“The end of this week may find you holding your little baby in your arms, or still holding it within your body.  You are doing all you need to be doing.  Be here now.”

–weekly email from The Midwifery Center in Berkeley (advice I’m striving to take)

holding pattern

Well, Numpy failed to emerge yesterday, so I guess now I’ve learned, like every other pregnant woman, that you can’t start labor by force of will, or “putting it out to the universe.” Which, you know, no shit, but a part of me that thought it might just work—HAD to think that, or I wasn’t really making an effort.

So now we’re back to waiting, and I’m just drifting around the (clean, polished, ship-shape) house, enjoying that there is nowhere anyone expects me to be, and nothing I need to be doing. I just ate a slice of pizza for breakfast. Well, second breakfast after the yogurt when I got up. Well, third if you count the balance bar I inhaled at 5am. Apparently I myself am now on an every-2-hour feeding schedule.


I’ve been having Braxton Hicks contractions—the preparatory ones, when your uterus is just getting in shape for labor down the road—for a few weeks now. I didn’t realize it initially. At my 35-or-6 week check-up, my OB asked if I’d started having them, and I said no, and expressed a little disappointment. My uterus has a big job coming up, after all, and I figure it needs all the working out it can get. She gave a “huh” of mild surprise, and then moved on to prodding The Belly to check the fetal position. She gave a few ineffectual pokes, and then a few more, and as she was finally able to feel the baby in there informed me that I had actually been having one right at that moment. It tightens up the uterus so you can’t tell what’s flexed muscle and what’s fetus; she’d had to wait until the contraction ended to confirm the position. “Oh,” I said, “that’s what those are.”

Since I’ve known what they felt like, I’ve noticed them at least a few times a day. They don’t hurt and, because I associate them with getting ready, doing a little training for the big day, I rather like them. I approve of my uterus getting some practice. It’s a strange feeling, though, this involuntary flexing of a giant abdominal muscle. More than anything else it reminds me of the physical sensation of fear, that sort of sinking in the pit of your stomach, that tightening in the chest. It’s very strange to feel it divorced from the emotion—and in fact imbued with a rather positive association—like feeling the butterflies of nervousness without the nerves.

I’ve been having cramps, too, off and on, just like menstrual cramps and some quiet strong. I have to believe it’s the feeling of my cervix, as they say evocatively, ripening. When they come I’ve started to picture it as a closed lily, with the petals just peeling back, and I tell it, “Open. Open.”


Sometimes it seems like she’s curious about my cervix and pokes her little fingers in there just to see what will happen. It’s alarming.

I’ve decided to have her this Wednesday. I’m sure she’ll take seriously this and all future plans I make about our lives.


fighting sloth

There are about 4 hours in any day now when I want to be sitting upright and/or wearing clothes, but when I do emerge from my pillow cocoon, this winnowed-down exercise routine keeps my muscles from total atrophy.

(Yes, painting crew, the nursery is my gym. It’s clothing-optional.)