Tomorrow is my due date. I know it’s an approximation, a date chosen off that weird paper wheel of time and numbers the Doctor spins and squints at, but I envision it like so: My body is a big version of that game Mouse Trap, or like the beginning of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, wherein a series of triggers and hatches and switches will soon start their progress, culminating in a giant tennis shoe attached to a lever walloping the kid's butt, sending it down down down through the least romantic canal and out into the impatient arms of me and Nuv and every one of our friends and family calling me to gently enquire HAS THE KID COME YET? WE ARE TIRED OF WAITING.
I started my Maternity leave on Wednesday and sulked around the apartment like the most woebegone 16 year old. The sky was the same colour as the street - that flat grey - reminding me why I hate September, the trashy tv wasn’t holding my attention, and my usual go-to distractions (snacks, online gossip, sleeping) were not doing the trick. The problem? I had nothing I HAD to do. For the first time in months. All elements of baby prep are done. Clothes and diapers sit empty and clean, awaiting their imminent poop and barf icing. Our hospital bags sit in the bassinet, keening towards the front door. The 400 gender-neutral wash cloths and burp blankets and stuffed animals and bibs and booties and slippers and hooded towels and rattles and toques sit folded and quiet, in their respective drawers and Rubbermaid containers, as organized as they will ever be. I like games but this waiting game might drive me terribly and slowly insane.
Here’s a question: Does it make me a terrible egomaniac to admit that I won’t want to share the first pictures of me with the kid because I will look like a piece of shit that has been re-shit? No make-up, glasses, blotchy faced, eyes swollen with tears and popped blood vessels from pushing, crooked bangs, fat arms…Sigh. What a fucking beast. I know it’s a very special moment when the bub is given to you and you lose your breath and heart and mind looking down at what you just pushed out. But that part of my brain that makes fun of other people has already started looking through my wedding pictures for some Photoshop options. Why yes, I did have false eyelashes and an updo in the labour room. WHAT OF IT?
Before I take my baby break from the site (or maybe I’ll be back Monday – I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THIS) I wanted to share this with you. It’s from a book called The Passage by Justin Cronin, which you all MUST READ. The book itself has nothing to do with pregnancy or babies, rather it’s an excellent sc-fi horror apocalyptic epic tale that I will always associate with these last few days of pregnancy, as I gobbled down page after page, staying up way too late but unable to put the damn thing down. Anyways, this particular paragraph grabbed me for reasons that you’ll get once you read it:
“A baby wasn’t an idea, as love was an idea. A baby was a fact. It was a being with a mind and a nature, and you could feel about it any way you liked, but a baby wouldn’t care. Just by existing, it demanded that you believe in a future: the future it would crawl in, walk in, live in. A baby was a piece of time; it was a promise you made that the world made back to you. A baby was the oldest deal there was, to go on living.”