May marks end of birth countdown

Editor?s note: Malinda Just gave birth to a daughter, Jemma Elise, on Wednesday, May 12. She, daughter and family are doing well.

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It?s finally May! And while I generally wouldn?t put an exclamation mark behind such a dull and obvious statement, I want to convey how excited I am that I can now put those words together.

You see, I?ve been waiting for May for 38 weeks and counting. And it wasn?t until the calendar flipped to May that I really got the urge to count down the days until May 18?my official due date.

I?m sure some are thinking, ?But you?ve made it 38 weeks, what?s a couple more?? To them I would say, ?You?ve never been pregnant, have you??

Sure, I want this baby to be healthy when she arrives, but there?s something about being considered full term that makes anticipation (and annoyance) levels elevate to nearly unbearable levels.

I made it to May, and that?s what I was waiting for. We will now have March, April, May and June birthdays in our family of four. Now bring on the contractions.

And while excitement continues to build over the imminent arrival of my second child, counting down the days also presents quite a few obstacles that have to be overcome.

First, I?ve forced myself to play the waiting game. This is where I answer every invitation to do something with, ?I?ll be there if I don?t have the baby.?

For instance, the last couple weeks after I?ve completed my Monday proofreading at the Free Press, I exit the building by saying, ?Have a good night and maybe I?ll see you next week.? But I?m always hoping I don?t make it to the next week?no offense to my co-workers, but I?m tired of not seeing my toes.

Always answering invitations with open-ended acceptance is hard when I like to have a least a little routine in my life. Sure, I can be spontaneous, but normally I choose to plan ahead. There?s nothing like playing the waiting game to prove I?m not in control. (And I know this will be proven time and again when I finally have my newborn home).

One previously made appointment that I made it to was a final haircut before baby. There?s nothing like the feeling that my head is 10 pounds lighter (even if my tummy far outweighs the loss).

I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that my favorite stylist, Rachel Cartwright, is now working full time at Signatures Salon in Marion. This made my day?and will also make scheduling hair appointments that much easier when I have my hands full with two daughters.

At this point, I?m also trying to cram in a bunch of to-do items before I head to the hospital. As I write, I?m thinking of a mountain of laundry that needs to be washed, as well as a bathroom that needs to be cleaned. Will I get those tasks done before labor begins? Who knows. But if I don?t, family members might unexpectedly turn into maids.

And then, I just keep waiting for my nesting instinct to begin. Let me say this now, I have been tired almost this entire pregnancy. And it hasn?t gotten better at the end. I read stories of some mothers-to-be that go on a cleaning rampage. Scrubbing the floor on her hands and knees, cleaning the bathroom crevices with a toothbrush, washing and folding baby clothes over and over.

That hasn?t happened to me, obviously, due to the fact that on top of dirty clothes and a dirty bathroom needing attention, my carpets also need vacuumed.

I did (finally!) find the time and energy to complete our newest family member?s crocheted blanket. I even made her a hat. I also sewed three receiving blankets and made a hooded towel for my oldest. Maybe that?s my nesting instinct? I hope so.

I?d much rather be creative than clean my house. Which is why I?m writing my column two weeks early instead of unloading my dishwasher.

And maybe by the time this column runs, there will be an editor?s note saying Brad and Malinda welcomed so-and-so on such-and-such. But for now I?ll continue waiting in my recliner with my feet up.