He’s due July 30, by a (very)weird coincidence, the exact day my James was due. James was born three weeks early, and if the doctor and the tests are right, baby buttgold could be born the exact same day. Wow, huh? Plus I’ve always found Cancers to be lovely people. Leos, now, not so much. Well, they’re exciting and charming but high maintenance and nerve-wracking. I’m a believer in the science of astrology.

It’s been a delightful time, watching my baby grow a baby. She hasn’t gained a lot. In fact, much of the time, she was underweight and the doctor was concerned. Now, she looks like she’s faking being pregnant, having a perfectly rounded belly, like she stuck a soccer ball under her shirt. She has had some food cravings (most noteably, pickles smothered in mustard! Gross!) and other pregnancy side effects. I’ve been mesmerized at every detail, especially the ones we share–like nasal congestion, and a wart on the tip of her finger!

A lot of pregnant women experience the congestion and many of my friends (and I) used 4-Way nasal spray throughout our pregnancies. Immediately following birth, that went away. Sarah struggles with that but refuses the nasal spray. She’s been incredibly careful about what she eats and drinks. It’s been funny at times (“I’m not supposed to eat cheese”) but mostly I’m humbled at her dedication to bringing this little body safely into the world, her dedication to him already.

I was telling her about these symptoms right at the first and mentioned the wart when her eyes went big and she silently held out her hand and showed me the wart now on her finger.
Wow, huh? (did I already say that?). I told her mine had gone away every time as soon as I had the baby, and that even with the two miscarriages I had, yup, wart on the finger that went away when the pregnancy ended.

I went with her to the doctor a couple weeks ago and am amazed at the progress technology has made since I had her twenty-five years ago. I had one ultra-sound, had to drink gallons of water and could barely make anything out (doctor said she was a boy). Was denied the epidural because I didn’t schedule it months ahead (what a cheap thrill is hard labor). Did you know they can measure the amniotic fluid inside the mom now? And actually tell you how much the baby weighs if he were born that day (last week, 5.5 lbs). The ultrasounds started long ago, we have pictures of the most beautiful tiny little embryo ever to exist; now, we can see his chubby cheeks, eyes, rosebud mouth, his feet! And he has hair, lots of it!

Sarah had been losing amniotic fluid, so she was put on bed rest for a few weeks and when we went in this time, her fluids were up, baby still going strong. But they did a fetal monitor test to be on the safe side. I was totally intrigued at all this new gadgetry and the tech was explaining the screen to me when she commented, “that’s the contractions, can you feel those? How far along are you?”

Sarah and I looked at each other; I’m following her lead being all calm (it was like I was the newbie, she was the expert) and she replied “34 weeks.” The tech and I began to watch the monitor closely, Sarah appearing very blase, I also appearing blase. Blase being total fakery on my part because inside I was thinking all kinds of superlatives. The tech excused herself and came back with the doctor, who decided to do a cervical and pronounced Sarah as dilated to one centimeter. She was to continue to rest and be careful to keep the fluids up.

Last week, the contractions were appearing more regular and doctor said she’d probably come early, the next few weeks. Today, well, even more so. She’s reporting feeling more and more uncomfortable. So keep your fingers crossed, guys! Bill’s so excited he can barely stand it, already making plans for fishing trips with baby boy.

When I had my first baby, I almost had him at home, not realizing that pain I was feeling was labor (being raised by wolves as I was). No crib, diapers, baby clothes. Not one thing. Never even wore any maternity clothes since I’d lost weight rather than gaining. Sarah, on the other hand, has a fully decked out and darlingly decorated nursery, stroller, car seat, high chair, toys, and clothes, anything a tiny baby will need and more. She sent me to the store to buy all the stuff he would need for the belly button and circumcision. Breast pump. Nursing garments. All set. I got her a bunch of stuff including a new nightie and slippers to put in a bag already by the door for the hospital trip. Brad is over the moon about this child–he has a big family and they love little kids.

But isn’t all this newfangled stuff just marvelous? Although, in a way, it’s made it more nerve-wracking. Because I guess the effacement/dilation/contractions could all go on for another five weeks. I wonder if I experienced a lot of those things, but never knew it because they couldn’t measure it then. Although…..that baby I almost had at home? Well, I did feel “something” and went to the ER to be checked at about 10 pm the prior evening. Doctor said, “you’re fine, you’re going to go at least two more weeks.” Had that child at 6:10 am the next morning–ten minutes after I got to the hospital!–after going through labor all by myself all night long, my husband sleeping peacefully. He was ten days early. Next baby, 21 days early.

I tell you, if she DOESN’T have this baby early, it’s going to seem like a very loonnnng last month. Tell me your interesting baby stories.