Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Month Nine: FAQ

People keep asking me the due date, which is a natural thing to ask a woman who looks like I do, but I'm trying not to dwell on it. All the books like to remind me that the due date is a bit of a shot in the dark, and that the most specific prediction we can really make is that the baby will probably come sometime between week 38 and week 42. Beyond that, there's no saying with any more certainty (after week 42, though, they get out the crowbar. Or something).

I'm officially 38 weeks today, which puts me in kind of a funny place between gearing up and trying to stay patient. It's hard to hold both "any day now" and "maybe not for another month" in my head at once.

But it does make sense to approach it this way. It's like having a soft opening for a restaurant: you get ready, you see if what you think is ready actually is ready, you have a chance to get a little more ready, and then you see how that seems before things get all official.

So we've been doing all kinds of ready-getting. My nesting instinct has been satisfied by a pretty motley collection of accomplishments. We weeded and mulched the backyard, we got the car detailed, we planted some annuals, we got a huge stack of kids' books at a baby shower, I washed and stacked lots of ridiculously small cotton items, I cleaned out my office, we installed the car seat, I organized the basement, we took a carload of castoffs to the Salvation Army, we hung a new laundry line, and I made six casseroles for the freezer. I realize that most of those things have nothing to do with keeping a newborn happy and well, but a primal need was satisfied all the same.

After they ask about the due date people then tend to ask, "And are you all ready with the nursery and everything?" with visions of matching curtains and dust ruffles and crib bumpers obviously dancing in their heads. And well, no. We're not. It still looks like a half-moved-into room, any matching that's going on is accidental, and frankly, that probably won't change much before she gets here. But, really, yes. Yes, we're ready. And if she waits another month to make her appearance, maybe we'll have regrouted the shower, cleaned the gutters, and fixed the porch step too, so we'll be even more ready.

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