playing in leaves 10 08, originally uploaded by Lindsay Ellis.

October is here.  Margaret and I spent the weekend choosing pumpkins, eating apples, and playing in fall leaves.  I honestly didn’t think that I would incubate this baby this long. The time since June has flown by, though. Even these last three weeks of thinking “any day now” have gone by quickly—the contractions, the mild nausea, the strong but less frequent movements. All of this has kept me thinking that labor was imminent. Now, I feel kind of “over it.” Which is strange, since it hasn’t begun, and I can’t just decide to move on and focus on something else in life. At some point, I’ll be thrown into the vortex of pain and then awe and love. Strangely, I’m just feeling ready to start thinking about academic articles again, giving mental space to them rather than to buying Dreft and getting a new duvet for Margaret’s room. That said, I did spend time today cleaning up my office, which involved emptying the bag of butterflies that I’d bought for Margaret’s walls and nailing them into place. Didn’t make much progress on the articles, in other words.

I’m relishing the times that I’m able to focus on work. I remember the same mental saturation point experience with our wedding as well. By the time the big day finally rolled around, I was kind of burnt out of thinking about and imagining all of the details. The day of our wedding, I chose to read some academic article that had been assigned for homework (Thank goodness that my Mom was so attentive to every detail). This is kind of typical of me, though, to live such a rich imaginative life in anticipation of an event that the event itself sort of seems insignificant when it is actually occurring—I think that Christmas Day occasionally fit this pattern for me as a child.

Yesterday (Sunday) I was (once again) pretty certain that last night was going to be IT. I’d been having lots of uncomfortable contractions on Saturday and yesterday afternoon, and had contractions every 2-5 minutes all evening at our household picnic. (Margaret had a great time playing the Fall leaves at the Staggs’ house!) I even went and got a pen and paper and wrote down the times that each cx started: 5:55, 5:57 (still going til 6:05), 6:07, 6:09 (pause for conversations) 6:16, 6:19, 6:24, 6:29, 6:31, 6:33. Then I went upstairs with Emily and talked while Margaret played dress up in all things pink and they pretty much subsided. They were occasional all evening, and I decided to go to bed pretty much when Margaret did at 8:30. They woke me up every hour( though I think that they were more frequent than that) and then by 3:30 I felt that I was done sleeping. So I got up and biked on the exercise bike while watching old home movies–wonderful glimpses into my family circa 1971. I liked watching my Mom dote on her two little girls (I wasn’t on the scene yet). It helped me to wrap my mind around being a mother of two girls to envision her in that role.

I went to sleep and woke up worrying. I worried about the consequences of not having gotten as much heart rate-raising exercise this pregnancy. What if Margaret was so cheerful and such a good sleeper because I exercised on the Air-dyne for 20 minutes most days? What if this kid has colic? Lots of crying would really be a drag, A, and B, I would feel partly responsible for not giving her the best start possible in the womb by not exercising more. After biking this morning and doing prenatal yoga this evening, though, I feel much better, and Steve reminded me over dinner how many happy kids we know whose moms didn’t exercise at all–which is, of course, true. The free time to devote explicitly to cardio training is a luxury few women in the world are privileged enough to have.

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