Is this really my seventh time being here? 39 weeks (well . . . 39 weeks tomorrow). The emotions are probably the same as they’ve always been – conflicting, somewhat maddening – and yet they still feel like I couldn’t have possibly already seen my way through them six times before, like I couldn’t have seen my way through them ever before.
It feels like . . . I am back to being a child on Christmas Eve (the night unbearably long, the magic of what is coming palpable, the hours of waiting unthinkable, the excitement near consuming) and that, amidst all of that child-like, impossible-to-stand anticipation, I have suddenly been told – rather hesitantly -- that . . . nobody is actually certain if Christmas is for sure coming the next morning after all.
The bearer of the bad news (whoever that might be) assuring me that it really will come. And it still might be in the morning, but it also might be the following morning . . . or maybe the next . . . or, possibly, not for ten mornings. But maybe not that long, . . . but also . . . maybe even longer. . . . It feels like, just as a child would, I have questioned my way around this news in utter confusion and slight panic until the unsatisfactory answers have left me afraid that, despite the assurances, Christmas might never come; and wringing my hands over what can possibly be done with all of the excitement and emotion that has boiled out of me and is riding all over the surface of me where it can’t possibly be put back in closed compartments or drawers or anywhere at all that it might possibly be calmly managed while I wait for an event that I had been confident in -- and now can scarcely believe will ever come.
Throw into that odd little description a mix of anxious nervousness, anxiety, and even occasional panic over impending labor and the life-changes that will follow; as well as, a strange and utterly new (for me) sense of loss over this person who I feel knows herself so well, who I feel I know and feel I have understood and communicated with, suddenly forgetting everything – suddenly being a helpless baby with no recollection of all we’ve been aware of together these past months, and . . . you have some idea of the strange type of person I am currently existing as.
But, life continues to demand its living. I continue to go about my days doing the things that need and even want doing – just as if I’m the most normal person who has ever lived: church duties have demanded taking care of, emails have been sent, family gatherings have been happily attended. Today I took Abe and Daisy to register for Jr. High and then let all the kids choose their new school shirt – and Jesse his first school backpack; I made plans with my sisters for a mid-week get-together (because mid-week very well may come . . . just as it typically does); I ran with Goldie.
And, I have held off this stage of slightly crazy for much longer than usual. I typically hit it at about week 37, but even I have finally learned that week 37 is never going to be anything like “the end” for me – so I shoved and pushed the feelings as far as week 38, and then, they were kept mostly subdued by a fun-filled family reunion that ran me close to this current week. . . . and, well, we’ve stated where I’m at mentally now. . . .
Last night Mike asked me when I would most like Summer to come, and while, I openly admitted that, after a week of being on vacation, there was so much I needed to accomplish this week that it would be much better for her to wait; I still felt like a child who wanted to stamp her foot and shout, “I want her to come RIGHT NOW!”
I have also become this strange creature of superstition (though my sister teased me about my open flouting of superstition the other day when she saw the giant ladder that is currently in my entryway – waiting to be carried to the garage – and, in the mean time, walked under roughly twenty times every single day), but I have to catch myself constantly thinking things like:
“I have no desire to clean my bathrooms. I must not be nesting. I guess no baby is coming.”
”I just mopped the floor! I haven’t done that forever. I must be nesting! Surely she’s coming. . . .”
”Aaah! The bishop just said he really hopes I will be present for this combined Sunday meeting! He’s certainly just cursed me to be pregnant ‘til then.”
”Sunday is my mom’s and my grandpa’s birthday. Naturally that is the day she is planning to come. . . .”
She will come though. And, in the mean time, this strange individual who I have become only rarely has the opportunity to surface. I suppose I may as well embrace her (oh dear I’m talking about myself as if I were two people now) and this whole roller-coastery experience!
End note: I took almost zero photos during our family reunion, which I am rather heart-sick about; but it felt like, with so many people around, I had to be fully present and aware of where my children were and what they were doing most of the time (which is sometimes difficult when I am behind my lens). Below are a few cell phone shots I did manage to get from the talent show that my cute Daisy arranged for one of the nights as well as an impromptu guitar, banjo, fiddle, dancing-little-cousins’ night (which, blessedly, almost always happen at our family gatherings with Mike’s side of the family). Also, a few miscellaneous shots from the past week or two.