Time, Space, and Gestation

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Time is a mysterious thing. It flies when you have fun, it creeps up when a project is due, and it can pass both in slow motion and at the same time in a flash during moments of duress. 

How is it that in pregnancy the last month can feel just as long as the first eight? I’m not speaking hyperbolically. There’s a psychological mechanism in the pregnant brain that’s triggered around 36-37 weeks gestation that says, “This is your new body. You will be pregnant forever, you know that, right? This baby will never come, so you may as well get used to it. Go ahead and order that maternity blouse in an XL, you’ll be needing it for a long while yet.”

But everywhere I go I hear,

“Any day now!”

“You’re almost there!”

“Not long now!”

All these friends and neighbors mean well, and I know they think their statements of encouragement are based on scientific facts, but I just can’t seem to believe any of them. It flies in the face of that internal voice in my head that says “this is the new you.”. Let’s face it, “any day now” has stretched on for weeks. I’m not “almost there,” it’s just a mirage in the desert. And even if my water broke tomorrow, that would still be a very, very long time from now.

I don’t mean to sound like an Eeyore, it’s just the swollen, purple ankles talking. (Come to think of it, my ankles kind of do look like Eeyore’s. I know he doesn’t have any ankles, he’s a purple-ish, gray stuffed toy, but then that’s my point.)

There are definite advantages to feeling like you share the same gestational time frame as an elephant. For example, I don’t think twice about having that second bowl of ice cream anymore. It’s one of the few things that doesn’t give me heart burn and as far as weight gain goes, I’ve now reached the “throw it on the pile,” frame of mind. 

At the pool, I’m not trying to suck in my tummy, not even a little bit. It’s liberating. And when it comes to picking up around the house, I get to play the martyr. “Will somebody pick up all these toys, it’s physically impossible for me to bend down!” 

I know what it is, though. The more I prepare or “nest” the farther my ship gets pushed out to sea. It’s Murphy’s Law. I’ve detailed the van, washed the car seat covers, the swing cover, every onsie, sleeper and blanket. I’ve cleaned out the junk drawers and got the guest room ready for my mother. I even passed on signing up for food assignments for the ward campout last week, thinking I’d better not, it’s so awfully close to my due date and all… 

What I should’ve done was sign up to be in charge of every meal at that campout, you can count on me, and then this baby would’ve come that night. 

But now that I’ve actually packed a hospital bag and bought size one diapers…Well, that’s it. I’ve sealed my fate. It’ll be a long while yet. One of those ten month pregnancies you read about in check out lines.

Maybe I should order the XXL.

 

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