Well, it’s the day that I’ve been looking towards all year long…September 11th, 2010. Not that 9/11 is usually a date I “look forward to,” but this year it has been pretty different. I consider it a blessing to be able to take a day that was transformed into something horrible nine years ago, and have it be something almost positive this year. One thing we all learned from the events of September 11th, 2001 is that life has to go on and people have to move forward. Not that we didn’t know that already, but it’s one of those lessons that is always absorbed somewhat deeper in the wake of a loss. Time wants to stop. We want to throw in the towel. We feel sure that we are lost. But we choose to pick ourselves up and continue walking through this crazy world, because we must. Not only do I believe that the souls lost on that day would want us all to continue to celebrate birthdays on 9/11, to be married on 9/11, or even to have babies on 9/11…I also just think that choice to proceed through our lives is a lesson I’d want Russ to have. Whether he’s born sometime in the next 5 or so hours doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things, because for the rest of my life, I will think of September the 11th as a juxtaposition of two major experiences in my life. Just as I’ll never forget that day in the fall of my senior year of high school, I will never forget this amazing process and the symbolic (if nothing else) culmination of growing this little life inside of me – exactly nine years to the day after that horrible morning in the library, watching things unfold on the media room television. Life ends, life begins. Tragedy befalls us, but blessings follow. Such is the nature of the cycle we are all a part of.
Great, and now I’m all teary-eyed. And having a contraction, which I’m convinced cannot be real. But boy, let me just say…these things SUCK! The good thing is that I get a break of sorts in between them, but they’re just a very menstrual-y, back-achey thing that I find utterly annoying, for lack of a better word. They’re just…annoying. Nobody ever told me how much contractions would just antagonize, but they really are kind of like my brother Jake, at age 7, sitting there with his finger 1/4 inch from the side of my face on a 10-hour car trip to Nashville, saying “I’m NOT touching you. I’m NOT touching you. I’m NOT touching you.” Early labor contractions are the figurative “little brother” of real labor contractions.
But yeah, my back hurts like the dickens. I’ve been on the phone with the hospital nurse today once, and she told me she thought I was smart to just hang at home until it was so bad that I HAD to go in. Though I know that’s definitely the right plan, and it’s what I fully intend to do…I’m not handling it as peacefully as I had hoped to. I would love it if I’d launch into an “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”-style birth scene, sans the toilet baby, the fainting spouse, and the inaccurately skinny “dramatic reenactment” body double. But for now, we’re left timing and hoping that these contractions become more regular and closer together – and longer lasting and all that fun stuff. You know, all the joys of childbirth. Bring ’em on. Bring on the pain. I’m as ready as I am going to get.