Our hospital bag is packed. The car seat is in the car. I have scrubbed the insides of our kitchen cabinets, dusted the mini-blinds, washed and folded our stack of baby blankets.  C’mon, baby!  It’s time to get this show on the road!

Or not. We saw the doctor yesterday morning, and it seems that little Schnell is, in the words of La Verne, “still clinging to the sides of my womb” (Jack and La Verne know a thing or two about stubbornly late babies).  The past couple of weeks, I’ve met these progress reports (and I use the word “progress” lightly) with a mixture of disappointment and relief, relief being the dominant emotion – I wasn’t quite ready, the house wasn’t in perfect order, I wanted a little more time to myself.  But yesterday, upon hearing that my cervix isn’t looking labor-ready, impatience began to take hold of me.  My checklist is complete.  It’s been borderline hot in Seattle.  The bowling ball strapped to my front side is making it hard for me to walk/sit/lay comfortably.  And more than anything, I really really really want to meet this kid.  I’m tired of trying to picture baby Schnell and coming up with only vague, fuzzy images of what our child might be like.  Will he or she have hair?  Will he or she like to be rocked, or bounced, or taken for long car rides?  And for Pete’s sake, is it a he or a she?  I’d really love to narrow this down to a single pronoun.  Even in my dreams, the details elude me.  Last week I dreamt that I gave birth to a stuffed teddy bear – I reached out to pick it up and was completely crestfallen by its glassy-eyed gaze.  A couple of nights ago, I dreamt that my doctor pulled the baby out during my regular check-up.  Thankfully, the baby was human and healthy, but I was so surprised by the whole thing that I rushed home and spent the entire day calling family members and marveling over my newly flat stomach – it wasn’t until late that evening that I realized I had left our child at the doctors office, without having asked whether it was a boy or a girl.

Nance suggested that we pack a couple of comfort items in our hospital bag to help me cope with labor – tokens of support or encouragement for when the going gets tough.  So tucked in my duffel bag, next to the camera and the baby clothes, is a snapshot from my 6-week ultrasound, the appointment where we discovered with overwhelming relief that our little embryo had a heartbeat.  I look at this miniature pea-sized blur and am flooded with gratitude for how the baby has grown over the past eight months.  I’m reminded of all the waiting and hoping and praying that has led us here – it’s been a long, winding road, but finally, we’re on the verge of parenthood.  So what do you say, kid?  Shall we put an end to all this crazy anticipation and meet face-to-face?  I vote yes.

20130912 packed bag sm

One Comment

  1. brieanne says:

    if it makes you feel better, my cervix was doing NOTHING when i went in for my appointments, i had zero braxton hicks, and eleanor came start to finish in 12 hours =)

    go get that massage!