July 25th is my due date. As expected, baby Meatball was not born today. I’m not sure he’ll be here any time soon as there have been no signs that my body is prepping for labor.
In an ideal world, I’d have a baby in my arms. I’d also be exhausted and trying to get the hang of breastfeeding. There’d be a stack of dirty diapers in the Diaper Champ and I’d have a blow out story or two. Or maybe I’d be in the family care unit with Sean and a rotation of visitors coming in to meet Meatball.
I say it’s ideal because I wouldn’t feel like I’m “wasting” my maternity leave. But this time to focus on me, Sean and getting ready isn’t a waste.
So far, it’s been quite relaxing especially since I get to sleep in. I’ve added more to my recent reads list. First, Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. I first heard about Bernadette when Melissa, the Feminist Texican reviewed it in December. I was reminded to pick it up after a recent mention on NPR as a great summer read. Melissa’s recommendation was enough since I really liked the last two novels I read based on her reviews. Bernadette didn’t let down. It’s a fun read and I enjoyed the unusual format.
Now I’m reading Francisco Goldman’s memoir-ish Say Her Name: A Novel. The novel is based on his relationship with his wife, Aura, who passed away in a swimming accident on July 25, 2007. It reminds me a little of a Love Is A Mixtape: Life and Loss One Song as a Time since they’re both written by a widower following the unexpected death of a young wife except the former does it through literature rather than music.
I’ve been pampering myself. I got my haircut and dyed since the colors were off and my grays were coming in. I’m generally lazy about covering up my roots, but I rush to get it done before a big event. A new baby — and lots of photos with the baby and Sean — seems like a good reason. I got a pedicure too and finally used the gift certificate Sean gave me for a prenatal massage with Becca at Booda Belly.
I don’t think the nesting instinct has actually kicked in. Instead, I felt the usual need to straighten up my apartment as if I knew I’d be having guests. My mom and sister have helped out with washing Meatball’s clothes, towels and blankets. They’re all put away and arranged nicely in his nursery just waiting to be worn/used. My mom also offered to come over and do deep cleaning. She’s awesome.
The best part of being on leave is living in yoga pants and sports bras. It’s too hot for maternity jeans.
Fine. Okay. Good.
Those are my standard responses to questions from friends and family about how I’m feeling, at least physically.
I don’t feel uncomfortable, the nausea I had a few weeks ago went away, I generally sleep 8-10 hours a night, and I still have a good amount of energy to run errands and get our home in order for Meatball’s arrival.
The nurse at my doctor’s office last week said my face doesn’t look like I’m ready to have a baby. I didn’t know what that meant until I told my mom. She agreed and said one can tell when women look like they’re over with pregnancy. The massage therapist I saw yesterday echoed the same sentiment.
Mentally, I feel nervous about labor and all that comes with it. I told Sean that it scares me, but not as much as caring for a newborn and being a mom. At least there are professionals looking over me during labor, it will last X hours, and there are ways to deal with the worst of the pain. The recovery will be shorter and easier than adjusting to our new lives and figuring out motherhood.
One thing I don’t say is “ready.”
Sean’s take on feeling “ready to officially not be ready” for fatherhood.