Due.

Yesterday my parents flew in from Seattle to hopefully catch the birth-lab0r-delivery-wave. They picked up a rental car from the airport and then swung by to get me at our apartment. From there we checked into their hotel and then went to lunch. The front desk lady at their hotel was very, very nice. Very enthusiastic. And when she saw me with them she asked how far along I was and I said, “Oh I’m… due.” And she freaked out with excitement. My very proud father said, “That’s why we are here!” Signing in, credit card info, keys, and directions to their room were then completely eclipsed by birth/baby/labor chatter. I smiled at her, she was very sweet, but I also kept thinking, “Being due means nothing. I don’t feel any impending changes…. and who the hell knows when this kid will arrive. Sigh. Sigh X 1000.”

Then I took my parents to In-N-Out Burger, where the cashier – a very enthusiastic young man – asked me when I was due. And I said, “Oh, tomorrow…” And he also freaked out in a very excited way. Told me he was surprised I wasn’t ordering TONS of food (I was just getting a beverage, I had eaten earlier in the day). When he asked me for the second time what I was having I said, “Oh just a drink.” And then my dad responded, “A boy, she is having a boy.” And I laughed…. because even in a conversation involving pregnancy and baby things, sometimes I still forget that’s what everyone primarily is seeing – not just a customer who hasn’t paid yet, but a giant egg-shaped customer who is making another one of us.

Later we went out to dinner. People were ordering wine. I said, “Just water for me,” and the waitress asked when I was due. I said, “Tomorrow.” And she very noticeably gasped. I reassured here I would not break my water in her restaurant, promise. And again, she was very kind. She told me her first was 11 days late. Sigh. Eleven days. She told me everything would be absolutely just fine, that she was so happy for me and congratulations, she told me not to worry about a thing and that it would all work out. I ordered the beet salad. When we were finished she grabbed my shoulder and told me it would be ok and congratulations again, for a minute I had no idea what she was talking about… but then I remembered and said, “Thank you so much!’

I am due now. Right this second I am due. But …. nothing is happening. Last night I googled if labor comes on suddenly or if it is a gradual thing. Most people said they were fine one minute and the next they had cramps or their water broke or they went in for a doctor’s appointment and the doctor was all, “Dude, what the hell?! You’re in labor! Get thee to the 4th floor!” Some of them talked about the little signs in hindsight. Here are some things that have been happening to me:

  • Cleaning. I want to clean everything and then I want to clean it again. Nothing can escape my Lysol and a sponge (or a paper towel, guilty as charged). And oh my gosh I just realized I am a little skittish about telling the world what cleaning supplies I use for fear of environmentally minded judgement or someone telling me I’m killing the baby with the fumes. So… moving on.
  • Period-like cramps. They come and go. I have had braxton-hicks for so long  (since month 4-ish) that no twinge really phases me. I am impervious to false labor people! YOUR FALSE LABOR EXCITES ME NOT! Except contractions started out feeling like a general flexing of my uterus (so weird) and that would happen when I laid wrong, or when I really had to pee, or if I was thirsty. And those got increasingly more intense as I became increasingly more pregnant. But they never felt like period-cramps. So now sometimes I ache like maybe I’m about to start my period? If I wasn’t pregnant it would for sure send me to the lady’s room to check if I had started or not.
  • The baby has definitely dropped – my balloon of a belly is squishier up at the top now (closest to my boobs) where Gabe used to love to shove his little rump roast and his feet. Now he pushes about 4 inches lower.
  • Speaking of boobs – I think they are bigger. They seem even bigger than before. And sometimes – although it is slight enough for me to second guess it – they are even a little sore (the soreness mostly stopped after the initial holy-shit-boobs growth spurt).
  • My feet have a very short life span of being useful. Twenty minutes max before epic ouch-feet pain. This is very inconvenient for life.

But other than that! Here I am! Baby is still inside his perfectly warm, perfectly nutrition-ed, perfectly perfect little world. When he comes out he is going to be poked, he is going to be cold for the first time, he is going to hear his own startling cries, he is going to feel hunger and smell smells and see bright, blurry lights. But he’ll also be cuddled, have a lot of boob right up in his little man face, be wrapped in warm blankets, and have the freshest start of any of us. He will get to be whatever he wants, he’ll get to command adults with the sqwack of his voice, and he will be lucky enough to have some pretty sweet outfits provided by aunties and grandmas and grandpas…. which I will of course style him in to adorable perfection. So really… what the hell is he waiting for?

29 thoughts on “Due.”

  1. It must be such a weird spot to be “due” but still waiting. The baby will do what the baby will do. I think it’s so sweet that your parents flew down to be there for this though!

    1. It is weird. I feel like it is a rather momentous day that no one else knows about except me (well, and you guys… but like walking-around-in-the-world-style … I am carrying around this secret anticipation.)

  2. Reading this made me feel so guilty for doing it to my own mother! I was about 10 days late, and have been ever since 😉

  3. Oh Lauren this is so exciting. I feel so happy for you guys that I can’t even express it in words. The “What the hell is he waiting for?” is something that has been on my mind with respect to our baby.

