When I think back on the last week of my pregnancy, I remember being very pregnant. Swollen ankles to match a swollen belly & anticipation that flowed through the core of my being. None of my clothes fit anymore, only the maternity leggings & jeans I bought last-minute with a few T-shirts. I began wearing them to the office without even asking permission, but at almost two weeks overdue, I think they knew better than to argue.
All of my paperwork & clients were settled anyway – me sitting behind my desk was like a lame duck president, simply waiting for the term to end.
Every night, I came home with exhausted hips & feet but by the end of the night, after dishes were tucked back into cabinets & a cup of tea brewed, I found myself sitting in the nursery. I sat with only a lamp on in the glider, hand on my belly & full of wonder. I wondered who this little baby would be & who I would become as a mother. I worried that I did not have enough diapers or enough clothes or enough bottles or that I would simply not be enough. Sometimes I straightened the little outfits in the closet for the 500th time, but mostly I sat & rocked. I sang lullabies, practicing for future 3am wake-up calls. I dreamed of little toes & Little League, of a lifetime ahead.
Sometimes my husband peeked in on me with a smile, that indulgent smile that I always returned because we made this miracle & this life. It embarrassed me a little, to be found lost in thought, since earlier that day he had caught me standing on the coffee table vacuuming the ceiling. Or scrubbing the bathtub while I was showering. Or checking my hospital bag once more.
I did a lot of those nesting tasks on repeat as I waited for labor. The labor that never came on its own. That infuriating, magical week where every moment was the longest pause of my life & every twinge was the possible beginning of something new.
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