As I write tonight, I lay on the couch, cursing my swollen feet and praying against these contractions.  Jac has put the kids to bed, made me popcorn, done the laundry and is working on our “Birthing Play List.”  It is of dire importance to have the best tunes for the arrival of our children.

Except . . .

Except that, for all of my gentle hinting and reminding to Jac (read: nagging) to get this done, I have no focus or desire to actually do it.

But then a contraction comes and I can’t breathe.  All of my scattered and frantic thoughts are rigorously ordered and clear.

For 45 seconds.

In those 45 seconds it is clear I have a baby inside my body that must come out.  Why haven’t I thought of this before?  Why hasn’t this thought gelled and solidified in my brain, making me a wonder woman of preparedness and calm?  You’d think I’d have this down, this being the 4th go-round and all.

Alas . . .

I seem to have drunk from a fount of denial.  A brand that makes me forget what this is all about.  A quaff that has stolen my resolve and the happy memories of the last two births (but not the first.  That one was awful.) – the powerful hours of trusting my beloved and having him patiently guide me through it all.  It makes me doubt my ability to handle another labor with anything resembling grace or poise.

Then the baby performs some gymnastics, making itself known.  And a contraction starts and I’m brought back to earth and the reality of the task at hand.

So excuse me as I utilize the next 45 seconds to focus.  Jac?  Be sure to include some Pink Martini.  And some Chant.