Tom Petty knew what he was talking about

This past week, Erin’s been symptomatic of something called cholestasis. Now you could argue Erin’s been symptomatic of cholestasis for the past nine months –

SIDEBAR:
Ladies and gentlemen of Earth, there is a major conspiracy going on surrounding pregnancy. First, women are pregnant for ten months, not nine. Somewhere along the line, human behaviorists must have figured out if a pregnancy were described in double digits then it would reduce the number of people who got pregnant. So they propagated the lie of nine months. I think this also explains why no one mentions that “morning sickness” really lasts for your entire first trimester. The people behind this conspiracy use movies and television to propagate their lies but do not be fooled. There’s a bunch of other stuff but I’ve already said too much. (Except, dudes? If you play your cards right with foot massages and back rubs you can likely parlay the whole nesting thing into a new big-screen TV.)

If I do not survive, know that the Pregnancy Police have come for me in their black helicopters and ferreted me away to Room 101.
END SIDEBAR

– with the nausea, abdomen pain and digestion trouble but she also had itchy hands and feet so off for testing she went. The trick with cholestasis is the method of treatment is to treat whatever’s causing it: alcoholism, sarcoidosis, hepatitis, etc. In Erin’s case what’s causing it is her pregnancy. Treating it means making her not pregnant anymore which means inducing her and getting that thirty-nine-week little girl out of there. So the bags are packed and sitting in the car. The car seat is installed. Tick, tick, tick. Spending an entire day ready to go to Defcon 1 and…

…and then we find out it takes a week to get the results of her lab work.

I’ve tried to get my brain around this, but I can’t. The solution to the problem is to induce pregnancy but it takes a week to know if we have the problem? Shouldn’t you have an interim solution then? I have a computer that fits in my pocket but this we can’t solve?

***

People have been asking us “Are you ready?” and I answer “No. I know we’ll never really be ready to have a kid. Something’s always going to happen.” That hasn’t stopped us from trying, of course. Nor has it meant we’re leaving events solely to chance. But that thought – “Something’s always going to happen” – keeps my mind trained to accept fluidity. I don’t know how you mentally prepare yourself to assume the responsibility of not only keeping a human being safe from harm but also teaching them to live as full a life as possible. They’re just not compatible goals and I’d probably have a breakdown if I thought about it long enough. I have to assume the answer reveals itself over time.

So here I sit, occupying myself with comparatively nothing pressing. The last three weekends were flat-out sprints in the three-month race to turn our upstairs into Smith Family Central. I’m left now with to-do items of no real need like “Set favorites on car radio” and “Fix weird outlet in the living room.” I’ll likely do a couple hours of work to stay ahead during my time off. Maybe review the stages of labor or something.

***

We really thought Friday was going to be The Day. I figured I’d go to work in the morning and by noon I’d hear from Erin we were positive for cholestasis and I’d be off to the hospital. The night before I poured myself a glass of our best scotch and watched a couple episodes of “Chuck”, enjoying what I was sure would be the last moments of guilt-free selfishness for a good long while.

And then…nope.

Like that other Smith of some renown, I love it when a plan comes together. Not escaping my notice is how inducing Erin’s pregnancy means hypnobirthing and our plans for natural childbirth get tossed around a bit. We’ll still be able to use our hypnobirthing techniques and stick to most aspects of our birth plan but we’ll be getting a push – so to speak – at the start. We’ve said from the beginning that we’d do whatever we needed to do for a healthy birth for Erin and the baby. Our strategy remains the same but the execution has changed.

There’s little else to do now. We have a house, a nursery, a crib, a changing table, and many, many onesies and diapers. Our bags are packed, I know the route to the hospital and even familiarized myself with methods of “sleep training” so we might help our little girl avoid difficulties with colic. As far as I know, we’re all set.

We’re just waiting for something to happen.

(As a reminder, I’m using this space for longer, personal posts every once in a while. But I’m posting a few times a day at my Tumblr blog. Follow me there if you’re so inclined.)

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