Waiting isn't so bad

Well, I guess the 7 people who voted for yesterday as Kent's arrival date are sad. Sorry. I did what I could, but evidently the little bugger just isn't quite ready for all this excitement yet. He prefers his current warm, squishy environment. =)

The doctor says I'm *almost* 2 cm and about 80% effaced now. I think she might have just been trying to make me feel better, but it worked anyway.

She was overbooked today, so I had to wait about 45 minutes to see her, but I didn't mind because I was happily engrossed in a new library book called Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott. I loved her book Bird by Bird, which I read as part of a creative nonfiction writing class I took in college, so when I heard about this book, which is a journal of her son's first year and her experiences as a single mom raising him, I promptly requested it from the library and just started it this morning.

I was alternating between suppressing tears and stifling hysterical giggles in the waiting room, sort of hoping no one would think I was insane but not really minding if they did. I love good writers. I've been doing so much matter-of-fact baby reading lately by doctors and other health-care types that it feels like a luxury to be reading something by an actual WRITER again. Here are a couple of excerpts from her book that I especially liked.

The opening paragraph:

"I woke up with a start at 4:00 one morning and realized that I was very, very pregnant. Since I had conceived six months earlier, one might have thought that the news would have sunk in before then, and in many ways it had, but it was on that early morning in May that I first realized how severely pregnant I was. What tipped me off was that, lying on my side and needing to turn over, I found myself unable to move. My first thought was that I had had a stroke."

Oh, can I relate to that? Let me count the ways (or the pillows in my bed).


On her cat's first encounter with the baby, as she is trying to take the baby's temperature rectally for the first time (with the word "poo" substituted for a slightly more uncouth term):

"I put Sam facedown on my lap and took off his diaper and even his little T-shirt, so he looked very sweet and vulnerable, like a chicken. Right then the kitty ran into the house and straight through the living room into the kitchen, very deliberately keeping her eyes off Sam and me. I was putting petroleum jelly on the thermometer when she tore from the kitchen, back through the living room, and out the front door, still with her eyes averted, as if she had little blinders on. A minute later, I inserted the thermometer into Sam's rectum. I think it surprised him a little bit, and right at that exact second the kitty tore back into the house and ran up to the couch to check out the new arrival. In the next few seconds, with the kitty's eyes on us, [poo] began spouting volcanically out of the baby's bum, and I started calling for help. The [poo] just poured voluminously out of Sam while the kitty looked up at me with total horror and disgust, like "You have got to be kidding, Annie, this one's broken." Like she had put her trust in me to pick one up at the pound, and this was the best I could do."

This part had me giggling uncontrollably, and I still laugh every time I reread it. No one dishes out disdain like a cat.


On interacting with her son:

"Sam and I sit around and stare at each other. I call it putting on the Sam channel. I talk to him constantly — I say, "A bunch of bigheads are coming over this afternoon to celebrate your birthday," and he looks up into my face like maybe my freckles are forming themselves into familiar letters."


I cried while reading her description of finding out she was having a boy, and then laughed very loudly at the next few paragraphs, in which she discusses how odd it felt to be having a child with a penis, considering her own mixed emotions about penises as a single, heterosexual woman. I also cried when she said that his sounds were so heartbreakingly beautiful that he sounded like a baby dolphin.

I plan on parenting with as much compassion, intelligence, and humor as I can muster, so this, to me, has come at the perfect time. This is one of those books to be experienced, to wrap oneself in. Even those of you who are not raising baby boys at the moment just might love it.

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Do you FEEL any closer to giving birth? (or I guess any different?) That's the big question!
awww *sniff* (stinkin' hormones)
No, but I wish I felt closer! I keep hoping, but really, I don't know what it feels like to feel closer to giving birth, anyway. Maybe I'll have a better idea with my second kid. =) For now, though, the waiting continues... sigh.
HI Erica,
Hang in there. I'm still rooting for July 3rd! Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott is another book you would probably enjoy. She is a wonderful writer, mother, thinker and spiritual seeker. Love, Lisa
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