Tick tock


The husband: We should put our hospital bags in the car today, just in case.
Me: Good plan. Can you put one of the Harry Potter movies in your bag, please?
The husband: Which one?
Me: Ummmm….4.
The husband: Ok. I’m also going to bring Adam’s Rib.
Me: Ooo ok!
The husband: Should we bring anything else to watch?
Me: No, I think that will do it.
The husband: Do you want Modern Family?
Me: Sure, since you mention it.
The husband. ORRR…do you want me to bring the Ken Burns baseball documentary? That’s a good one.
Me: <silence>
The husband: Modern Family it is. Just thought you’d like options.


The husband: We made it through session, just like you wanted to! Now you can have the baby!
Me: Trust me, I’m trying to. That’s what the Hot Tamales are for.


The husband: Have you had any contractions today?
Me: No.
The husband: Did you notice that I have stopped asking you every half hour?
Me: Yes.
The husband: That’s my new tactic. I thought maybe asking too often was keeping her in there, so I stopped asking but apparently she doesn’t care. So now I’m going to start asking you all the time again.
Me: Goody.
The husband: Does she need me to give her another pep talk about getting born?
Me: I think she thinks you’re joking around when you talk to her.
The husband: Should I yell at her instead?
Me: I might take you up on that. Let’s give her until dinner time.

The little oyster isn’t due until Wednesday but I really would like to have her arrive sooner than that. To be fair, I can’t decide if I’m more excited to have her or to have feet that no longer resemble loaves of bread with toes. The swelling really is getting uncomfortable.

Based on my last o.b. appointment, we know the little oyster is moving in the right direction but there’s always the slight chance she’ll stop moving in that direction and things will stall. Fortunately, my o.b. will only let me go 1 week past the oyster’s due date before inducing–I hear a lot of doctors wait up to 10 days–so October 3 could very well be her birthday. I would struggle mentally with still being pregnant in October but I don’t think it will come to that. She’s a stubborn little thing, but I don’t think she’s cruel.

In the meantime, I’m trying to figure out the logistics of that classic labor-inducer, The Long Walk (what did you think I was going to say?). “To speed labor along, take a long walk. The movement and the gravity can assist the process,” says every website ever. This advice must be aimed at women whose feet still fit into human shoes and whose ankles still bend.

I haven’t been up for a Long Walk since about 33 weeks, and that’s not the time to encourage labor. Besides, how far is a Long Walk? I’m supposed to be resting and preparing for “physical exertion of Olympic proportions” says the Mayo Clinic. I understand the need for continued movement and good diet until the bitter end and beyond (enter grapefruit and arugula salad), but right now I pack a water bottle and a sweatband to walk to the bathroom from the couch. The thought of leashing the dog and walking down our six steps and into the great outdoors appeals about as much as being 40 weeks pregnant. Oh. Right.


“I have to pack her bag!!!”

The husband: Hey, do we need to pick out an outfit to bring the baby home in?
Me: I did. It’s laying in her Pack ‘n Play.
The husband: <peers in> Is that all she needs?
Me: <peers in> Onesie, pants, socks, tiny slippers, matching hat, swaddling blanket, receiving blanket, and a stuffed elephant. There’s a diaper in her diaper bag and I think they’ll give us a few more. That should do it.
The husband: Hmmm. Are you sure? What’s she going to sleep in while we’re at the hospital?
Me: Probably a diaper and a blanket, courtesy of the hospital.
The husband: What if we’re there for more than one night?
Me: Ok.
The husband: She needs pajamas!! I have to pack her bag!!!
Me: <stares>
The husband: <stares>
Me: Like you packed your bag?
The husband: Please don’t ever go out of town when our daughter has a sleepover to attend.

In the end, we compromised on one more onesie, a long-sleeved sleeper, and another hat, this one with ears, which happens to match the pajamas. I had to draw the line at a sleep sack and a pair of jeans “just in case.” The child won’t even be able to focus her eyes; she doesn’t get options.

To say that the husband is eagerly awaiting his daughter’s arrival is a grand understatement. At work this week the good congressman offered me more maternity leave, since we see now how unchallenged he is in his reelection campaign. I am happy and relieved to say that I have eight weeks at home with the little oyster once she arrives. I couldn’t wait to the tell the husband via gmail chat:

Me: I have good news!
The husband: You’re in labor?
Me: No, better.
The husband: She’s born????
Me: Ha, I should be so lucky. No, they offered me more maternity leave. 🙂
The husband: Oh. That is good.

Last night the father in law drove down with baby furniture that was a gift from someone in the husband’s old neighborhood–full story to follow. He and the husband carried in the already-assembled changing table and the two folding chairs that were holding up our changing pad in case of emergency were returned to the basement. If we feel like getting showered and dressed today and going to Target, we’ll get the storage bins we’re planning to use as dresser drawers and put away all of her tiny clothes.

Our new rocking chair also arrived yesterday! In our hunt for a non-glider, non-upholstered, easily re-purposed, non-babyish, physically and aesthetically lightweight, non-investment piece, we turned to amazon.com. I think I ordered the chair on Tuesday, noting that it was supposed to ship next Tuesday and would arrive the following week. Instead it showed up two days later and we assembled it while chatting with the father in law.

This morning I practiced reading in it. It works. 🙂

The oyster’s due date is in 11 days. On Thursday evening I had contractions for a few hours and we were preparing to welcome the little lady on the little sister’s birthday, making her a true birthday buddy. But I slept off the contractions and now on Saturday morning, the little oyster is still along for the ride as we arrange her room and wash the floors.

The kitchen is spotless, there’s only one load of laundry to wash, the floors are drying, and all paper goods for the next three months have been stocked. Nesting? Sure. Realizing that means the little oyster is on her way in a matter of days? Eeeee.

A handsome offer accepted

Lunch with the husband was a wonderful time of discussing our options and talking about what a great opportunity this job would be for me and for us as a family.

After lunch, I called The Good Congressman’s chief of staff and told him I wasn’t going to split hairs on the salary, I’m fine with it, but I wanted to make sure we’re on the same page with maternity leave. Turns out they don’t have a page on maternity leave and since I won’t qualify for FMLA leave by the time I need it, our negotiations started from scratch.

In the end, after more discussion on their end and another phone call to me, I took the job. My maternity leave is somewhat laughable yet entirely American. (Moms, how long did you each want to stay after the little oyster is born??) But you know what? I’m a Capitol Hill press secretary and the show must go on.

Future bridges will be crossed as necessary.