I'm officially one week from my due date today. The last few days I've felt increased tightening and pressure, which has made me excited and giddy. Who knows, though, when Fetus will really arrive. Thankfully, at my birthing center, the midwives will give you up until 42 weeks before they start (adamantly) suggesting medical induction. (Technically speaking, a human pregnancy's due date is anywhere between 38 and 42 weeks; after 42 weeks, the ability of the placenta to support the baby's life diminishes and, accordingly, the likelihood of a stillbirth increases slightly.)
I'm shocked at how few mothers don't know a pregnancy is 10 months. Others, I don't blame--I didn't know, either, and why would we, what with the media making such a fuss over 9 months? But women who have gone through the experience? Shouldn't they know any better?
I made the mistake of sending out an email to family and close friends with the subject "9 months and counting," and in-law G-ma B. instantly emailed me and all of her friends that I've never met to say I'm having a baby any day now. I didn't know how to break it to her, a woman who has had five children, that a full gestational term is 40 weeks or 10 months. Not nine. So I just let it go ... only now I'm being bombarded by emails asking if Fetus has arrived yet.
Speaking of Fetus, my G-ma B., who is an extremely devout Catholic, emailed me and said: "I want to let you know that I'm praying for the baby (not fetus)." While I understand that she's coming from the perspective of her religious beliefs, it was still something of a smack in the face. I call our baby Fetus, so you kind of told me that the most powerful action that you believe in (praying) will not be conferred upon my baby, at least not in my terms. This is also the same G-ma that wrote me a 3-page letter on how I need to adhere blindly to "the doctor's" every whim because "it's not about you anymore, Goose." Was it ever?
I have read that many mothers are sick and tired of the pregnancy at the end and "just want it out." I don't feel this way at all. I feel curious, certainly, but patient. I will miss Fetus being wrapped inside me, kicking every evening around 10 pm, making me laugh with his/her weird waving movements, rubbing my belly and knowing s/he is safe and secure ... At the same time, I'm excited to meet her/him. I can't for the life of me imagine what Fetus will look like or be like.
I picked up my library copy of Last Child in the Woods and have started reading already for Green Bean's green reading challenge, though tonight I think I'll take a long walk with the dogs instead. It's gorgeous weather today, blue jays surrounding my bird feeder and two new flowers bloomed from my strawberry plant.