Today, less than two weeks from your scheduled arrival, winter’s last gasp has dusted the foothills in May snow. I woke up the same way I always wake up these days – left hip asleep and aching, pillow stuffed under my belly, the one between my legs replaced by a dog, and the other dog watching me over the edge of the bed waiting for me to let him out and feed him breakfast. Waiting and watching. Watching and waiting.
“Another day,” I think as I push myself upright and try not to fall over getting out of bed and waddling to the bathroom for the 3rd time since midnight.
The days are beginning to feel the same. I wake up, and I feel for where you are. Usually there’s a foot easily found pushing on the right side of my tummy. You usually wiggle when I push back.
No matter the time of night or day, I always look into the nursery as I pass by, and see the rocking chair my grandmother gave me years ago when I first started dreaming of rocking you to sleep. It is draped with a beautiful crocheted blanket that one of the many people who love you made for us. Your crib is watched over by four batiks of elephants and a horse, and draped with a most beautiful quilt from your Aunt Merri. The light from the back yard drifts in, lazily bathing your little room in the love and joy that eight years of building a home with your mom creates.
Sometimes, I stop to sit in the chair, propping my feet up on one of the only new things in your nursery of antiques and well-loved hand-me-downs – a gliding ottoman. I look out the window to the yard your Mom built for me five years ago. It’s in disarray now, as we just poured a new driveway and are preparing for other upgrades…but also because something has come between me and my usual spring routine of weeding, turning, planting, and dreaming.
The dreaming is still going well, though.
Sometimes I sit far too long in that chair, thinking of you and Mom and the changes that are coming our way. Sometimes those changes scare me, and I worry about all the things that could go wrong. Sometimes those changes seem so natural and right, and I just let myself soak in all of the amazing things that having you in our life will bring to us.
The day goes on as it always does – I make a latte, have some breakfast, get ready for the day, go to work, and you kick me. My coworkers and I talk about my pregnancy, and we all seem bored with the same questions and the same answers, I make numerous trips to the bathroom (which is too far away), and you kick me. My feet swell, I prop them up, I keep working (never accomplishing everything I want to or once could, which apparently is due to loss of gray matter), I drive home and you kick me. I change into something more comfortable, my feet swell even more, my hands hurt, my wedding ring barely fits on my pinky finger, and you kick me. I make dinner, or sometimes your Mom does while I sit with my feet propped up, drinking water and wishing for wine, and you kick me. We talk about all the things we still need to do, how you could really arrive any minute, and how we hope you’ll either come soon or wait until after your Aunt’s wedding, and we don’t worry all that much because some things we can’t control, and others will all be done in time. Sometimes, I’ll admit, I worry too much and make your Mom crazy. Sometimes we gross her out by making her feel your little foot in my side.
I sit a lot, and as a result of extricating myself from commitments, have lots more time on my hands to think. Waiting and watching. Watching and waiting. One day after another, all of them feel the same. We’re in the twilight of this way of being together, the third trimester swiftly heading to a close. Soon you’ll be out here with us, making a ruckus if your kicks are any indicator of your personality, and I’m sure I’ll miss feeling your every move as I go about my day, when I find myself alone for the first time in almost a year.
“Another day,” I think to myself as I stuff that pillow back under my tummy, position another between my back and your poor Mom (who has about 6 inches of space to sleep in these days), and place the third back between my legs. I lay down and dread another night of interrupted, uncomfortable sleep. I hear it’s training for what’s to come.
Perhaps the waiting and watching is nature’s way of making me yearn for the next step – a step that involves a scary, painful process that will traumatize both of us. A step that will result in EVERYTHING changing.
I’ve never been so ready for anything.