37

Photo credit: Tom Magliery

Photo credit: Tom Magliery

37. That’s how many weeks pregnant you have to be to be considered full-term. That’s how many weeks pregnant I am.

HOLY. CRAP. I am a full-term pregnant woman. That means:

  • If I were to go into labor today, it would not be automatic cause for concern. It’s cool, yo.
  • If my baby were born today, chances are very slim he’d need the NICU or any special care. He’d basically be fully cooked.
  • Between now and the day he does show up, all that’s really happening is he’s accumulating more baby chub and his lungs are getting stronger. Break out the earplugs, folks.
  • This is the last milestone before his actual birth.

Whoa.

People keep asking how I’m doing and if I’m ready. Can you ever truly be ready for the birth of a child? There are plenty of items to check off a list – supplements to take, classes to attend, a bazillion items to choose from – but that’s all a bit misleading. You can do everything but I doubt it will prepare me for the pure awesomeness of the moment. How are you supposed to feel ready to see your child for the first time? To give yourself over to a being of your own creation who is utterly dependent on you? To count the fingers and toes and know that your body incredibly, amazingly, created every cell from scratch as you were grocery shopping, checking Facebook, going about the mundane tasks of life?

That’s why my answer is always simply, “As ready as I can be.”

Non-parents typically get a flash of terror in their eyes, like they can’t believe someone would make this choice when they don’t feel ready. Experienced parents usually laugh and say that’s all you can do.

Time is slipping away to finish off the checklists and see friends without arranging for a sitter. Technically, pregnancy is 40 weeks, so I have a few more weeks until my estimated due date. But discovering this morning that baby is now medically full-term (thanks, Zero to Forty) has put things in a whole new perspective.

37. The countdown is on.