My Montana Women (37 Weeks)

I spent the afternoon Saturday, on the coldest day of the year so far, with a special group of women–my Montana women–all met in unconventional ways over the course of the last two (three if you could the lovely Lisa, who I was in touch via email and social media with before we even got here) and spanning three decades. My dear friend Sheena put the whole thing together, and a more perfect party couldn’t have been had. [An aside: I don’t think she knows this, but as soon as I met Sheena I knew she’d be a close friend. She’s one of those people you can almost-immediately feel like you’ve known for years and years after moments. She took me under her wing, invited me to dinners and hikes and weekend adventures, made me feel welcome here. Sheena, we sure do adore you!]

 

In minutes of her arrival there were flowers  and succulents and fairy lights and decorations about, a perfect little drink bar and homemade macaron cookies–lavender and lavender-chocolate, both fillings made from coconut cream– she made in our honor. There were so many sweet touches… the basket designated for books and the note cards to be filled with messages for our sweet baby, not to mention the request for guests to bring a frozen meal instead of gifts. We spent the afternoon chatting up a storm, snacking on a beautiful spread everyone contributed to, reading our baby-themed madlibs aloud, and doing just the right amount of gushing over all things baby, including the cutest tiny pair of Montana-made moccasins. It was the perfect afternoon. And now our freezer is filled with soups and stews from these lovely women.

I feel very cared for by our little community, here and back east.

At 37 weeks pregnant, I toss between calm and a little bit of panic. For this entire pregnancy I’ve always found myself wishing for more time. Now is no different. While I can’t say there aren’t times that I struggle a little with my pregnant body, 99% of the time I’m content… not just content, amazed. Being pregnant is miraculous, plain and simple.

I read about babies being on horticultural time while the rest of us chug along on industrial time (hours and minutes, appointments and schedules) and that made a lot of sense to me. Baby will be here when (s)he is ready. Period. A ‘due date’ is silly when in fact an arrival now or five weeks from now is normal. It’s still not easy. And as it goes this year, we’ve battled with continued house surprises. Silly me for thinking I could hold these last few weeks sacred and avoid any stress whatsoever.  Many people ask if I’m “ready” to which I respond I’m ready as I’ll ever be. But truth be told, I always feel I need more time… to do what, I don’t know. I think of countless tasks that I superficially believe would make me feel more ready. Deep down I know we’re all baby needs… And diapers and a place to sleep, I suppose. So yes, in that case, we’re ready.

Random things to remember about 37 weeks:
sleeping in front of the fireplace on these sub zero nights, waiting for our baby to come
waking up to pee every two hours like clockwork, making me the perfect fire feeder
cravings for pepperoni pizza
laughing over the double takes I get from strangers everywhere I go now
my belly contracting and jiggling baby into position, those big movements and rolls he or she is making, and  responses to my gentle nudges and pats when I need a little reassurance
being amazed by how miraculous the female body is every day

To you, my sweet baby:
Only a little longer until we can hold you in our arms and kiss your face all day. How did we get so lucky?
When I feel you kicking, always on my right side, I envision what those big kicks will look like when you’re earthside and instead of knocking into my belly they’re air kicks.
Naming you is so hard. Perhaps we should let you name yourself?
You hiccup a lot now and it’s adorable.
I am trying my best to be brave for you. I know you’re brave, too.
You are our great love.

 

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