With every moment, or chore, or step I wonder if it is the last thing I do before labor starts. I obsess about it. I'm into my 38th week of pregnancy and while statistics tell me my first child will be "late" I want him to come now. My body is no longer my own. I am really exhausted most of the day though am wired through the night. I cannot lift much more than a goat pail, the cow milk pail is too heavy now, as it strains the muscles in my abandoned abdomen. I'm feeling exponentially more useless on the farm as each day passes.
Yesterday, while I was pulling maggots out of the ears, eyes, and back of a very sick pig, I wondered....maybe now? Or this morning when I was crouched at mouth level feeding said pig a banana comically laden with tylenol, I thought now? Maybe it would be at 9 o'clock at night, as the evening thunderstorms rolled through...before we had eaten dinner...when I was left home with the dogs as Fiona and Nick had dashed out to form a makeshift tarp tent over Vangogh's ailing body.
I thought it could be when Nick arose from the basement to declare that maggots had overtaken several wheels of cheddar. (Maggots are a sick and very real part of life in this humidity and rain.) I thought, my water might break as he threw the infested wheels to the chicken compost.
Or perhaps it will be something much more mundane, like fencing sheep. Or slicing potatoes for breakfast. Or boiling the cheesecloth. Or buying strawberries at market tomorrow. Or while checking on the hatching chicks.
Or something more bucolic like a swim in the pond, or a walk through the woods with the goats.
But much more likely, I'll be sleeping, or doing some disgusting chore that involves animal poop, or spoiled milk, or maggots.
I am a bundle of anticipation. Soon, when he's ready, it will start and I'll enter into the club of women who've given birth...of women who become mothers. Then I'll understand how mothers can love something more than they love their dog. Then I'll stop comparing a woman's story of her infant daughter to a similar thing that a piglet or a lamb or a calf had just done here. I will understand then how being pregnant, and laboring, giving birth, and becoming a parent is not something that makes me exceptional but rather allows for me to more fully experience being human with billions of others.
For now, all I know are the facts that any day soon I will have a baby and my life will change. The how, where, when of it all is left up to the heavens.