With sixth baby's due date only 3 days away, I'm feeling like I'm under constant surveillance. I can see the appraising looks and The Lawyer paying closer attention than normal to my winces and wobbles. Everyone is trying to gauge "how close" we are to labor and the joy of meeting this little one.
The Lawyer has been timing contractions (when I cooperate and notice and tell him!) and keeps up with all the changes that I dismiss. He has the big boys in on this, too. I'm sure he is justified: once he makes the decision in the morning to head to work, he is at the mercy of the bus system or the very slim chance that someone could pick him up and drive him back home in time for the baby's delivery.
Our midwife is a little nervous, too, and not wanting to miss the birth. She's given me several sweet lectures on when to call and what to look for and that I'm not bothering her if I call her before the last 30 minutes of intense pain. She lives about 30 minutes away. She would like to set up and have things calm and smooth. I agree. . . and yet still don't see those signs that things are imminent.
Tonight The Lawyer is at a movie with another lawyer friend. He has his phone, of course. I had to remind him that on M's birthday (2010) he went to give plasma with his phone. . . and I was unable to reach him for about an hour when I was really uncomfortable and thinking labor was in process.
So, he keeps asking me how I'm doing? and how I'm feeling? and do I think it will be today? and do I think it will be this weekend?
I have to honestly reply that after five children. . . I have no idea. Really. I still can't tell if I am close to delivering a baby or not.
And this mystifies my men. O and R are definitely picking up on this, though. Today, R was sitting in the front of the van on the way to/from the Science Museum. He sent The Lawyer a text every time I had a contraction that I told him about. (I do tend to say, "ouch" or something almost mindlessly when a strong contraction comes.) He thought he was super-stealthy and that he had a secret mission for Daddy, so I played along. Every once in awhile he would ask me, "Have another one yet, Mom?" I could tell he was just hoping to have something exciting to report.
We stopped at the grocery store on the way home (after the museum) and saw a couple people we are acquainted with. One man with his children was genuinely surprised to see me and exclaimed, "You're still here?!" (not an uncommon comment at nearly 40 weeks pregnant.) R piped right up with, "Yeah, but she's been having contractions all afternoon! We've been letting Dad know." and then O added, "Some were seven minutes apart and some only six!"
I smiled politely (I hope) and tried to move my tribe on before all these men started discussing my dilation or something equally personal and absurd. As if I were the weather! Analyzed by these right- brained men who think that surely a hypothesis can be formed to predict this baby's arrival time based on past data and current conditions. Dear, sweet men and people in my life. . .
We will let you know when we have a baby, I promise. And if I know I'm in labor, I'll try to let my husband and midwife know- and maybe even the kids. It's a funny thing- this waiting and expecting and hoping and thinking and preparing and yet. . . really just waiting. Watched closely or not, I really am only waiting on the Lord and for all to be ready. I don't MIND the love and concern that cause the questions; I understand it completely. I'm just feeling a little. . . examined? Noticed? Loved?
I'm definitely feeling that this is a fleeting thought- for this miraculous, amazing pregnancy is nearly over.