Today is supposed to be Henry’s birthday.
I’m learning, however, that “supposed to” and babies don’t go hand-in-hand. Just like “supposed to” and life doesn’t go hand-in-hand.
I’ve been on maternity leave for a week and half now. That’s a week and half of not having to meet deadlines.
Except for this one: Henry’s due date.
And like any deadline, this one comes with its share of pressure. I feel like I’ve got a massive story due at noon and none of my sources will call me back.
And unlike my job, where I’m lucky if what I produce lines a bird cage at the end of the week, this assignment has generated a captive audience like none I’ve ever seen before.
Between my Facebook page, Joe’s Facebook page, our family, our friends, our neighbors, my bank teller, the bums in the park and the girls who cash us out at the grocery store, the anticipation is so palpable you’d think I’d gone weeks past my due date.
Now I know what it feels like to be a watched kettle.
My friend London had premonitions that it’ll happen on a Friday. My sister, Heelya, had a dream that it’ll happen tonight. For nine months Joe has had his bets on yesterday, while his brother has had reoccurring images of the number 20. Now my mother-in-law says it’ll happen June 14 –– the birthday of her grandmother, who also happens to be the original owner of my stellar antique wedding ring.
(FYI for curious minds: June 14 is the last day in the birth center’s two-week, late-arrival waiting period. If King Henry cooks any longer than that, I’m shipped off to the hospital to be induced.)
So … we wait.
Will the King exit the royal chambers in a punctual manner for his long-awaited coronation? Or will we still be here next week? Or TWO WEEKS from now? It’s been in the 90s here. If it were possible to sweat out a baby, he’d be born by now.
Believe me, I’m doing everything I can do to get the show on the road.
I’ve got a birth center appointment this afternoon, at which I plan to inquire about the effectiveness of guzzling Castor oil.
The truth is, while I’m hoping Henry will arrive soon, I’m wishing for bigger, more important things.
As you might suspect, my husband is too.
While doing yard work over the weekend, Joe pulled a hefty tree branch off our roof that had fallen during a recent storm.
It looked like a wish bone. A wish STICK, if you will.
So we each grabbed one end, and pulled until the branch cracked in half.
After some careful measuring, we determined that I ended up with the longer end, a slim victory, but a victory nonetheless.
“Ahh, it doesn’t matter,” I said. “I’m sure we wished for the same thing anyway.”
He looked at me and smiled.
“A healthy baby?” He asked.
“Yes sir,” I replied.