Ready (or not)

We went to see my Ob/Gyn yet again this morning.  He poked and prodded me and announced, "You're not ready.  Come back again next Thursday."  I am ready, though, more than ready to stop being pregnant and meet my baby.  But it would seem that the baby's not in agreement and is planning to stick around at least until her official due date (which is next Saturday).  My job now is just to wait until she's good and ready to emerge. 

Unfortunately, I'm not the best waiter in the world.  Since she's been at term (after 37 weeks), I've been getting impatient for the pregnancy to be done.  I've enjoyed my third trimester and have felt healthy, energetic, and even glamorous.  But I'd like to stop now.

We saw a brand new baby in the doctor's waiting room today.  A tiny, blacked-haired, blue-wrapped boy baby.  His head would have fitted nicely in my cupped hand and he had beautiful little hands and feet.  I wanted him.  I wanted mine.  But, I'm taking deep breaths and practicing patience…

Distraction is one good option.  I've been reading The Economist from cover to cover every week, as well as writing pages and pages in my diary every day.  And I've worked my way through eight or nine books in the last ten days.  There's nothing like a greedy bout of binge reading to make the world a better place.

I reread Good Omens, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's take on the apocalypse, as well as Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman's story about the trickster god, and was much more amused by both books this time around than the last time through.

Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman

And I finally mustered up the courage to read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.  The movie with Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson was so sad that I had never been able to bring myself to read the novel, but I bought a copy last weekend and read it early this week.   And I'm glad I did.  Kazuo Ishiguro is a fabulous writer.

The book is unexpectedly funny and extremely well-written, which helps take the edge of the tragedy at its heart.  But tragedy it is even so.  Ishiguro's main character is a masterpiece of repression and the willful suppression of self-awareness.  The reader becomes aware of the ruination of his life, the waste, the misplaced loyalty, the missed opportunities.  But he is unable, in the end, to confront himself honestly or acknowledge the limitations of the rigid rules he has lived by.  It's harrowing stuff, made all the more so because it's so understated.

The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro

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5 Responses to Ready (or not)

  1. Janette says:

    I have a stack of Economists going back to August that I'm STILL trying to catch up on! I remember being tortured by the wait for my daughter's arrival as well. I ended up going into labor the evening of my due date. The week prior to that I made several casseroles (with heating instructions taped to the foil) and stuck them in the freezer. I read everything I could. I walked a few times a day….and finally she arrived. Hang in there, your wait is almost over! 🙂

  2. Janette says:

    I find that once the Economists solidify into a stack it's all over – reading them all just becomes too formidable a task. I pick them up hopefully from time to time before eventually giving up and throwing them away half-read.I haven't done much cooking because standing wears me out for some reason. Walking is fine, but standing makes me hot and breathless. My big household chore has been laundry. If it isn't tied down, I've washed it, sometimes more than once. The nesting instinct is a strange thing.Your daughter was very organised, beginning her appearance on your due date. I hope mine is similarly keen – waiting after the due date would be tough I think. I am very much enjoying the reading time though and have gotten more pleasure than usual out of even the most familiar books (Sense and Sensibility and Mansfield Park for example, which are usually my least favorite Austen novels).

  3. oOo says:

    I love how you described Remains of the Day! The tragedy is in the understatement of his prose. Perfect.
    I was surprised to find myself doing more reading in the months after my son was born than during the weeks leading up to his (over one week late) arrival. I remember finishing Middlesex during a growth spurt/nursing marathon (there were lots of those!). Although I was too anxious to read much of anything but Us Weekly right before he was born, so it may not be saying much.

  4. Janette says:

    Thanks! I'm pleased to hear that you got to read after your son was born. My sister-in-law tells me that she hasn't read a whole novel since her son was born three years ago. And that's not a trade-off I'd be prepared to make. I don't know what would happen to me if I couldn't read anymore. My head would explode or some such thing. I'm going to lay in a stack of books hoping that I'll be able to read them while breast feeding. How did you find Middlesex? I've not read it.My pre-labour nerves come and go. I have spurts of nervousness then calm down again. Thank god for pregnancy hormones – I think they flatten out strong feelings. Either that or I'm very good at denial!

  5. oOo says:

    Middlesex is great! Highly recommended. I didn't expect to like it, either, because I had tried to get through Virgin Suicides at least three times, and just couldn't get into it.
    I also should clarify that the post-baby reading didn't get started until he was at least two months old–for the first month or so I was a zombie. But once we got the hang of nursing, my son would fall asleep in my arms and rather than risk waking him up by putting him down, I just held him and read. It was nice.

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