Tuesday, October 04, 2011

My Expiration Date

It's hard to believe, but my due date is less than a week away.

With large life events that are on the calendar for ages, it's always somehow surprising when they've actually arrived. Sure, I've known since January that my due date is October 10. But that's, like, a real day. Um, this is really going to happen. We're having a baby!

It all "becomes real" to me, for some strange reason, when I buy milk and the expiration date is further out than whatever big event I've been looking forward to. If the event happens before the milk will expire, that means it is now happening very soon. By the time someone opens this carton of milk and wrinkles her nose at it, I will have graduated/moved to England/gotten married/had a baby/etc. It's when Big Life meets everyday life, and it weirds me out a little, every time.

I remember first experiencing this when I went grocery shopping the week before college graduation. I'm pretty sure I stood in the dairy aisle for a few minutes, trying to process the fact that this skim milk had a longer shelf life than the rest of my college career. I would be drinking this milk as a college graduate, maybe on the morning of graduation, or maybe even on the morning of moving out and leaving campus for the last time. I was so not ready for college to end, but there it was, written on the side of the milk carton. I had to move on.

Of course, my feelings about the event are a little different this time. I was very sad to be done with college, and a tad bit overwhelmed about figuring out the rest of my life. I did have some beer/pizza/pop college weight gain that made my clothes a little tight around the middle, but nothing like the tightness of a pregnant belly that has been stretched about as far as it goes. My skin itches all the time.

It takes me about three different positions to actually get myself rolled from one side to the other in bed at night. And a whole lot of grunting (although some of that is just to wake Keith up a bit and make sure he knows how uncomfortable I am). Physically, I am so done being pregnant. And emotionally, I'm ready to. I'm getting so excited to meet this new baby. Is it a boy or a girl? Will it cry for the first day, like Eleanor did? Or will he/she be calm and curious?

I bought milk today; it expires nine days after my due date. There had BETTER be a baby in my arms before that milk goes off, or I .... I don't even know what. I can't consider the alternative.

I've warned Keith that I am aware that having a due date of October 10 is no guarantee a baby will be born on that day. However, I am guaranteeing that my patience in dealing with the physical difficulties of pregnancy will expire on that day. I'm not particularly patient right now, but I am quite certain it can--and will--get worse if the due date comes and goes without any sign of labor.

I've been telling myself all along that this baby won't be early. Eleanor was a few days late, and I'm just going to go ahead and assume Baby #2 will be the same. I do have my bag packed, although I keep reading the novels I borrowed from the library, which are specifically supposed to be for the hospital. I keep trying to picture what my life will be like next week. Will I be taking Eleanor to Preschool on Monday? Picking her up on Tuesday? Meeting friends at a tearoom for our tentatively planned outing on Wednesday? Going to Parent/Teacher conferences on Friday ... with a new baby?

I'm trying to think of a good, solid conclusion to this blog entry, but I think I'm just going to have to accept that this is one situation that is all about questions and no answers. I don't know how or when labor is going to happen. I do know that I'll be constantly thinking about it until it does.

I'm also pretty certain that, the rate I'm going, I will have used up all the milk in my nightly chocolate milkshakes before we get anywhere near the expiration date. Maybe they can help my patience last a little longer, if needed.


Jonathan said...

Heh - I love this post. It reminds me of when I was young - and can remember playing with friends at the back of the houses where I grew up, and we all figured out how old we would be in the year 2000...

It seemed so far away - unimaginably far away, and yet here we are, a decade on.

Time is strange.

Amy said...

My mom's doctor miscalculated.... I was supposed to be born in July; my birthday is August 21. (I thought you needed one more pregnancy horror story for the road; pretty soon it will be all parenting horror stories, all the time.)

Best wishes for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby, on whatever date that may occur!

Stacey said...

Can't wait to hear the good news! Wishing you a quick and safe delivery and a happy and healthy baby...

M. Lubbers said...

@Jonathan: Time is strange! So fluid and everchanging in how it passes by ....

@Amy: That. Sounds. AWFUL. I take solace in the fact that, thanks to modern-day ultrasounds, it shouldn't be off by *that* much. Fingers crossed!

@Stacey: Thanks for the good wishes! I hope for all those things as well:)

Autumn P. said...

October babies are the bestest! I should know...I am one of them! ;) Personally I will be rooting for an October 9th delivery...best day of the year! ;)

I agree with Johnathan's earlier post...time is a strange thing. I still get a slight thrill when I see that the milk expiration date is close to my birthday...or the husband's birthday. It is the little things in life I tell ya.

Hoping you have a quick and smooth and trouble-free delivery not matter what day your little critter arrives :)

M. Lubbers said...

I'm very sorry to say that I missed the chance for an October 9 baby. But happy belated birthday! I would also be happy with the 10th, though .... just saying!;)