So I’m still pregnant.
My due date was two days ago. Which is fine – Alex wasn’t born til three days after his due date, and since a “due date” is something we already-born-and-grown people seem to need to pin on the unborn just to give ourselves something to circle on the calendar, I’m not all that concerned about going past mine. The baby will usually be born when the baby is good and ready to be born. Our first attempt to impose a curfew on the little one…their first rebellion…”but Mom – I don’t have a calendar in here! I didn’t know what day it was!”
But still. Wednesday, the due date, was my last day at work. I spent yesterday alternating productivity with two – count ’em – two naps.
Today so far I have done less…had one nap…and spent a good 45 minutes annoying my unborn child. Why? Because I suddenly couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt any movement, and rather than tell myself “the baby’s probably sleeping” (or, more accurately, rather than tell myself that and accept it) I started nudging and shoving and grabbing what I believe is a foot up there near my ribs – in a more and more frantic attempt to make this kid move.
And even worse – I got out the “listen-to-your-baby’s-heartbeat-whenever-you-want-to” thing Bill bought for me when I was pregnant with Alex. It’s upstairs, and I can’t remember the brand name, and no, I’m not going to run up there and check. I don’t run right now.
Anyway – the package of this thing is a riot – a smiling pregnant woman is sitting comfortably on a couch, her smiling husband/boyfriend/father-of-her-child/convenient passerby is there with her. Each is wearing a headset, and the headset wires are plugged into a teardrop-shaped plastic device that she is holding comfortably against her pleasantly swollen fully clothed belly. Apparently they are listening to the baby sing a nursery rhyme or two – that is how pleased they look.
This is how it really works: pregnant Mommy leans back against a bunch of pillows in bed, shirt up, swollen Mount Stomach rising from the sheets, a ring of clouds gathered around the summit…anyway, Daddy sits next to Mommy, darting a few terrified glances at Mount Stomach and looking away quickly whenever there is movement. He reads a book on how to lager beer. Mommy wears a headset and is jamming the teardrop thing against her belly, listening for the “whoosh-whoosh-whoosh” sound you’re supposed to hear when the heartbeat is found, and instead hearing scary gurgly things from her own cramped intestines…sometimes she hears other strange noises – almost word-like – that make her wonder if maybe Satan, rather than her husband, is the real father of this unborn child…
The poking, listening, poking, listening thing goes on for ages. And if the baby is under oh, 7 1/2 to 8 months old, there will be no heartbeat found, as this device is not as advanced as the doppler thing they use in the doctor’s office.
I have heard one heartbeat in total. None with Alex, one with this baby.
No heartbeat this morning, however, which, combined with a motionless belly, started a high-pitched whistle sound in my head and launched the idea of hopping into the car and flying to my doctor’s office so she could listen and either we’d hear the heartbeat or this would be one of the worst days of my life and I’d be there all by myself and WHY WON’T THE BABY MOVE????????????
And then, of course, just as Mommy was about to require her own crib and bumper pads, there was movement. Not a lot, but it was real.
And then everything was fine, and I sort of wanted to giggle hysterically, but instead the phone rang and it was my sister and so I told her and she completely understood and commiserated and laughed with me, which was way better than solitary hysterical giggling.
So I’m feeling better, mentally, at the moment.
But still, I’ve had enough. I would like this baby to be born so rather than nudging her while she’s sleeping so I can make sure she’s alive, all I’ll have to do is hover over her bassinet and make sure her chest is going up and down.
24 hours a day until she’s about a year old.