Only 8 more centimeters and it's time to push

"I hope you don't mind if I say this, but you look ready to go," said my co-worker the other day. Her happy tone made it entirely different from the chattery chickens in the gym telling me I "look.....ready to pop." Thanks, ladies. Go cluck elsewhere and leave me alone to lift weights. This morning my neighbor asked me, but when exactly? Do they know when? No, they don't know. It's one of life's great mysteries. But it's true that I'm anxious for it to happen...not that it has to happen today, but just to know that I could hold my healthy baby by Christmas would make me seriously happy. My wise OB made more of a prediction than I would have expected, as I lay back on the table this table this morning. Two centimeters dialated and a week from my due date. "I don't know, but I would guess within the next 10-12 days." I looked at the calendar. By the 29th? That sounds great. "But I don't know," she repeated. I know, I know. And I didn't even ask her for a prediction.

With a full-term baby living inside of me, everyone looks like someone's kid. The Cape Teen in a terrible Herald headline? Someone's kid. That young woman in the wheelchair in the cafe? Someone's kid. The old vets talking trash about Bush? Someone's kids. It's strange. Someone's kid is going to come out of me, and whoever it is (though I feel like I already know), it's going to be my responsibility. My OB said, "It's like you have a very important meeting, but you have no idea when it's going to happen."

She also said, "You can't think your way into labor."

And, "All you have to do, for this to happen, is get out of the way."

This morning I woke up in the dark, reached through the covers, and held the hand of my sweetie. Soon it will be winter, with longer days, drives to Western MA in the snow, and life with our baby.


The Narrowing and the Opening

During the last nine months, my world has been getting narrower in ways I didn't intend. I have NOT been working on my play with Geneva. I have NOT been learning FORZA from Sean. I have not been getting my certification to teach spinning. I have not been going out dancing with Kirsten. I have not been traveling out of the country with my husband. I have not been attending Misty Tripoli workshops. I have not been house-hunting. I have not been wearing boots and dresses.

On the face of it, none of these things needed to stop just because I'm pregnant. There's no reason on earth why I shouldn't be going to book readings with Toni. Or seeing bands with Blue. Or visiting New York to see the Catherine Opie retrospective at the Guggenheim. In fact, I've done more than I expected in some ways---this is the first week I'm not teaching fitness classes, for instance, and I am at full term as of tomorrow. Blue and I traveled all over New England and the mid-Atlantic states until I was seven months. We even rode our bikes together more than we did last summer, probably because I wasn't busy doing all those things listed in the first paragraph.

This is the point where someone pats me on the knee and says, "But you've been growing a BABY." I know, I know. I'm beyond happy and excited about it. I don't mean to imply that I feel deprived. Only that I have a very rich life, and by putting things on hold, by cutting down my focus to work and home only, I feel a little more insecure and clingy at work and home. And now I'm slowly cutting down my focus to home only. I am obsessing about work more than usual, thinking of details and personalities in the middle of the night. It would be nice to have some friends, art, or travel to obsess about instead, but my body just isn't into it right now. It's busy.

Also, I think I've been having contractions.