There is now 16 days until the official due date. I've been ignoring this part. Just pretending that we really wouldn't have to deal with this last window.
Each day when I wake up I can't breathe until I feel the baby move. I have to poke and prod, silently willing the inevitable flailing protestations from inside to begin. I try to be positive, but part of me still reserves a small portion of my brain for "what I'll do this morning if the baby doesn't move." I have a list of things to try (ice water, oj, etc) and who to call and in what order. Morbid but necessary, I guess.
I am also monitoring EVERYTHING. Heart rate. Kick counts. Hiccups (frequency and duration). My water input. My water output. Other "outputs." Anything I can measure and record. Yes, yes. My brain knows there is no way any of these things will make any real difference. But at this point stopping seems like inviting disaster. Like we'll be jinxed. After all, nothing has happened since I started, right? That spells success! This is how someone with a mild OCD copes. To me, right now, stopping all the monitoring would be as wise as walking out into traffic.
The last days of pregnancy with Burke keep replaying in my mind. What I did at work. Cutting out stars for the baby bedroom ceiling. Napping. Washing and folding clothes. Eating. Painting. Walking. All the while giddy with anticipation. Not knowing that something was about to go horribly wrong inside me, something that would cause our son irrevocable harm. The worst part about it all is that we don't know what it was, when it was, or how to prevent this child from losing oxygen. So I record it all.
The odds are that all will be fine. All will be well. Labor will start, the two of us will work together to see each other on the other side, this baby will be born with love and cries of relief and joy. This baby will be placed on my belly, and B will be the one to tell me if we have another son or a daughter. The issue is that we are 1 for 1 when it comes to this. Not such great odds. But I understand that the only way to get to the other side of this is through it. I have to walk through the coals of these last days with my baby reaching out for a kidney (or just more legroom) inside me, and trust myself and this child to reach cooler ground underfoot.