’d read about in the New York Times, and putting together a registry that included now-banned items like crib bumpers. Livin’ la vida loca! I was so excited to give birth. “ANY DAY NOW!” I’d excitedly chirp to doormen, shopkeepers, and random pedestrians.
Here we are at kid four. It’s a different world. “Getting ready,” consists of triage for the older kids: making sure we have the Lord-of-the-Rings-Orc-Whatever Lego Set, filling prescriptions, and ordering diapers for the kid we already have. “Getting ready,” is basically putting as many fingers as you can in as many holes in the dike as you can to stave off the inevitable flood of random crap like, “Where’s my permission slip?”
Also, I no longer chirp to random passersby, but instead find myself responding to something that comes kind of close to heckling. Approximately six people a day, without saying hello, approach me–whether I know them or not–by saying things like, “Holy cow, you’re going to give birth any second!”
The next person who says it, I may just surprise them by laying down on a bench, splaying my legs open and saying, “You’re right. LET’S DO THIS!”
Yes, people, I’m huge. I can be seen from space, like the Great Wall of China. Yes, there are only two pairs of pants that fit me at this point (barely) and I refuse to buy any more. Yes, shirts that struck me as muumuu-esque at the beginning of the pregnancy now barely cover my obscenely-distorted bellybutton. Seeing me now makes you really uncomfortable. Trust me, not as uncomfortable as I am, but uncomfortable nonetheless.
But I am in NO RUSH FOR THIS BABY TO BE BORN. Unlike, it seems, most of you.
Don’t get me wrong–I look forward to meeting our New Kid On The Block. I look forward to that moment when my husband and I look at each other as I am pushing out the placenta and realize, “Hmmm…we totally should have picked a name for this kid.” (Suggestions welcome, by the way–trust me, it’s not too late.) I look forward to my family, my boys, and little girl meeting their new sister, touching her toes reverently and presenting her with a cake with a big “0” candle on top (an idea from a Kveller reader that the boys got behind REAL quick).
But does all that have to happen tomorrow? How about next week? I’m free next week, too. Because at this point, I’ve figured out that these kids are a heck of a lot easier to deal with in utero than out.
Sure, it could be argued that, to a certain extent, I’m in denial. I have work I need to finish before this kid pops out. I have a little girl with an ear infection and a boy with a hacking cough. I have a husband whom I sent out of town on a business trip yesterday (he’s back), much to the derision of most of my friends, who called the trip “tempting fate.” We have work going on in the house that was supposed to be done at the end of last month and…well, isn’t.
Also, I went through all this baby birthing thing pretty recently–last July, to be specific. You know how they say you forget how it feels to give birth, and that’s why you do it again? Well, it’s all coming back to me real quick. Ouchie! Jokes aside, I’m very nervous and anxious about the health of the baby, and about the birth going well with everyone coming out on the other side A-OK. I get tired walking up the stairs lately–am I really ready for the marathon of birth? To say nothing of everything that happens afterward?
Plus, even in the face of all the joy that hopefully awaits us, I think it’s important to acknowledge that this–right here, right now, in the words of Jesus Jones–is a sweetly poignant time. These are, all going well pu pu pu, our last moments as a family of five. Like it or not, Baby G will soon be “the big girl.” We are experiencing a rare moment when everyone sleeps through the night (okay, not me, but everyone else!). We have found a place of balance, which is soon to be unsettled by the new arrival.
I’d like to enjoy these waning moments. And that’s why I haven’t downloaded the “iContract” labor application to my phone yet. And that’s why I haven’t packed the chargers for the cameras. Patience, people, and procrastination. This baby will come sometime soon. In the meantime, let’s enjoy what exists right now as opposed to only thinking about what will exist sometime in the very near future.
But I will say one thing–it is nice that no one lets me go to voicemail these days.
Help Jordana out by leaving your favorite name suggestions for baby girls below!