I have read recommendations to record my thoughts during my pregnancy, perhaps for my son to read. Would he be interested? For me, at least, it gives me something to do as I await regular contractions, the big arrival day. I cannot imagine the feelings I will go through. Why should I? I’m sure the feelings will be vivid enough at the time, well worth not repeating again … except perhaps for those when I first see my son.
Let’s talk about heartburn, I guess. I can look back on it almost laughing because it has eased. Baby has dropped, not definitively, but enough so that my stomach has room to turn its acid without sticking the complete concentrated vat at the base of my esophagus to tilt and spill along my throat at any point I recline beyond a forty-five degree angle, the burning corrosion traveling to the back of my mouth no matter the amount of calcium chalk tablets I swallow. Yes, I could take acid-controlling pills but, beyond taking enough pills at the moment, I recognize I have a normal amount of acid and I’ll need those digestive juices in the future. And so, the future has come, heartburn has eased into a mere memory.
To take its place when it is time for a night’s sleep is backache. Surrounded by pillows, tilting up a leg, supporting my back from complete contact with the mattress as the frontward belly weight pulls on muscles not accustomed to holding such drag, I eventually flip and try the other side for an hour or so. I never glance the clock because I don’t want to know the minutes lost per flipping session, rolling over and wishing I had an industrial-sized spatula to do the tossing. Standing removes the discomfort completely. How would you like to sleep like that? I think I’ll try the sectional recliner in the living room. As I progress through this stage of interrupted nights, I can glance up a paragraph and understand how this too shall pass (a favorite saying of my mother’s). I also think the broken sleeps as preparation for the nightly feedings to come. Cataloging the stages of pregnancy in physical distress may not be the positive focus, but I’ll save the enlightening for last as I’m sure he is doing, inside me.
The mental distress is partly me keeping my gaze distracted from the calendar, tallying days when things might begin to happen. I read the most solid numbers I could about Delivery Day, and those report that “eighty-five percent of babies are born within 2 weeks of their due dates.” (Your Pregnancy and Childbirth: Month to Month by American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists ) Okay, I can narrow it down to four weeks–two before and two after–one month, based on the averages. As of now, I’ve filled less than a half hour of that time pouring words into this once blank document. Twenty-eight days multiplied by twenty-four hours per day, multiplied by two to calculate the number of half hours once I reach 38 weeks will lead to 1,344 half-hours to potentially fill. There are the sleep hours between the alternating of positions in a wakeful state which could be eliminated. I hadn’t wanted to use the words waiting game in the beginning, but I guess it is a fair conclusion at this point. I do sporadic packing for the big day. Of course a few items are used on a daily basis and won’t get shoved into the bag until the day of. Here I must admit perhaps one advantage to my high-risk condition though there is concern strapped to it. They (perinatologists) do not want me to go post-term, inducing is a consideration with my epilepsy. I could slice off a couple weeks which helps but also in turn, I must admit I am days away from reaching term, 37 weeks. All this rambling for naught but to fill space and time and perhaps organize my thoughts. Yes, it seems simplified, and somewhat silly, once strung out in specifics, serially sentenced.
Family will be visiting, I am lucky of that as distraction. Christmas is nearly upon us, but I cannot see much of that holy day except for where it racks up in my number-crunching. There is a spectacle of that holy day and there is the love, faith-filled version. I recognize and understand the latter and yet, consider my own child’s arrival in relation to said day. I had not seen that as a possibility until last night, flopping and turning in bed. What a wonder-filled chance … and so it would be on any other day, for me, the life growing inside me and developing into family, our son.
He moves, within me, as I type my words. Does he hear the clacking of the keyboard buttons? All above can be written off; he wipes it away with one sweep of his foot across the side of my interior, his womb. I’ve known his heel best, his head staying close to the exit. How I’ve come to love his heel, the only real identity of which I’m sure at this point as he rolls and presses to settle on his other side, pushing against my back I imagine, though I do not feel it; I can only experience how he turns against my abdomen and rib cage (though he doesn’t hit that as often since he has recently dropped some). His heel is small, a mere portion of a fetus’ foot, but it is him. From knowing a foot, I’ll get to know him. He continues to grow inside and I’ll know him more, know him in detail once he arrives, and he’ll grow, and I’ll know him in person as he grows to be an individual. I’ll influence him for years to come not realizing the majority of the time how I am doing so though knowing it is by mere example. He’ll be off on his own, exploring, experiencing, discovering. He’ll reach adulthood, be a man. What kind of man? And throughout this always, always he will be himself.
With God and Nature, we have creation. We’ll have him, and he’ll have our love and wonderment.