At 37 1/2 weeks pregnant, I’m at that surreal stage where it feels like the baby could come at any moment, and as if the pregnancy will just go on and on forever, at the same time. It’s all a guessing game at this point (and we’ve all made our guesses here for this little girl’s birthday and jotted them down). I’m far along enough now that she would not be premature, but I’m really hoping to hold out for at least another week – my midwife leaves town day after tomorrow and will be back next Monday, and the kids’ last day of school is a week from this Wednesday. It would be nice to get past those two things, but we’ll just have to wait and see. In any case, I really don’t feel in a big rush to be done.
Last night I was going through some old journal entries I wrote at about this stage in my pregnancy with Finn. It was . . . interesting . . . and sort of bittersweet. Then, too, like now, I expressed that I wasn’t in a rush to be done being pregnant, despite being pretty uncomfortable. I thought it was my last pregnancy, and I wanted to hang onto it for as long as I could – and that’s very much how I’m feeling this time, too. It’s funny, after trying for so long to get pregnant the first time all those many years ago, I remember really grieving the end of the pregnancy after Kevin was born. I remember thinking, “I want to do that again and again and again!” Never dreaming, of course, that I actually would end up being pregnant so many times. I’ve really enjoyed every single one of them, though (not that I haven’t complained!). I feel like I was made to do this, that growing and nurturing babies is the most meaningful and fulfilling purpose I’ve ever served. God, that sounds downright religious!
It was strange, too, reading in my journal about how big I got with Finn, and in hindsight, realizing how concerned my midwife was. I was measuring several weeks ahead, and there were vague fears that maybe the ultrasound I had had missed a twin. In my gut, I don’t think I ever believed I was carrying surprise twins, because I knew what it was actually like to carry twins, and I never got the sense that there was more than one baby in there. It was clear that I had a lot of excess amniotic fluid – A LOT – but I never felt any particular concern about it, and although in hindsight I can see that my midwife was concerned about it, I don’t know if she suspected that it meant anything specific. I remained blissfully ignorant of Finn’s intestinal atresia and his Down syndrome until after he was born, and to this day, I have absolutely no regrets about that. I don’t believe at all that knowing ahead of time would have resulted in any benefit to me or to him whatsoever.
But I wonder from time to time if this baby’s birth will bring us any surprises. All I wanted to know was what could be told via ultrasound: does she appear to be up for being born safely at home? All three ultrasounds I had said yes, she appears to be a healthy, normally developing baby. But of course, the ultrasounds I had with Finn didn’t detect his issues, so I know there are no guarantees (not that he wasn’t born safely at home – he most definitely was). I don’t dwell on it, though, I really don’t. There have been absolutely no red flags this time – it’s been an incredibly smooth, uneventful, textbook pregnancy. If she comes with surprises, we’ll deal with them.
In the meantime, we’ll just wait for her to decide it’s time.