Pregnancy Diary Vol. VI: On The Due Date
By Ellen SeidmanAt last, D-Day is here, though my body isn't actually doing anything in honor of my due date. My doc says I'm one centimeter dilated, but I could stay that way for days. By the way, is it just me or does it seem a little strange how openly people discuss dilation? I mean, usually I don't talk about the state of my affairs down there, but women I don't even know have been asking how enlarged my vagina is as freely as if they wanted to know what I did last weekend.
Friends have said that they're not surprised this baby is going to be late; I'm rarely on time for anything. They've given me all sorts of advice on how to induce labor, most of which boils down to take a very long, brisk walk, have sex then eat Chinese food. I'm not rushing to try it; I have to admit, I'm greedy for all the free time I can get (my maternity leave officially started two days ago). It's not as if I'm unready -- Dave and I have given new meaning to the words "planned parenthood." For weeks now, we've had the clothes, the furniture, the dirty-diaper squasher. It's just that I'm not ready to give up my life of relative leisure, I'm also secretly queasy about whether Dave and I even meet the qualifications for parenthood. The other day we had a ten-minute argument about where to order pizza from. Is this adult behavior? My friend Lauren told me that when she was in the hospital filling out the birth certificate form for her first kid and got to the spot where it said "Parents' signature," she couldn't figure out why they wanted her mother and father to sign. I knew exactly what she meant.
I just finished reading the WORST parenthood book in the universe. I'm not going to name it, but the gist of it is secrets new mothers need to know. Amongst the enlightening insights: Expect not to fit into your jeans for a while, expect your husband to sleep through every midnight feeding, expect smelly spit-up on your shoulder and macaroni and cheese on your sofa and carpet, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure the book will make for lovely fireplace kindling.
I'm not all that concerned about labor; I'm more freaked about the thought of finding childcare. I figure that even if I have the delivery from hell (and part of me feels like I just might, since this pregnancy has been so incredibly easy), it's just a day or two of my life plus whatever aftereffects. A friend asked whether I'd do a Nannycam, and my instinctive response was, "No way!" But then I started thinking, How else do you know how the nanny is taking care of your kid? Hello, paranoia!
A colleague of mine once joked that by the end of your pregnancy you feel like you've swallowed a baby, and it's true. The baby is so formed, I can detect entire limbs moving around. He/she has moved hundreds of times but each and every instance still wows me; I know I'm going to miss the sensation after I give birth. It's hard to believe that soon, so very soon, I'm going to be holding this baby in my arms, a baby that my body grew. In a way, I can't wait. Then again, I think I'll grab Dave and head out for dinner and a movie, while we still can.
Shortly after writing this article, Ellen gave birth to Max, a healthy baby boy. He and his parents are doing well.