yesterday morning, about 4:15, i woke up with a start.

heartburn.  pee break.  adrenaline.  chomped down a few Tums, had some water, tried to quiet my mind, to plump the pillow and slide back into sleep.  no chance.  got up and watered all my plants instead.

nesting?  nah.  first day of a week-long writers’ conferenceAnn-Marie MacDonald, live and in the lovely,  sardonic, talented, like-to-go-drinking-with-her flesh.  Carol Bruneau and Anne Simpson leading faculty workshops, in intimate groups; real live agents and publishers sharing advice.  peers – or rather, People Who Are Not Really My Peers as They’ve Already Written Novels – to share work and consort with.  all at a gorgeous resort, twenty minutes from my house, with fantastic food.   basically, candyland for anyone who aspires to be a wordsmith.  or who likes chocolate cake and good vocabularies.  since i found out in late July that i’d been granted a bursary to attend this shindig, i’ve been drooling…and intimidated, but mostly drooling.  looking forward to this has given me a focus other than the coming baby to set my sights on, to fantasize about.  and so yesterday morning, i was just all atwitter with anticipation.  i figured.

the first day of the conference saw me away from my house from 8 am to 10 pm, a first since long before the whole bedrest epoch began.  i came home exhausted but delighted, full of ideas and stories and a dessert so rich and high in my gorge i considered writing it its own poem.  i did jot out a few scenes on my actual topic, and fell into bed weary and richly pleased, grateful for this opportunity.  proud of myself for pushing myself to actually try such a bold thing as running in these heady circles.

about 4:30 am, i woke up with a start.

heartburn.  pee break.  adrenalin.  and a weird, non-rhythmic dull ache in my lower belly.  swallowed the usual suspects, tried the whole sleep thing again, gave up.  got up, did a couple of loads of laundry, folded all the baby sleepers, organized our finances.  no longer all atwitter with the first-day jitters, i forced myself to actually take stock of my state of being.

nesting?  um, i think so.  i am not a morning person.

i was hanging curtains – quietly – in our bedroom at 5:55 when Dave turned a bleary eye on me and muttered, “that’s a sign of labour, you know.”

yep.

33 weeks, 4 days.  still too early, but not so early that there’s significant long-term risk to her if she comes…just a rough start, wee thing, and possible complicated weeks in the NICU.  they will no longer stop labour if it starts in earnest.

the dull ache subsided about 9:30 am, in the midst of the writing workshop’s group feedback session.  i had to skip a session of the conference later in the day for this week’s appointment with my OB; cervix short, soft, thinning.  it appears ye olde cerclage stitch is letting go…or at least a loop of it has already.  and if i have any contractions or further aches at all, from here, i’m to go in and we’ll take just take it out.  i may be fishing-line-free sooner than i’d imagined.

or not.  the way my body’s been cleaning itself out, the way it feels like it’s gearing up without me, i’d guess yes.  except i’m usually wrong.

oh world, you clever little trickster.  sure, this is the only week out of the past six months when i’ve actually got other plans that don’t revolve around gestating.  is it really necessary to remind me of my small, snivelling place in the universe by threatening my still rather itsy-baby baby with imminent arrival when we’ve come this far?  is it truly that entertaining to deprive me of sleep right when ye olde brain is actually on call for regular all-day usage for the first time since, um, March?  must we play this little maybe-we’ll-go-to-the-NICU game when Oscar’s sitter is actually on holiday all next week and Dave’s dad’s in the hospital, rendering Grandmaman unable to come to babysit?  seriously?  you’re funny, world.  i get it.  i don’t run the circus ’round here.  you’re the boss, and i salaam to your charming sense of humour.

but could we just wait ten more days, or so?  September is such a lovely month for birthdays, i hear.  and Ann-Marie MacDonald has a reading Thursday night at the library.  it’s gauche to break your water at the library, world.  got it?

please. let her stay safely put.  or at least let me sleep, while i practice trusting my body to do what it needs to.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

this whole nesting thing – which goes waaaay beyond my usual OCD issues regarding tidiness – still appears to be having its wanton way with me.  i just sorted a bunch of outdated files.  my recycling?  you could eat off it.

i’ve never had this before, not really.  for those of you who have been similarly possessed by forces of frantic evil…is there any truth to the rumour that this is a harbinger of things to come soon?  what was the time lapse for you between the onset of Stepford Wife symptoms and the arrival of bebe?

somebody tell me a month, ‘kay?

(and then shoot me when six weeks from now i’m still pregnant and eating my words AND my screen, and the world is cackling bwah ha ha ha ha.)