On Thursday night, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. with cramps? contractions? so intense it made me nauseous. After I got done panicking, I thought, OK, maybe this is it! I lay there and tried to breathe through the bad feelings while I thought hard about how I was not going to barf and tried to decide whether or not I should wake up Spousal Unit. After a few minutes of the deep breathing, I fell back asleep. I woke up the next day feeling awful and exhausted. So, I spent Friday on the couch. Waiting for Something to Happen. Anything, really. Nothing did.

By the end of the day, I was totally pissed at myself for wasting the day, completely freaked out about childbirth, and so unreasonably lonely that by the time Spousal Unit came home from work (later than he said he would), I was primed for a major meltdown. I sobbed and sobbed. Plus, I got all clingy -- like a toddler with stranger danger. The sobbing has stopped, but the clinging has persisted the last few days. I don't want Spousal Unit to leave me at any point right now and I keep wanting to be assured that he'll be there "on the big day." Very strange. I like to think of myself as a tough, independent person who got over the co-dependent relationship phase once she left her teens. And normally I'm not that much of a weeper. But today I was reading one of my oh so many pregnancy books and it said that many women in the 9th+ month get needy and weepy -- hormones and all that. So, I do feel a little better about my desire to wrap myself around Spousal Unit's leg and not ever let go. (I have a very funny vision of him dragging my big-ass pregnant self along as he works on equipment at the Big Sciency Thingey and his co-workers look on in horror.) Oh, and FYI - he's been a prince the last couple of days, doing everything and anything he can to make me happy and secure. It is lovely and sweet and reaffirms what a great guy he is.

But, this waiting thing is hard. Mainly because of the part where you don't know what is going to happen and when. I'm not very good at either being patient or at letting go of control of things, both of which are essential when you are very pregnant and have a little less than a week to go until your due date. Yes, I know, due dates mean absolutely squat in this business. 7 of 10 babies arrive after their due dates, so it's not like there is a schedule or anything. But, it is precisely that that is driving me bonkers. I mean, couldn't the Gadlet send me a little email or text message or at least a dream or a vision or something saying, "O.K. Stewgad, you've got 6 more days, so make the most of them!" I suspect I've got more like 14 days -- but man, if only I had some certainty! I'm not very good at the waiting patiently for anything, really, let alone for my life to completely change.

To help me with this Waiting Conundrum, yesterday I decided to clean out the bathroom cabinets. Have you looked in your bathroom cabinets lately? You might want to. It was Very Educational. I was astonished. Here's a partial list of stuff I found: a prescription bottle of drugs from 1996, a huge bottle of 200 echinacea pills that expired in 2004, 10 used razor cartridges that just got stuck back in the cabinet instead of thrown away, 5 bottles of lotion with less than .25 an oz in them, all of the cabinet hinges and handles and screws and accompanying hardware that we replaced with nicer ones when we moved in 4 years ago, five used toothbrushes that I kept for cleaning grout in a bathroom that has no tile or grout, and a leg-waxing kit that I used once (and by once I mean one strip of wax, one strip of fabric, one rip, one giant excruciating sensation, one hysterical scream, and one vow to never attempt anything like that ever again) three years ago. Apparently purging and cleaning out the hinterlands of one's house is also a 9th+ month symptom of pregnancy. It's like those hormones drive you to make sure that your child can enter the world without bearing the karmic burden of your old boxes of leg wax and jars of expired flower powder pills.

I haven't tackled anything else today, but next on the list is the closet under the stairs. I'm pretty sure that it contains every coat I've owned since college, all of Spousal Unit's sailing and sporting equipment, our rollerblades, plus all of our camping gear. (stored there because when we moved in I insisted that it couldn't be kept in the basement because of the smell. Nothing is worse than a moldy smelling two-man tent!) But, there's got to be more than that in there since when you open the door, it is like a cartoon closet -- the wall of stuff is so complete it fills the door frame and threatens to spill out so you just shove what you've got back into it and close the door and hope it all stays put. Yep, I've got my work cut out for me there. That should help with the Waiting.

