Great news! Our little chicken is technically fully incubated and has a due date stamped “TODAY”!
What’s hard to process mentally, though, is that it might not actually be today. For nine months you wrap your head around a date – say, November 8 – thinking “that is the day my life will change forever and that I will get to meet the small human stowaway in my abdomen.”
And then as you get closer to B-Day, you realize it could actually happen any time in an approximate five-week span. Doc has been saying for the last three weeks that the baby could arrive any minute. Or not. He could also be ten days late. At least at this stage we know he won’t be early!
Now, before you start snickering, it does not make me a control freak or a maniacal planner that I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this! I suspect any woman who lives in a hemisphere, century or society that tracks time at a more granular level than rainy season vs. dry season would feel the same.
Are you ready?
The most popular question I have been asked for the last few weeks is, “So? Are you ready?”
Meaning what exactly… is our condo (FOR SALE! Buy now!) set up for a fourth inhabitant? Am I emotionally ready? Psychologically? Physically? It doesn’t matter which people mean, really. The answer to any of the above is the same: “Uh, I dunno, kinda?”
My 97-year old grandmother, however, is ready. She’s been calling me every day for weeks in a semi-panic. I get questions gun-fired at me at semi-automatic speed.
Maxo! Where are you!
How is Baby! (meaning Dominic). God bless, the next one should be so good as the first.
Who is picking him up à la garderie?
Tell me, à la garderie, ils perdent la tête? Of course they do. Who wouldn’t be crazy about ce petit!
Where is your husband? Au bureau?
What time is he getting home? What will you make him for supper?
Qu’est-ce qu’il dit, your doctor?
When you have 5 minutes even, you will visit me? It’s ok, you are busy. Ça n’a aucune importance.
You will call me when the pains start, insh’Allah.
Not right now.
Maybe it’s due to having a long life still ahead of him, but Dominic is not in such a rush. About anything, really. After struggling with how long a minute is, he has now mastered delaying tactics. His current favourite expression is, “But not right now”. Here’s a handy tip for you all, straight from Dominic’s playbook: did you know this expression carries extra delaying power when you say it with a whine and stretch out the “now” to four or five syllables? Go ahead, try it! “But not right ni-aa-owww-euh.” His second-favourite expression is “after” (FYI, can also be stretched to maximize potential delaying power).
Dominic, its bath time! “OK, but a-a-a-a-fter!”
Dominic, come brush your teeth. “After. After.”
Dominic, let’s try making a pee-pee on the potty. “But not right ni-ao-ow.”
I can’t even guess where he might’ve learned this! It’s enough to make you think I sometimes make him wait for me because I’m on the phone, on my laptop, sending a text, getting dressed, trying to catch the news on the radio, or playing a riveting game of iPhone solitaire.
Is Dominic excited about the baby?
This is the second-most popular question I’ve been asked lately. I don’t know! It reminds me of when he was an infant and Justin would ask me, has he eaten enough? Has he slept enough? Is he warm enough?
Dominic knows the right words. He knows there is a baby in my belly, and that he will be a big brother. But is he excited…? How should I know??? Let’s see. “Dominic, you know the baby in Mummy’s tummy? Soon he’s going to come to live at our house.”
“Yes, but not right ni-aa-oo-ww”.
At this late stage in the game I see my OB every week, and at my last appointment he offered to speed things along for me. “I know you’re not due until Friday, but I can do a little harmless procedure that should stimulate labour within 24 hours. Come in next Tuesday and you should have the baby Wednesday, two days early.”
I sincerely thought about this for a day or two and I’ll admit it was very tempting to eliminate the massive question mark of “when”. (Justin, meanwhile, was busy running to the bathroom fighting off a case of the queasies that came on every time he looked up membrane sweep.) Finally it dawned on me like a Simpson-smack to the forehead. I’ll have two kids for the rest of my life. Maybe I don’t really need to rush things by two or three days? Maybe I should actually take the next 48 hours to enjoy some time to myself and the little family nucleus I already have!
Turns out I’m not the only one who’s not in such a rush. Yesterday I went back for this week’s OB check-up. Doc predicts another week to ten days!!! I think this Li’l Dude #2 has reached the developmental stage when he’s tapped into his Italian heritage and is following his instinct to not leave Mama’s house.
I will use the time ahead to continue chipping away at my little to-do list, folding onesies and stocking the freezer. As I tick off items I start to feel emotionally and psychologically readier, too. Getting the linens washed, car seat buckled in, and triaging tiny 0-3, 3-6, 9-12 month clothing is reassuring and reminds me that we have done this once before, and that we are as ready as we’ll ever be… at least in the ways that really matter. Now if only Justin would get out of the bathroom!