A Reader Asks:

When are you due? Very soon, right?

I’m just past thirty-seven weeks pregnant; the baby could come at any time, although I bet I’ve got a couple of weeks. This is the first pregnancy for which I’ve seen an OB, and I am hating it—I am not offered information or a chance to make decisions, but am rather just sort of shuffled through the office and handed conclusions. Next week I’m taking in my list of preferences for the birth, and we’ll see how that goes. The doctor is a very nice man, no question, but the medical model for handling pregnancy just drives me right up the wall (but is all that my current insurance will cover, damn it). I’m in excellent health, my blood pressure is great, I have no swelling, and now I get to tell Dr. P that I don’t want an IV (group B strep negative represent!), I want to be able to eat and drink, I don’t want continuous monitoring, I want to be able to move around . . . we’ll see how it goes. The plan is for my mother to be with me in labor, and as a midlevel healthcare provider herself (and former childbirth instructor and birth coach), she’s a strong advocate. This will be my first hospital birth, and I am unable to muster anything more enthusiastic than grim resolve. Except for the baby part! Tomorrow we’re getting a dresser for the Possum’s tiny clothes, which I have been washing and folding all week. My hospital bag is mostly packed—more packed than it was for Joey’s birth, in fact—and we have some tiny diapers ready to go.

I can’t wait to meet this kid. It’s going to be awfully interesting to see how he’s different from Joey, and in what ways he’s similar—perhaps this one will like swaddling! And hats! . . . Or be colicky! And yes, it turns out that, as Dr. P put it: “[Mr. Book], you keep making the same things!” We had a name crisis, but have a good boy’s name picked out now and plenty of tiny blue things. This is our last child, we’re both quite sure, unless there is some kind of divine intervention. While I think I’m having the healthiest pregnancy so far (I’ve been healthy all three times, but really doing well this time), I’ve had an incredible amount of false labor, which I’m told only gets worst in subsequent pregnancies. It’s pretty miserable, and a reason that I’ve been much less present online than I’d like to be; I am spending much of my limited free time either in the bath or curled up on a couch, reassuring myself that this isn’t the real thing, just painful and pointless.

Joey, though, has come through a rough brain patch beautifully, and while more of a handful than ever (I sort of regret not getting a picture of the Kleenex Apocalypse from earlier today), we’re enjoying him a lot. He’s got such a sweet and basically easy-going personality that it’s hard not to worry about rolling the dice again. But oh, I know that it’s worth it.

8 thoughts on “A Reader Asks:

  1. Sounds like you’re as prepared as you’ll ever be! I hope that the doctors and nurses in the hospital respect your wishes, and that labor with Possum is uneventful. Congrats again!

  2. I can’t wait to “meet” him. If I feel that way I know how much you do. You’ll skirt the hospital-y-ness, I am certain.

  3. Wahoo! It sounds like the little guy is getting ready to come out very soon. How does Joey feel about being a big brother?

  4. It’s so exciting that the possum will be here before too long. He’s going to be gorgeous! Hoping that you’re hanging in there in this final stretch…

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