I admit that I’ve been reading up on string theory and theoretical physics, in research mode for my next novel, hence the title of this post. We were all set to go for induction this last Thursday, but then, well, nothing ever goes as planned, right?
Taking a few steps back to the last Monday in August, we were informed that our appointment would be moved earlier by an hour because our regular doctor had called in sick. So we met with another doctor in the practice. Instead of Sarah Palin’s doppelganger, who I’ve come to really like, we got a woman who looked like a soccer mom of 8 children. All I knew about her before this appointment was that she’s the doctor who does the circumcisions in the practice, and she’s kind of klutzy. Those are two tastes that I’m sure don’t taste great together, but on this day, I could be unconcerned with her gracefulness and focus on Susanne’s internal exam. Had our own doctor Palin been doing the examination, we’d have a clear idea of when to try to induce; as it was, we were going to have to wait for the fill-in to contact Susanne’s doctor, who would then call us, probably on Tuesday.
In the meantime, however, Dr. Spaz made an induction appointment for us for that Thursday.
Three. Days. Away. Tuesday came before we could blink our four collective eyes. I left DEFCON 3 in the dust, heading down to level 2.
Floors, swept and mopped. Rooms dusted, laundry done to completeness, which I’m pretty sure hasn’t happened for me since 1997. Nesting was in full effect. If there are eleven dimensions of dirt, I’m pretty sure I uncovered them. Because Susanne knew she had 72 hours to launch time, she slept, a lot. That was her job, after all. I found burned out light bulb sockets and replaced them, hearing her gentle snores from the bedroom, where she clung to her body pillow known as Wedgeworth. I watered plants, found long-lost socks under the couch.
I swear our house is not a total disaster, really.
The phone rang, the caller ID showing me it was Dr. Sarah Palin on the line. Her voice sounded appreciably gravelly, as if she’d been fighting off at least a moderate case of the flu. She wanted to talk about the induction date. I put her on speakerphone and sat with Susanne.
Part of the consternation here is the due date, as in figuring out what it really is. Certainly not every couple knows when conception actually occurred, but we are one of those elite few. I know exactly when I held Susanne’s trousers during the IUI appointment: December 18. Give it 24 hours for the little swimmers to make nice with the egg, and we can say with a lot of certainty that we’re working with December 19, which gives us the unfortunate due date of September 11.
The more traditional method has been to work forward from the mother’s monthly cycle, which would put us at September 6. This is a 5-day difference, which is important because the data show the least complications with a pregnancy like Susanne’s are in week 39. Inducing on that Thursday had us at 39 weeks and 2 days, according to Dr. Klutzy. But Dr. Palin, on the phone with us, sounded less sure about the date.
I’d scrubbed portions of the house to a fine polish, but now it looked like we might be waiting for a bit longer. After telling our close friends and family that we had a date scheduled, we sent out new messages that all bets were off.
The last few days have been weird—for me at least, the march of time is confused about whether it should race by or meander. I’m angry at the dirty clothes in the hamper, and positively incensed at the insistence of dirt forming in the corners of our dining room. How dare entropy continue to exist?
We are now scheduled to be induced this next Thursday, which for a minute I thought was September 7, a.k.a. my mother’s birthday. But no, it’s the 8th. Of course, labor could start at any time (hint, hint), although I’m sure Susanne’s mother, who is flying in on Wednesday, would prefer to be on hand for the actual birth. Whatever the due date doctors think we have, it’s clear this child is on its own schedule. It’s a good sign that it has some Susanne-like qualities if it doesn’t want anyone telling it when to get born. Nobody puts Susanne in a corner, after all.
Not even if there are eight or eleven dimensions of corners in the multiverse. So we’ll wait and try to stay ready. And I will continue to destroy lint balls when I encounter them.