Cam reached the 37-week mark of her pregnancy today. Only three more weeks to go, give or take 2-3 weeks of unpredictability. Wait?! Did I just say possibly three weeks of unpredictability? Three minus three equals zero, which means, technically, Cam could go into labor any day now. Oh, boy (for us, it’ll actually be oh, girl!)…
I’ve known for a while now that 37 is this magical number. Though due dates in the U.S. are usually predicted for 40 weeks from the point of conception, at 37 weeks, lungs are fully developed, and the baby is ready to enter this world without added risks that come with premature birth.
Emotions for me have been all over the map. I’ve been excited and eager to meet our first child. Curious as to what she’ll look like and what kind of personality she’ll have. I’ve shed a few tears thinking about the beautiful day when I’ll hold her for the first time. I have also panicked at the thought of being a father, and all the responsibility that comes with that role. That a helpless newborn baby will soon depend on me and my wife for everything both freaks me out, and gives me a sense of awe at the same time.
Over the last week, time is starting to slow. I never thought that possible given how fast the majority of this pregnancy has flown by. As we start to live each day as though it could be the day, time is actually slowing down. Despite 12 weeks turning to 18 weeks to 24 weeks to 32 weeks all happening in the blink of an eye, now, time is dragging on. Cam is getting more uncomfortable every day. And though she’s been fearful of the pain and experience of labor, wanting to procrastinate it as long as possible, even she is anticipating the end of being pregnant.
As we wait our baby’s arrival, Cam and I are suddenly faced with the realization that these are the last weeks and days that we will be alone as a couple. Just the two of us. That we can go anywhere and do anything without a responsibility or accountability to anyone but ourselves. And that realization is bittersweet. We’re trying to get out and do as much as we can. Eat a quiet, romantic dinner out for date night. Or enjoy a movie at a theater. I’ve loved spending these last few years with Cam. I don’t think it’s often that a man gets a woman as wonderful as Cam all to himself. She’s been my companion, my support, and my best friend through everything, and I love her dearly. I know all this won’t go away after our baby is born. But even at times in the future, when family or a babysitter steps in to help, our “alone time” won’t be without the constant thought of our love and concern for our daughter.
And from the moment she is born, we will no longer just be a couple, but a family. That will change everything.