I am trying to be patient. Really, I am. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that babies are born on their birthdays, not on due dates; that women are not overdue until they are past 42 weeks; that unnecessarily rushing a birth will just make things harder on everyone involved… I do. I believe in those things. And when your two oldest sisters were born near 41 weeks, I accepted that “This is just how long my body takes to build a baby”. I was content to be a 41 week mom, all my babies showing up to the party a week ‘late’.
Of course, then Becky was born at 39 weeks (though she would have made her entrance a week earlier had she been positioned correctly), and now I have no idea when to expect you. I am surrounded by pregnant women lately, and one by one they have had their babies – some ‘late’, some early, some right when they were expected – and each time I have to remind myself that you will come when you are ready, but it’s not easy to squash the pangs of jealousy.
I have been waiting for what seems like years – long, sick, trudging years – to see your sweet face, and now that it is near, I just want to be there, to be holding you in my arms, knowing that we both survived this pregnancy healthy and whole. I want to know if you are a Samuel or a Samantha. I want to know that our family is complete, that I can give away the maternity clothes (in a few months), and get on with the mothering part of this endeavor.
So, I am 38 weeks, closing in on 39. In all likelyhood, you will be here sometime in July, but that could be tomorrow, or three weeks from now. I imagine your birth much like your sisters – a slow buildup that I ignore and deny, followed by a short, intense, joyful labor – and then I will lift you up, and I will stare into your eyes – pearls I have made out of sand – and I will say “Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for choosing today.”
Serene, I fold my hands and wait,
Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
I rave no more ‘gainst time or fate,
For lo! my own shall come to me.
I stay my haste, I make delays,
For what avails this eager pace?
I stand amid the eternal ways,
And what is mine shall know my face.
Asleep, awake, by night or day,
The friends I seek are seeking me;
No wind can drive my bark astray,
Nor change the tide of destiny.
What matter if I stand alone?
I wait with joy the coming years;
My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
And garner up its fruit of tears.
The waters know their own and draw
The brook that springs in yonder height;
So flows the good with equal law
Unto the soul of pure delight.
The stars come nightly to the sky;
The tidal wave unto the sea;
Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
Can keep my own away from me.