Okay, I'll admit I was hoping for a 10/10/10 baby, but now that that ship has sailed, I'm finding myself feeling fairly patient. It's a little surreal, though. I think I had subconsciously substituted "3 weeks early" for my due date in my head, so I feel like I'm already two weeks overdue, looking at a theoretical possibility of being five weeks "overdue".
Around 35 weeks, when the baby dropped, I got really impatient for a couple of weeks. I was sure it was going to happen any day. When it didn't, and I passed that magical milestone when Valerie had been born, my impatience was somehow replaced with complacency. It will happen when it happens.
It's making me reinvestigate some of my assumptions about this birth, though. Since Valerie was relatively big and relatively healthy three weeks early, I assumed I must just be a pressure cooker, and make healthy, full-grown babies in less than 40 weeks. Now I'm seeing, instead, how incredibly blessed we were that Valerie was as big and as healthy as she was when I was induced. Six days in the NICU sucked, but it could have been a lot worse.
I also assumed that I would have a short labor again, but maybe Valerie's fast birth was just another blessing. The longer she stayed in, the higher her risk was due to the cholestasis. Her quick arrival may have saved her life. I still need to be prepared in case of fast labor, since my hospital is rather far away, but I need to be mentally prepared for a normal, or even long, labor as well.
The biggest disadvantage of these reinvestigations is that I no longer feel like I know what to expect. Yes, this is my second child, but I really have no idea what the natural, normal onset of labor feels like. I have confidence that I will "know it when it happens", but that's only a partial comfort. I'm constantly on the watch for the "early" signs, so that I will have a bit of a heads-up to arrange rides and childcare and whatnot. And my body is happy to oblige. It's always doing something to make me think it's almost time, at least until I start to be reasonably sure, then it stops everything and goes back to normal. Honestly, that's the only part I'm really struggling with right now. Always guessing and second-guessing. "Surprise, it's early!" was quite an adjustment, but somewhat easier to deal with than, "Sometime in the next month or so, have fun wondering!"
So, to make a long story short, I'm extending the Baby Guessing Game a little bit. So far, only two people's dates haven't already passed, so I'm giving you all another chance, in every category except for "gender" (two guesses in that category is just cheating.) If you're one of the two people whose dates haven't passed, you can still make another guess, you'll just get an extra entry in the contest. Good luck!