Dear Baby: Thirty-Seven Weeks, Five Days
We have arrived.
After weeks of worrying that you might be born early, I breathed a sigh of relief when you and I marked our entry into a full term pregnancy last Friday.
I cannot overstate how thrilled I am to be in this space where the worry is replaced with calm, almost zen-like anticipation.
For you can now come any time that you are ready.
I’m more or less ready. I need to wash a few more clothes. Bring the bassinet up from the basement. Install the new car seat.
But for the most part, we are ready for you.
Last night, I had my first vivid and extended birth dream. It was strange and surreal, like most birth dreams are.
My mom found me wandering in a field and rushed to tell me that I had given birth to you, that you were still in the hospital, and that I had gotten so ill after the birth that I had wandered right out of the hospital into the eerie field where she discovered me.
I had no memories of your birth: just a desperate urge to race to see you.
When I arrived at the hospital, there was a crowd of people outside the nursery–friends, family, even distant acquaintances. They had all gotten to hold you and cuddle you and simply look at you. And I was furious, absolutely enraged: it wasn’t their right to hold you before I did.
I entered the nursery to find you in one of those horrible glass bassinets, all alone and swaddled. You were huge, more like a four- or five-month-old baby than a newborn. You had a shock of whitish-blond hair like Alec did at birth, but you also had a magnificent red mohawk down the center of your head. I held you and cradled you and cooed at you, and you smiled and giggled back at me.
In almost every conceivable way possible, this was a wildly unrealistic dream (thank goodness). I suspect that it was tapping into past angst over my cesarean with Miles: those feelings of sadness and regret over not being the first, or second, or even fifth person to hold my new child.
But beyond these feelings, I’m not sure that it was anything more than one of those late-pregnancy birth and baby dreams that many mothers find themselves experiencing as their baby’s birth nears.
Interestingly, when I awoke, I found myself in the midst of a tiny, whiny crampy contraction. It’s now 6:30 p.m., and I’ve been having these contractions steadily since 6:30 this morning. But they’re not “the real thing.” They’re not getting longer or stronger or closer together. They don’t make me stop to catch my breath. They don’t halt me in my tracks and bring me to my knees or to an inescapable rock or sway.
It’s not time yet.
I like to look at these contractions at little hints of your impending arrival. Perhaps it’s just my uterus toning up for the big day. Perhaps it’s just you getting into a better position for birth. Perhaps it’s both. Or neither.
And so here we are: you and I, at 37 weeks. We could meet tonight or Friday or four weeks from now. And whenever it is, I know at the very least that I am ready–oh so ready, finally ready–for it to happen.