Monday, August 8, 2011

Being social

Saying hi to Sully the dog at the Rogue Hopyard on Sunday.
I had a fabulous weekend. It started Thursday night when we went out with friends to the new Venti's Taphouse, a much larger version of our favorite downtown bar -- very different vibe at the new place, but really great. Friday night we went to Enchanted Forest, a strange local fairy tale-themed park for kids, to see a concert by the Dandy Warhols. Afterward, we headed to an after party at the nearby Gilgamesh Brewery.

On Saturday I hit the Salem Saturday Market to pick up some yummy veggies and fruit for the week, and I got to see multiple friends at the market and afterward. Then on Sunday, we went on a Friends of Salem Saturday Market tour of the Rogue Hop Farm in Independence, where they grow many of the hops used in our favorite Rogue beers. Touring the farm and then hanging out afterward was great fun.

Why this recap? Several reasons. One is that I'm now one week past my due date, so when I make any public appearance, everyone seems shocked that I'm even ambulatory (except for my close friends, who I've been seeing frequently). This reminds me that many people think pregnant women are helpless -- I'm lucky that I'm still quite active. In fact, I hope that the more activities I participate in, the more the baby will want to come out and join me. So far, this hasn't worked. But I can hope.

Besides this, every time we went out with our friends over the weekend, I couldn't help but think about how I wouldn't be doing some of these things for much longer. Not in the same way, at least. It's not that having the baby will completely cut out our entire social life. But things will be quite different. We won't be able to just go out anytime we want or attend every event that sounds interesting. We'll have to think about whether the events are past our baby's bedtime (or our own bedtime), whether we can bring the baby or not, how to manage with the baby along, etc. Even though I know we'll still find times to hang out with friends, our social calendar will definitely change and diminish.

I do admit that it makes me a bit sad to think about this transition, just as I was sad about other major transitions in the past (moving from college life to the working world was a big one). But Stuart and I have both vowed that we don't want to completely go into a shell once the baby is here. We know that we'll be spending a lot more time at home with our son, but we also don't want to let having a child mean that we can no longer have fun. We'll just be having fun with an added person, someone who will bring extra and unexpected excitement to our lives.

When I hear stories about parents taking their very young children on camping trips, or I see some of my friends attending social events with their babies, I am inspired. It will be a tough transition as we figure out how to enjoy the world as a group of three instead of two, but I know we're up for the challenge.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The waiting game

Here we are. Two days past my due date. Baby's still sitting snugly inside my belly.

This is completely expected. Many first babies are late. In general, it's rare that a baby comes on his due date.

And yet. It's hard not to get more curious and anxious about when he'll actually make his appearance. Every time  I stand up and my lower abdomen feels uncomfortable, I wonder if something might be starting. When I lay down for bed in the evening, I ponder whether this will be the night when I awake with contractions. Last night Stuart and I doused our dinner with chipotles and went on a walk in our local park. Still nothing.

I'm so used to being a scheduler and clock-watcher that it's difficult to give myself over to baby's time. I keep thinking that my stomach is so tight, he doesn't have any room left to grow, so doesn't he want to come out and play? Hitting the due date made the baby feel so close, made it harder to believe it could be almost two more weeks before anything happens.

Friday was my last day at work. It's been strange this week to get up, dress, and sit at home alone. Watching movies, taking naps, writing, catching up on those baby books I'd been putting off reading -- these are fine activities. It's nice to have this time to relax and think before my whole life turns upside down. At the same time, it's odd to not be as busy as usual. To be so much more aware of baby when he moves and wonder each time whether he's considering a new way of life.

Last night we went to a neighborhood block party, and everyone kept asking, "When's the baby due?" I have to admit it was kind of fun to say, "Yesterday." A much different feeling than when I was counting down toward the due date. Now I'm counting past it.

Well, baby, I know you'll come when you're ready. Just know that I can't wait for that time to arrive.