    BTW the cleaning spree instincts is totally prolactin acting on you. Crazy hormones and how they control us. You are getting the nest ready .This is what I thought about you when I was reading about your Lysol:

    http://www.bedumer.nl/site/images/stories/nieuws/2009/meerkoet%20op%20nest%20in%20het%20Geert%20Reinderspark%20bedum.jpg

  4. Sending lots of well wishes, happy thoughts, patience, peace of mind, etc, etc to you, Kamel, and your family Lauren!!! (and a sense of urgency to little Mr. Gabe 🙂 )

  5. I’m so excited for Gabe’s arrival I can hardly stand it!!!!! And I’m betting your labor will go much more smoothly than you imagined.

  6. I read somewhere once that first babies are an average of 5 days late. My little one was 10 days late. So just hang in there, which is WAY easier said than done, I know. My husband and I started to make a game of doing all the things that are supposed to bring on labor – spicy foods, lots of walking, eggplant parm, foot rubs, bumpy car rides (we live in NYC and actually got a ZIP car to go on a bumpy car ride).

    My labor began slowly – about 12 hours of slight contractions (that I told NO ONE about because by that time everyone was asking me how I was feeling every moment of every day), followed by my water breaking at 8pm. Went to the hospital at 6am the next morning, labored most of the day and she made her appearance around 5pm. I was shocked my water actually broke because the docs said it usually doesn’t….it was a weird experience and I was glad I was home for it and not out in the world.

    Good luck! See you on the other side!

  7. Yay Baby Gabe in his perfectly adorbs coordinated outfits!!!!!!

    Also, I don’t know if you read younghouselove but when they were expecting their baby every time they talked about cleaning or painting the comments were filled with judgy fume and environment hate speech, so then they started clarifying each post by talking about how eco-safe and baby safe everything they were using was and they got bombarded with comments about how they were being to preachy and they shouldn’t have to explain every second of their baby-life.

    Basically, it stinks that being pregnant opens you up to criticism from all the different crazies.

  8. “When he asked me for the second time what I was having I said, “Oh just a drink.” And then my dad responded, “A boy, she is having a boy.””

    Omgggg. This made me laugh and laugh. I’m SURE it was totally annoying for you, but thanks for the giggles 😉

    (Side note: my high school Spanish teacher freaked us all out by announcing, in class, that her due date was today. All of us teenage girls thought she was nutso.)

    And I just got a little sad for baby Gabe, thinking that he has to be cold for the first time. I feel you, kiddo, I HATE being cold. Just remember: it’ll pass! YOU WILL GET WARM AGAIN!

  9. It’s funny how many random people are so touched by your “due-ness.” I know it must seem so invasive to have everyone wondering/asking/commenting, but it also sounds like real excitement and empathy from them. Just take in what you can and let the rest drift off into the universe.

    In the meantime, I hope your waiting limbo goes quickly and smoothly. Your body will do what it needs to do.

    Good luck!!

  10. Congrats on hitting your due date! It only gets more exciting from here! 🙂 Good luck! You will certainly be in my thoughts.

  11. Woohoo! Come on Gabe 🙂
    A friend of mine who was meant to be due late next week with her first had him over the weekend, so a a full two weeks early. Mark has told me ours is allowed to come any time from this Saturday (its his birthday Friday), but at our last appointment we were told chances are at least another week.
    Cant wait to see photos of wee Gabe!

  12. Hooray! I was 7 days late, and I never thought until you mentioned it how that might have been for my mom. I mean, I knew and cared about other details (she had terrible heartburn for a month or so towards the end) but I never thought about that prolonged waiting period.
    But hooray! I put the twitter widget on my phone finally so I can think happy Gabe thoughts when he decides to show up. (I’m assuming you will let twitter know)

  13. Due dates are fairly arbitrary numbers anyway – did they use that ye olde wheel thing to figure yours out? Dear Boy came the day before my estimated due date (which was based on a bit of shonky guesswork about the length of my cycle) and 4 days earlier than the doc’s estimated due date (also based on a bit of shonky guesswork ignoring any discussion of my actual cycle length). Gabe will be done cooking, when he’s done cooking.

    As for tricks to get the party started, I’m pretty sure most of them are simply to pass time rather than actually get labour going. There’s been some evidence of sex working but frankly, cuddles or chocolate can release much the same hormones; sex just…ahem… releases them a little closer to the action.

    Bouncing on a fitball, spicy food, castor oil, acupuncture/acupressure, sex, long walks, walking with one foot on the road and another on the gutter (??), walking stairs, putting hot coffee in the toilet bowl then sitting above it and letting the steam rise where the sun don’t shine (WTF??): all of these are suggested labour starters and there are plenty more even weirder versions online. I figure, though, don’t do anything that’s going to give you the shits (figuratively or literally – and I mean that in the traditional definition not the newer Oxford dictionary version!) and don’t make yourself so tired you’ve got no energy to get through labour itself.

    Quick question: have you invited your folks or any other peeps into the labour room with you? I had Lovely Husband and my Mum as well as a midwife, all of whom were pretty awesome. I think. My memory of most of that day is sketchy.

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