The holidays proved to be uneventful, Bubs is still hanging on, not quite ready to greet the world at large.
George and I received a phone call from friends of ours who were due with #1 on 12/30. They had their baby the day after Christmas and were calling to let us know. It was like someone smacked George with a reality stick — our baby could come at any time. Literally! He spent all day helping me get baby stuff organized, the hospital bags packed, the last of the baby furniture put together, made me my red raspberry leaf tea, watched the birth videos with me, etc. Since then he’s made me practice various Bradley relaxation techniques… he’ll call me on the phone and say, “Sphincter!” and expect me to relax on command. It’s pretty funny when, in the middle of a conversation, he looks at me and says, “Toes!” or “Legs!” or “Arms!” I think it freaked out one of the clerks at Home Depot last week.
My midwife appointment on 12/30 had me on cloud 9; as of 37 weeks 4 days I’m 80% effaced, 3 cm dialated and Bubs’ head is definitely engaged. I think I’ve been losing my mucous plug over the past 3 days, but I’m not certain that it isn’t just the excessive cervical fluid that comes with the end of pregnancy.
I received a phone call from one of my sisters on Sunday; my uncle (who has lung cancer that has spread to his brain) was admitted to the hospital and had taken a turn for the worse; he wasn’t expected to live for more than a few days. Everyone was at the hospital, saying their goodbyes.
My parents were there, along with my siblings, aunts and uncles. Mom saw me walking down the hall towards her, and she turned to my sister and said, “Wow, look at her belly!” I hugged her and told her how sorry I am, that I can only imagine how difficult this is, losing her brother. She asked me if I know what I’m having, and I said, “A baby. It’s a surprise.” I hugged my sisters and brother and managed to hold it together until I saw my Dad. Seeing a man cry is always too much for me to handle.
I sat with my uncle for awhile, and then went to the waiting room to be with family. We stayed for several hours and when we were leaving, Mom asked if we’d let them know when the baby is born.
Death, birth, estrangement, peace. These concepts are so circular and yet so linear. Paths that we choose to follow, gates we open, doors we close. Burdens we shoulder, both gladly and with grumbling.
My sister called to let me know that Uncle Bob died at 5:30 this morning.