On due date minus one, I had my hair cut one last time. The ladies in the salon swooned over my belly and declared that I was “all baby”. I knew better-there was no way I was carrying a 45-lb baby. At home, I painted my fingernails with a sensible clear polish and, with the help of creative stretching, managed to reach my toes with light pink paint. Soon I wouldn’t have time for haircuts or primping.
This time last year, Baker was alive and active and squirmy in my belly, heart beating away. He never slowed down as he grew bigger, as I was told would happen as he ran out of room. Every morning at work I dutifully counted his kicks, and each time it took less than 10 minutes to count 10 kicks. Our plans were all in place. The nursery was complete, and we’d been riding around for weeks with the car seat installed. I wasn’t impatient or anxious or physically uncomfortable, only happy that we would meet him soon. We were on his timetable. I wanted him to cook as long as he needed to.
And there we were back at the birth center this past week. What pediatrician have you chosen? Do you plan to circumcise? Don't forget to add your baby to your health insurance. Here we go again. Going through the same steps all over again makes me feel like we’re jinxing ourselves. Let’s get this baby out safely and then deal with the details, OK? It didn’t work out last time, so why do we think it might work out this time?
In all the times Chris and I have been to the birth center, this is the first time the door to the hallway that leads to the bedrooms has ever been closed. I know there’s a mother back there, probably in the same bedroom that I was. The father follows his toddler into the waiting room. I avoid his glance and think I hope your baby makes it.
This time last year, Chris dragged a beach chair from the garage, and I sat in the spring sun with my squirming belly, watching him rake the lawn and flower beds. And here I am now, sitting in the sun with my belly full of baby boy-waiting, again.