A Womb of One's Own

A Womb of One’s Own: The Waiting Game

On Monday, we passed the 35-week mark, meaning that if I were to go into labor today, our son wouldn’t be considered premature.  He might need some extra care, but he wouldn’t be classified as a preemie.  These small milestones–the end of the first trimester, the point of viability, and now the end of prematurity, are all leading up to the big one, his birth.  But unlike the medically established times for those, the day of his birth is known only to him, and the rest of the world just has to wait.  And it’s hard.

His nursery is ready.  It’s not an entire room, just half of our office.  I’ve traded my massive desk out for a small one that closes up to keep questioning baby fingers away from pens and laptops, and my husband’s moved his desk out of the room entirely.  I spend each day sitting in the nursery studying and staring at the baby gear.  I know that only at this point in our lives will it sit like a pristine shrine to the idea of our baby.  All the clothes are carefully folded and stored, the Diaper Genie sits empty, there is no laundry waiting to be cleaned.  I spend a lot of time daydreaming and wondering what he will be like, what our life will be like, but most of all, I wonder when he’ll decide to show up.

When his birth comes up in discussion, I’m torn.  On the one hand, June 6 is the day after my last final, and our 38th week, meaning he would be considered full-term.  I would love to have him out and get on with starting our life together.  On the other hand, it would be nice for him to go full-term to June 20 and reap the benefits of another couple of weeks surviving off of me.  If he went full-term, we have concert tickets for a show three days before his due date, one which I’d like to attend.

In the end, however, nothing is within my control.  I don’t know when he’ll come, I don’t know how he’ll come.  As my midwife says, “you get the labor you’re given, not the labor you want.”  We may have 34 hours at 37 weeks, it may be 15 hours at 41 weeks.  The only thing we can do at this point in the pregnancy is, to paraphrase Carrie Underwood, let baby take the wheel.


By Jessica Werner

Free-range librarian in Seattle. A sucker for happy endings, teen angst, and books that make me want to sell my possessions and travel the world. Incurable homebody and type A. Send love letters and readers advisory requests to

3 replies on “A Womb of One’s Own: The Waiting Game”

I know that only at this point in our lives will it sit like a pristine shrine to the idea of our baby.

I love that, the idea of your baby. I’ve never been pregnant, and it’s not really on my to-do list right now. I can hardly imagine that waiting period, never knowing exactly when baby is going to make an appearance. It must be both exciting and nerve-racking.

This is my favourite column on Persephone, by the way, despite my complete inability to relate.

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