Last summer, when we found out we were expecting, we needed a way to explain to Alex what was going on, when there wasn’t going to be any visible evidence for months to come. So we came up with a list of all the big, memorable events of a year that had to pass before the baby would arrive.
Soon, the list became a mantra, one that we had to recite several times a day. First the leaves will turn colors and fall off the trees, and then it’ll be Halloween, and we’ll go trick or treating, and then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, and Santa will come for Jesus’s birthday. And then it’ll snow and we’ll go sledding. After that it’ll be Julianna’s birthday, and then the flowers will come back. And when the flowers come back, it’ll be almost time for the baby to come out of Mommy’s tummy.
In the fall, Alex and I planted tulips and daffodils in front of our porch. Last week, even though it’s only February, I started watching for evidence of growth. We’ve had such warm weather lately, it’s hard not to get spring fever. Especially knowing what else is coming with the spring this year.
Alex & I pored over three different catalogs and chose perennials to anchor the front box. We went outside and pruned the shrub roses; we examined all the trees for evidence of budding. I watched the rain pour down, thawing and soaking the earth, then filling the creek with a soft, easy current. I looked across the lawns spreading up the street and saw the first hint of dormant brown turning to bright yellow.
Then, two days ago, I found it: the first daffodil spears, poking a mere ¼ inch out of the soil. Evidence that spring is on the way…and with it, my newborn, unknown child.
As I count down these last weeks of pregnancy, I thought it might be fun to share the questions that I’m fielding these days, as well as the answers—including some I’d like to give, even though I can’t. J
Q: Is this your first?
A: Oh, my goodness, no. This is my third.
Q: Wow, you’re going to have your hands full, aren’t you?
A: Don’t I already?
Q: Do you think having three is going to be a lot harder than having two?
A: Well, you know, I have no earthly idea, but thank you very much for giving me something to worry about. Actually, between Julianna’s therapy schedule, naps and lessons, our life is already so regimented, I can’t imagine that adding one is going to change much, except how long it takes to get ready to go somewhere. But then, I could be delusional.
Q: Do you know what you’re having?
A: A baby.
Q: Oh, you like to be surprised?
A: Well, it’s not much of a surprise, is it?
Seriously, though, I have to have a spinal, and I know what that’s like. If I have to go through that, I want something to look forward to at the end of it!
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Better now. PT is a big help, but before I try to get pregnant again, I’ve got to do some serious Pilates work on my thrice-weakened abs.
Q: How far along are you?
A: I can’t remember. 8 months? Oh yes, 34 weeks, because I have to redo my sugar test next week, and that happens at 35 weeks.
Q: When are you due?
A: Well, I’ll answer the question you really want to know. The baby’s being born on March 19th. Unless something freaky happens between now and then.
Q: Wow, that’s soon, isn’t it?
A: Not soon enough!
Q: Do you have names picked out yet?
A: Um, no, well, sort of, but not really, and um, I wouldn’t tell you anyway if we did.
Q: How’s the baby doing?
A: Well, let’s put it this way. Earlier this week, when I was lying on the couch all day—BTW, I now have great sympathy for women on bed rest—God and my little one worked it out between them so I wouldn’t worry. For twelve hours, the two overriding sensations in my body were “throwup bug” (as Alex calls it) and Baby. And I don’t mean nice, easy stretches and rolls. I mean nonstop, abdomen-lurching kicks, belly-popping stretches, elbows and knees and hands and feet punching in every direction. At one point I glanced down and saw a two-inch triangle sticking up out of my belly. A knee, I can only presume. It was an uncomfortable day—having only two positions to choose from is torturous; my hips were crying out for mercy by bedtime—but I had to thank God for reassuring me that Baby was just fine.
Q: (my favorite question asked recently): Are you having twins?
This one requires some explanation. This entire pregnancy, Alex has been telling me that “we’re going to have this baby and one more baby, and then that’s enough babies!” (Nice to have your family size dictated by your 3 ½ year old, hmmm? J)
To everyone else, however, he says, “My mommy has a baby in her tummy, and we’re going to name it Scuttle, and we’re gonna have another baby, and we’re going to call it Bongo Drum!”
Soon, baby. Soon. I can’t wait.