Tuesday, October 4th has come and gone. A date that was ingrained in my head for the past 9 months passed by with a lot of wondering and waiting and then ended like any other normal day. A due date is funny like that. Even though, statistically, the chances of a baby being born on its due date are relatively slim (4% to be exact), people still swear by them. Of course, Jim was born on his due date (much to nobody's surprise), so I was optimistic, but, my belief in a due date is long gone. Here I am, 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, waiting. We're all waiting. Jim didn't expect to go into work this week, and in about an hour, he will have completed a full work week. Mum and Dad are here (due to a false alarm on Saturday night, when we thought this baby was really on its way), camped out in our not so spacious condo, providing love and support and entertainment for Lilly and me during the days, cooking delicious dinners and drinking beer and wine and chatting with Jim and me during the evenings. We don't plan ahead. Every night, we say things like, "well, if there's still no baby by the morning, then do you want to take Lilly to the park?" It's funny, living like this, as things can change in a matter of hours.
I'm getting even more strange looks when we're out in public, especially when people ask when I'm due and I say that I was due on Tuesday. Everyone takes a step back. I'm now, officially, a ticking time bomb. Even though this little one is only three days late at the moment, it feels like much longer. I don't know why I expected this baby to come early. It's not like Lilly arrived early--Lilly came a day late. Probably because "everyone" told me that a second baby comes early, and definitely comes earlier than the first. Well, just as everyone told me that I was having a boy when I was pregnant with Lilly (and I clearly wasn't), or that all of Lilly's hair would fall out after she was born (which it didn't), or that her hair would turn blond (which it didn't), everyone seems to be wrong again. I don't know why I listen. When Lilly was born, I was legitimately surprised she was a girl. Because of everyone's comments, I just assumed she'd be a boy. Once again, everyone has told me I'm having a boy, and who knows, this time, they may be right. There is, after all, a 50/50 chance, but I'm finished listening to everyone. Especially when they say things like, "you're so lucky that Lilly is such a good sleeper. You're never going to have another one like her." For the foreseeable future, I'm setting out to prove everyone wrong.
Mum and Dad are in a strange position, where they feel like they're intruding on our last days as a family of three, even though we called them on Saturday night, thinking this baby was on its way, asking them to come up and look after Lilly. Knowing how quickly things went when Lilly was born, they left at 3am to drive up. And we're all still waiting. Mum is a calming presence here. We were all late babies, so she never thought this one would come early. Mum is here knitting baby sweaters and sewing, going for walks with me, cooking dinner and doing laundry, giving Lilly baths and putting her to bed. She knows what this time is like; this period of waiting, so the conversations that Mum and I have always make me feel ready and at ease. I wouldn't say that Dad is a calming presence, as he told Joseph just this morning that I "had failed to produce the goods as of yet," and he periodically turns to me and asks me to describe "any action" on a scale of 1 to 5...1 being "the baby is staying put" and 5 being "we need to get in the car and go to the hospital right now." But he certainly makes the days more entertaining for both Lilly and me and is a great beer-drinking, sports-watching friend for Jim when he comes home from work. He makes Mum and me endless cups of tea and coffee during the day. He plays never-ending games with Lilly, running and hiding behind trees while she jumps out (about 5 seconds too late), and positions herself where we can clearly see her before yelling "BOO" and then Dad runs off to hide with her again. You can read about his days in Connecticut here and here. Dad has been great at capturing the past week, while I have had little desire to sit down and concentrate. Having Mum and Dad here this week will forever be a part of my memories surrounding this baby's birth. Unless of course I end up being like Mum and have no recollection of my second baby being born. It's fitting to throw that in here, seeing as today is Joseph's 29th birthday. There's still time for this baby to share his birthday, but as the hours tick by, it seems less and less likely.
I'm getting lots of phone calls and texts from friends and family, checking in to see how we're doing. It's sweet, and it never gets annoying to know that people care. Although I'm at the point where when I hear my phone ding, I jump up like it's going to tell me I'm in labor! This pregnancy is clearly getting to me. And to Jim too. Last night, when I asked Jim if he thought it was okay for me to have a glass of wine, his response without even hesitating was, "Absolutely...at this point, the baby is probably reading in there!" This poor little baby...only three days late and already making a name for him or herself.
So, that's where we stand at the moment. Wondering every night if tonight is the night, and asking ourselves every morning if today is the day. Jim and I have been living out of our hospital bag that we packed so diligently when I was having contractions for three hours on Saturday night (since then, I've had none). I keep telling Jim that I think this is a Clark boy, as both Jim and his Dad tend to be less than punctual. Lilly thinks that life is pretty great at the moment. She's surrounded by people who love her and want to play games with her and read to her and hug her constantly. She's got lots of "new" baby toys to play with and she loves talking about this baby who is going to be born in October, even though she has no understanding of what October actually is. She comes up and touches my stomach all the time, and asks to feel the baby's hiccups or tells the baby to kick for her. We've had beautiful weather so we've been spending much of our days outside walking to get coffee and bagels and taking Lilly to play at the park. There's really nothing to complain about. Except that it's past October 4th.
These are some pictures from last Saturday, when we thought it was our "last weekend" before the baby. It's looking more like we'll have another one! Who knows what this little one's agenda is.