And speaking of waiting, you may wonder how our kitchen is faring. We're actually really, really pleased. The framing, electric, and windows are all done. This weekend S.U. is doing the insulation and is miserably scraping all of the glue from the ceiling that held the ancient cardboard ceiling tiles to the ancient beadboard ceiling. Both of which are essential steps so that the carpenters can start drywalling on Tuesday. They anticipate that the drywalling and initial plumbing will be done by the end of the week, so that next week we can do the painting and cabinet installation ourselves. (And by we/ourselves I mean Spousal Unit and whoever he can find to help him who isn't insanely pregnant.) Woo hoo! Paying someone to do most of the remodeling work sure is a hell of a lot faster than doing it all yourself! I'll post pictures next week sometime when we have the drywall up.

So, that leaves me with the Waiting. It's not like I don't have anything to do. There's the dissertation, the knitting, the cleaning, the laundry, the dissertation, reading, walking, weeding the garden, oh, and did I mention the dissertation? But, playing the waiting game so far hasn't been very conducive to Important Thinking kinds of tasks. So, I guess I'll muddle along until the day, trying to be patient, trying to Allow the Universe and the Gadlet to make their own schedules without me, despite the fact that it is MY BODY, dammit, and trying not to make predictions about what that schedule might look like.

[However, if YOU want to make predictions about that schedule, there is a small betting pool going on around this and the gender issue. Histgrad has called September 9 (got a gender guess Histgrad?), my Mom says a girl on the 11th, Phaeon says a boy on the 15th, and Spousal Unit says the 14th and doesn't have a gender guess, but I don't know if he gets to bet since he wins a new baby at the end of it all. Many, many dates and gender options are still available if you want in! You could win your very own Honorable Mention on Pretty Hard, Dammit -- almost as good as real cash!]


At 7:38 PM Suz said...

Good to hear you are on track and doing great, even if it doesn't feel like it. If I may ask, is your suitcase packed? Ipod ready? Despite the late predictions, early is also possible. What a hard thing, Waiting for Gadlet!

At 11:57 PM StyleyGeek said...

A boy on the 13th. And if I win, I want my prize to be that they invent some sort of external way of incubating fetuses by the time I decide I want to reproduce (if that time should come).

At 12:04 PM Anonymous said...

Boy on the 10th! Good luck!

At 12:49 PM AcadeMama said...

I understand and empathize with both the Waiting and the Hormones! With my first, despite the fact that I was dilated to a 3 and 90% effaced for the last 6 weeks, I was still a week overdue when they finally Induced my labor!! Yes, a 9-lb baby girl, who was happy to stay in there until I kicked her out (similar case with my second child also).

The second pregnancy, however, is when the hormones kicked in. More than the co-dependent thing, though, I was often enraged - usually at my husband - and generally for no reason whatsoever. I had no idea what was going on until I re-read the pregnancy book and it explained that there is yet another lovely hormone surger in the last few weeks before birth! Gee, thanks, as if I wasn't already being punished enough :)

No predictions except that you'll do great, Spousal Unit will become Super Spousal Unit, and going through this together will be amazing!

At 2:41 PM mom said...

I recommend getting your 5 favorite movies of all time, picking your five favorite meals to eat (from take out menus, of course), putting your feet up and committing to watch one fave movie a day till baby comes. This way you can RELAX (I was a mad nester -- organized everything, twice, especially the second time -- just 9 months ago!), and never did really relax.

You will totally need any rest time you can get -- screw the diss. I promis it will be there when you come back from hiatus. Just absolve yourself so you don't feel like you "should be" doing it. Liberate yourself and just enjoy the calm (and the chocolate).


At 8:30 AM spark said...

I agree about the movies! And the favorite meals, and putting your feet up!

At 10:49 AM Anonymous said...

I vote for a girl -- but mostly because I'm partial to them. :)

Ah, "nesting," the pregnancy symptom that (when expressed through cleaning and organizing, thankfully not through the desire to put up hideous wallpaper borders or something like that) is the kind of symptom everyone can love! (even Spousal Units.) I had all my cabinets beautifully organized, I have to say. And it's a good thing, too... since there has been nothing but disorganization since...

Keep us posted!!


At 10:40 AM Anonymous said...

Great writing!!! I vote for a girl on the 15th. I'll call myself "Anonymous 4". Looking forward to the news!


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