Of Bees and Babies (but not birds)…

So Gabe went to the regional spelling bee last night.   May I just say, I was so excited for that to be over? I hate competition. It always stuns me how happily my children embrace challenges like these and how calmly they deal with them.
Did I mention that today is my due date?  So that means last night was the night before my due date, and I have to say, for once, I was feeling it.  At the appointed hour, we jumped into the car to go to the bee, and course, I immediately started having some pretty intense cramping.  I was fairly sure they were just bad Braxton Hicks, but they were enough to make me stop talking, breathe and snap at people to please not talk to me. 
As we drove it became apparent that we were lost. In a remote, deserted, disconcertingly ghetto area.  GPS was confused. Husband uncharacteristically flustered. It was raining.  It was hard to see out of the steamy car windows.  The “contractions” picked up to every 3 minutes or so and getting more intense.  I was trying hard not to let on about how much they were hurting because my husband was already considerably stressed, and my soon to be spelling son was getting that way too, which I wanted to avoid at all costs.  It was a good preview of what the trip to the hospital is going to be like. I’d forgotten about the bumps and turns being so painful. Not fun.  I’d had a couple of other signs of impending labour earlier yesterday, which I will spare you in the interests of “TMI”, so it did cross my mind that I might want to be mentioning the possibility of “this is it” to my husband, but the fact that I tend to have a few episodes like this prior to the big event and that my last labour was 24 hours long meant that I was fairly certain that this was a false alarm and I’d be damned if we did not get to that Bee on account of a false alarm.
We finally found our destination and breathed a collective sigh of relief.  Gabe was amazing. Here are  some of the blow by blow facebook updates I texted. (I know, I have turned into one of those people, but we were there for over 3 hours…it helped pass the time).

He is through to the next round. No small feat-this stage is soooo much tougher- wow. What I wouldn't give for a Zantac right now!
Woot! He is through to the next round after correctly spelling "Panglossian."  The girl ahead of him went out after misspelling "ridiculous"
Got through another round even though he appears to need a break (little bit of dancing up there if you know what I mean)
Next round and he spelled "raita" correctly. Which is freaking amazing because we did not practice it and it was pronounced "rider”. Apparently it is an Indian side dish. I am officially impressed.
(Another kid in the same round had to spell “zucchini.” Spelling bees are nothing if not unfair ;)
Next round on “dahlia” which I was sure he 'd miss since I always pronounce it "day-lia" and this guy says duh-lia. Yay kid!
and finally:
Awww...And he is out on "addenda". It was not on the list. I did not know it existed. He made it to the top 10 out of 60 kids . I think he was the only grade schooler left and he beat the 1st place winner in the county bee by several rounds. He rocks.
He was 6th out of 62 kids to be exact.  Most of them were far older than he is (he’s 10). I was so impressed with his chill under pressure. He had to deal with some obstacles, because he is so much smaller than most of the other kids, he had to adjust the microphone every time he went up and it was a big production each time, poor kid but he did not seem to be phased at all. 
First trip up to the mic. Omigosh,I love that little face. He is so cute.
(Getting down to the wire…look how teeny he is compared to the next competitor in line)
Also, my pronunciation when we were practising differed considerably many times. For instance, I pronounce “t’s”  as a hard” T “ whereas Americans (ie the pronouncer) tend to pronounce it as a softer “D” sound,  But that did not throw him either.
When the last two competitors were duking it out, Gabe sat next to me and whispered the words they were attempting. Ironically, he nailed several of the championship words that they were missing. 
In the end, a kid who had been to regionals for 4 years running won. He was in 8th grade, age 14, and it was his last chance to get to DC. I was happy for him because I could tell it was super important to him and his family. (Aaron overheard his dad in the hallway saying he did not know what he would do if his son lost-ack-no pressure.)
We are so proud of our Gabey baby. He was diligent and cool under pressure and gracious when he went out.
So here we are  on D-day. It is also my late mother in law’s birthday.  She was a wonderful woman and I am so grateful to her for raising such a phenomenal son for me to marry. She is muchly missed, but we never feel as though she is far from us and I have no doubt that she has influenced many wonderful things to come our way.  She lived such a good life, I’m pretty sure she has some major clout up there ;)
As for me, I am feeling happy and content today.  My first thought when I woke up this morning was, “wow, I have such a great life.”
The weather is warming up, giving me hope that Spring may soon come. The sun is shining.  I had a great night’s sleep. I had a good workout. I do NOT HAVE HEARTBURN AT THIS TIME.  (This is so exciting, especially since I discovered some Girl-scout cookies in the pantry-perfect for carbo-loading for labour, right?) Baby is hanging out looooow and I am so much more comfortable.  My house is clean and organised.  My family is healthy (knockwoodknockwoodohpleaseknockwood). I have all I need. Life is good.
In general I am not too anxious for my baby to be on the outside, at least I am not at this moment. I am not putting much stock into this being “the big day”. I do not expect her to come today. I figure I have had one baby arrive on his due date and the odds of it happening again are exceptionally remote. I’m thinking maybe this weekend…maybe early next week?
Like I say, life is good and I am trying to enjoy the moment. Because it is a good moment in time.  My life is very blessed and relatively peaceful right now, and I am content to enjoy and relish the cushy scene I have going on right now. I am living the life of a lady of leisure (who does their own housework ;)  and I am lapping it up. I know it is going to change very soon and quite dramatically.  I am a little concerned about how selfish and attached I have become to my “me” time and my freedom. This, in many ways will be like having a first baby (with first hand experience that cute floppy babies turn into babies who like to scream and arch their backs when you try to put them in their car-seats-oh how I dread that long phase) . In many ways it is still totally surreal. And a little scary.  Sometimes a lot scary.  In many ways I don’t think I have allowed myself to make it real, in case I have a reality-based spaz out ;)
But when I do let myself really imagine the reality of it all, there are exciting parts too. I thrill at the idea of soon holding a warm, perfectly weighted bundle of heaven scented softness.  I look forward to that crazy feeling of being beyond exhausted, but unable to look away, even to sleep, because I am so mesmerised by the sheer perfection of a tiny face, fist…wrist. The amazing, impossibly soft softness of the skin of a newborn, the back of a tiny, downy little head, fitting perfectly into my husband’s hand.  Those precious baby bird little grunts and sighs.  Ahhhhh……
I adore the newborn phase, I just hate how quickly it passes in a sleep deprived haze.  I look forward to what comes beyond that too, though. Getting to know and admire another amazing little person. I so enjoy knowing each of my kids as individuals. They amaze and humble me daily. I feel so blessed to be entrusted with the care of another spectacular soul, one no doubt stronger and wiser than my own, who will no doubt teach me far more than I ever will teach her.  I am beyond excited to see my kids fall in love with her. They are going to be spectacular siblings..
But I can wait….a few more days at least :)

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Kallie said...

oh man I wish I was in your state in my last weeks of pregnancy. (even IF 38 weeks was as long as I ever made it...) I wish I'd have enjoyed it and not just layed there wishing for my misery to end. ps. do you watch psych by chance? I love the spelling bee episode. you should look it up on hulu if you need something to do. :)

2busy said...

Aside from the queasiness I loved being pregnant. Anytime now, anytime.

Anonymous said...

m so impressed with the way you cope with tiny babies whereas I was scared stiff every time! Pathetic, I know. I get that same "yuck" feeling in my stomach when anyone goes home with a tiny new one. You love them to death, but you have to get to know them. Aish! I would rather have been pregnant for 12 months and given birth to a 3 month old! (except for the size). You will be great again.