lovesong of the buzzard

37 weeks today. Or maybe 39? 
Here's the thing - the first due date calculated was Sept. 9th, according to when I had my last period. My cycles were extremely regular, so that due date was probably pretty accurate. Then, when we did the ultrasound, they recalculated for Sept. 21st, based on the perceived age of the baby, I suppose. I have no idea how accurate that calculation is, or exactly what it's based on. (Why do I feel bad ending a sentence with a preposition?) 
My body is preparing for labor. I'm experiencing new things, such as a constant, dull backache that feels crampy, like a premenstrual backache. I've also had some mucous like discharge, most likely my mucous plug coming out over a span of days. I'm almost 100% positive the baby has dropped, just because I can breathe easier and I'm feeling more pelvic pressure. I'm also experiencing some on and off sharp pain in the general area of my cervix, which my midwife said is probably my cervix doing some "pre-labor work", i.e. effacing and/or dilating. All of these symptoms are signs that labor's on the way. How exciting! I don't feel fearful of the pain anymore, just curious about labor, and super ready to see our baby. I just can't wait to touch those little feet that are constantly stretching out my skin. 
I've been taking evening primrose oil once in the morning, once in the evening, to soften my cervix. I've been drinking my red raspberry leaf tea to tone my uterus. I've been walking anywhere between 1.5-3 miles a day, to bring on braxton-hicks contractions, which also tone the uterus and can promote cervix change. I'm eating pineapple every day (for cervix softening). I'm massaging my feet and legs and not avoiding the labor induction acupressure points. 
Needless to say, I'm ready for the baby. 
If he came this week, it would be inconvenient for my job, since my last day isn't until Saturday, but I'm sure they would find a way to deal with the inconvenience of my uncovered shifts. I'm really just ready! 
Despite feeling mentally and emotionally ready, and my body making its steps toward physical readiness, I may still have anywhere up to three or four weeks to wait. Something tells me the baby will come sooner than three or four weeks, and I hope that something is right. If not, oh well, either way, he'll come within the month, and completely change our lives forever. 
That statement, I'm sure, is bigger than I can comprehend right now. 


i made a lot of mistakes

Did He return? Has He always been here? I feel joyful renewal in His presence today. I feel He has not been near lately, but today He is strong within me.  I know I need to pray more frequently, more earnestly, more honestly, because I trust Him, and I want to show Him my faithfulness. 
I love this softness of being, when He wakes me up and shows me the world all over again, everything new once more. 
". . . you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." 


there was sun

Our road trip to Michigan is fast approaching. We're leaving Tuesday the 12th, and spending the night at a bed and breakfast in Indiana. I'm currently researching places to visit and most importantly, places to eat, while we travel through Michigan the following day. So far I've decided we have to see the dunes along Lake Michigan. Michele and Joe said they're incredible! Then we'll drive on into Ann Arbor for lunch and shopping. I think I found the lunch place, a middle eastern restaurant called Jerusalem Garden. Then some shopping downtown, and now I've been leaving comments on random food blogs for help from my foodie friends to find the perfect coffee and pastry place. I love pastries more than anything, and I'd love to eat something exquisite in Ann Arbor. 
The rest of the trip will be spent around Redford and Detroit, so next I'll be making a list of things to do/see while around those areas. I've found a farmer's market that has incredible reviews, somewhere outside of Detroit. I'll probably take a look around the web for art galleries and other things to do. It's not that I want a full itinerary, but I want for us to be capable of entertaining ourselves while the people we stay with go about their daily lives. 

After we return from Michigan, I'll only have three more weeks of work. Wow. I've still got to wash all the baby's clothes and sheets, and figure out baby announcements. And it feels like there's even more I can't remember right now. Well . . . it'll all go so quickly, anyway. Soon it will be November and the baby will be nearly two months old, and I'll have completely forgotten about this pre-baby life. Cest la vie. 



33 weeks, today. Four more until the pregnancy is "full term", seven more until the due date. He is getting bigger, and his bones must be getting harder. He moves all the time, sometimes to my discomfort. His room is ready, waiting. My arms are ready, waiting. 
How certain yet fragile is his life right now, while he is in my womb, almost ready, waiting. 

Meanwhile, a man dear to my heart is in the hospital many miles away. He may have suffered a stroke, no one is certain yet, but he is coherent and doing fine otherwise. One side of his face has become paralyzed. It may or may not be permanent. He is under too much stress, and I pray that God takes him and his family into His hand and covers them with love and mercy, providing for them and easing their worry. 
Life is so joyful, so sorrowful, so mysterious. 

I am counting the weeks (five) until I begin maternity leave. I have a heavy work schedule this week, and I am somewhat dreading it because I am pregnant to the point of exhaustion, and work is becoming physically difficult for me. Luckily I still have no health complications with my pregnancy, but just standing on my feet and moving constantly for six hours at a time at work is enough to wear me out completely. I am nearly ready to leave the world of lattes behind me. Though I must say, the customers sometimes make it all worth it. They are joyful about my pregnancy, and excited about the baby's arrival. I receive many compliments on how good I look for being so pregnant, and I hear many sweet anecdotes about how it's all worth it, and how wonderful children are, and how my life is about to completely change for the best. It's all so uplifting. But I am ready to begin my new life, as a mother. 

With the new life quickly approaching, I've been especially mindful of delicious moments. Today, I napped for nearly four hours. The bedroom was cool, with the fan on, and the feather comforter was the perfect companion. I also enjoy black tea lately, sometimes with a hint of milk and sugar, sipped slowly. I relish my hours spent reading a good book, or writing letters, or baking cookies. It's not that these things won't be happening after I have the baby, I just predict they will be fewer and further between. That might make them all the more delightful.

"Nomathemba" means "hope" in Zulu. It is with hope that I live every moment of these slow, hot days. Hope for a healthy baby, a natural childbirth. Hope for recipes to turn out correctly. Hope in big and small things. Hope, and trust, in my Father.