no matter how grateful one is, the end of pregnancy gets long.  especially when one kinda thought it would all be well over by now, had mentally groomed oneself to be ready for the shitshow of the NICU.

being spared one endurance test usually means you’re trading for another.  cynics’ handbook 101, friends.

maybe the end stage gets especially harsh when one runs in online circles where a disproportionate number of friends have lost term babies without warning…to stillbirth, to unforeseen genetic anomalies, to all kinds of tragedies that caught them by surprise even in these late, last, seemingly certain days of expectation.  i fret a little, chafe at the bit, try to jiggle and coerce the baby into moving, into reassuring me as best she can that all is well in there in her little fluid cocoon.  i tell myself to be patient, remind myself that i will likely be willing to kill small fluffy animals for this much time on my hands in just a few weeks.  i rub my belly and marvel at it, knowing that it will never be this big  – or this taut and firm, oh glory – ever again. i try to tell myself that all will likely unfold just fine, and that i do not need to be in control of this event or when or how it occurs. i tell myself chances are everything will be just fine.  i bought an AIDSwalk keychain the other day with the word “trust” on it.  it’s in my bag.

but my brain isn’t listening to me or to much of what i tell it.  it’s not that it’s consumed with worry about worst-case scenarios, either…more just that it’s fixated so soundly on the physical realities of this pregnancy that it flits through the worries like it flits through everything else, like a bad hostess drunk on sherry.  my mind runs on spin-cycle these days, a lather-rinse-repeat refrain of hourly pre-labour twinges that leave me caught in the undertow of ow, hmmm, that one hurt, could this be it?

promptly followed by nothing.  dead air of the uterus, not a cervical cramp in the land.  this child is going to go to prom still inside me.

just as my brain recovers some of its dignity and capacity for self-determination, another vicious little surge sneaks up and stabs me in the stitch, still mightily holding strong despite the complete lack of cervix around it.

i have been in low-grade labour for three weeks now.  it is gradually eroding my ability to form coherent thoughts, especially coherent thoughts not related to this beloved baby and whether or not i will actually deliver her sometime soon.  my brain is all bump, all the time.  and i am weary of it, and weary of myself and the monotony of this refrain.  i wanted to write about something else, desperately…if not upcoming elections – American, Canadian, take your pick – or abstinence-only education or Oscar’s wretched little cold, at least something thoughtful about the whole balancing act of planning to welcome a child once you know that all can go wrong, and how weird it is to wash little onesies and pack them in a drawer with cotton-mouthed fear that the other shoe is about to drop and slam home that the universe really is into bad jokes…

but then i cramped up and tightened, and that was all she wrote.

and hell, at least it keeps me from fixating on the bogeymen.