These days…oh, these days. I am waking early and noticing, “hmmm…still pregnant.” These days are those strange and sacred ones during which I inch so humbly close to an elusive “due date” knowing, at any moment we’ll begin. It’s these days that are, I think universally, a challenge for many of us going through this rite of passage. The psychology is odd — yearning for something that we know is likely to be a bigger challenge and also a bigger joy than any we’ve known and not knowing how or when it will start, but knowing it will…it will…at just the time it should. It’s a peculiar place to sit for days on end.
Dearest friends and family are checking in, daily some of them, wondering if I feel anything. (ha! ”yes.” I tell them. ”I’m feeling every move my body makes with the most acute awareness. Who needs meditation practice when I have this waiting game on which to feast my every sense?”) Other dearest are, I think, deliberately not checking in, but I know the pins and needles on which they sit. There is just nothing quite like this anticipation.
Well, what are we doing with ourselves while we wait, you might be wondering?
*Playing with the neighbors. The youngest among us donning our bicycle helmets and going belly-forth on the skateboard. (The maternal among us holding her heart and breath with every such endeavor.)
*Checking and double checking the birth supplies we’ve organized. Appreciating how many of the things that are gathered in these baskets are homemade and handed-down and otherwise used and loved so well already. What better to wrap up a new baby in than an already beloved blanket that holds some legacy and embedded warmth?
*Making birth art. Toddler-style and mama-style. Loving the way watercolors work and move together.
*Fixing, fixing, fixing. Using our tools as much as we can.
*Ah! Enjoying bringing in the bits of spring that so abundantly grace our out-of-doors. And loving the streaming sunlight too.
*Beginning, at friends’ insistence, some sewing projects that I know won’t get finished for awhile. Being okay with the idea of a long, unfinished project. Loving the challenge of sewing projects that are well beyond my skill level (and the knowledge, too, that my mama is coming soon and will know how to help me).
*Appreciating the thoughtful things I was mandated to include in the Mama Birth Supply Basket by the midwives. Oh, those midwives have mamas in mind all the time. I am so grateful for that.
*Staring dumbfounded by the amazing versatility of sticks. All day long we pick up sticks. I had no idea they were so very much fun.
*Applying bandaids where we have no ouchies and wearing them like costumes. Because what is more fun than bandaids to a 2.5 year old? (And what is a better lesson for this mama than embracing and loving our scratches, bruises, and scars?)
*Employing every natural induction method I can think of ….acupuncture, pineapple, wild dance parties. And doing as I’m told and making my way to Portland’s Mount Tabor Park (affectionately nicknamed Mount Labor Park to those in my situation) to walk the stairs.
*Bringing my sidekick with me.
*Imitating statues together and having a good giggle.
*And doing my very best to cherish this precious table for three — with hearty meals and silly moments and a bushel of lilac from our generous yard out back. We are in the business of falling in love here, I remind myself. And we don’t ever really get to know the precise moment that will happen.