I have crossed over.
I've begun taking naps, going to bed with my preschooler, and waking only when I absolutely have to. It's not only that the house is messier, my appetite stronger, and my belly huger. It isn't only that I have a horse trough* in my living room, a birthing box in my closet, and the phone numbers of my midwives taped to the wall by the phone, it is also--and really--that I just feel it in my bones, my belly, my brain: I'm ready, I'm good, I'm done.
I told you I'd get here. It is the sudden slow-edged weariness--that look, that sigh and slump as I sit on the bench. It's noticeable. All-of-the-sudden, people don't ask how far along I am anymore. They make statement-questions. "Anytime, right?" Yes, I say. Yes. Maybe, hopefully today.
There is the swing too--from no energy at all and a don't-care-if-I-have-the-baby-in-the-parking-lot kind of attitude that alternates with the urge and action to rearrange everything, buy pacifyers and a changing table and a bouncy chair (even though these things are almost always hideous and in-the-way and I didn't have them last time).
There is the desire for a dim-lit room to stare at the wall, a glass of iced pregnancy tea within reach, and someone available but not present all the time to bring me chilled, cubed watermelon up the wazoo whenever I get hungry. I want to be taken care of--did you get that--like a sick whale side-lying on a lonely beach in Baja. I want cool wet towels laid all over my sleek skin. I want 24 hour monitoring. I want to be waited on and to stay in.
I do not want to be told how cute I am, because nothing over 200 pounds is ever cute, and I certainly haven't been described by such a word since the second grade. I don't want to be noticed in the grocery store--smiled at and then given the "anytime" line, no matter how nice you're trying to be. I want to enjoy this tight belly while it lasts, in private. I want people who are so inclined to start bringing over casseroles now, not later. I want to have the brainpower to hire a cleaning team so I don't have to wear socks in this heat to keep from feeling the crumbs scattered about my (much beloved) hard wood floors.
If you are one of those nice people in the stores who are kind and twinkly about pregnant ladies and who like to look longingly and comment and connect, excuse me. I'm obviously in a mood. I am one of you. I ask too. Really, there is nothing more lovely than a pregnant lady bursting at the seams: the possibility, the unknown, the life-force, the glow, the hope. It's just that it is so conspicuous and embarrassing sometimes to be the one who bears. It's just that, I'm not really glow-y anymore, I'm flushed. I'm out of breath. I'm falling asleep.
It's just that--have I said this--I've crossed over. I've slowed down. We've had our fun and now we're done. I'm ready--have I said that? Let's do this.
*The horse trough, in case you're wondering, is used by my midwives as a birthing pool. Horse lips have never touched it. To the uninitiated, a horse trough in a living room could be cause for concern. For good reason. My uncle did say last time I should not be concerned about birth--I am built like a horse he said. This was meant to be a compliment. The idea has come full circle.