12.31.10

Waiting

Posted in Monthly at 1:38 pm by Pasha

By Pasha Holiday

Tom Petty said it right, “The waiting is the hardest part.” While there have been so many different times I have waited in my life; waiting to grow up, waiting on tables, waiting to land my first job, waiting for the perfect husband and now, maybe the hardest waiting of all, waiting for my little one to be born.

As a teen I couldn’t wait to grow up! I was one of those kids that counted the days and months until I finally turned 13 and then 16 and then 18 and then 21. After that, it seemed the milestones of age weren’t so enticing. After 21 there is not much growing up left to wait for. You can do everything legally that one might desire and it is the point where everyone really expects you to transform miraculously into an adult. By then you have stopped waiting to grow up and started wishing you could turn back the clocks to your naive high school years. It is a wait that seemed to take forever, and then with one flash of the ID that reveals your real age you realize, it was a whole lot more fun when the ID was a fake.

The kind of waiting that you do when you wait on tables is a whole other beast. This waiting is about making everyone else happy, in exchange for a lucrative tip, of course. It is the kind of waiting that a person chooses, the kind of waiting that is only done in exchange for money. And when you think about it, you actually are not waiting for anything (maybe food in the window, a drink at the bar or for table campers to let you go home) but the guest is always waiting on you!

Waiting to land my first job was one of the more unknown times of waiting. Like having a baby, when you wait for that perfect job, you are waiting for a variable of time that could be two minutes, two days or two weeks. The summer after college when I started applying to work as a reporter, it felt like June May bleed into June, leaving me nervous, and June into July, which left me with prospects. Your first real job out of college truly is the great unknown: will I like the job I have been waiting for? Will I like the city I am relocating to? Will this job lead me on the path that makes a career? Will I ever get hired? Like the 10 months of gestating and waiting for a baby, the job came just when and where it was supposed to. In a short weekend I landed the gig, the apartment and the new life. In the time of waiting for one, the other fell in line.

I met my husband in Destin, where I took that very first job (where I was also, ironically, waiting on tables, too!) My stance on men was not that of an eager person, waiting for it to happen. Rather, I found him when I was not waiting, when I was just being. He came into my life as a neighbor, a friend and sometimes a nuisance! Eventually we warped into something else, still friends but now lovers and partners in life. It brought us to far away places and adventures that I had anticipated my entire life. It wasn’t until the fourth year that I started to wait for the ring, to wait for marriage. Feeling it was the next step and knowing that he was Mr. Right. I wouldn’t have to wait much longer as we got engaged and married a year later. The waiting for the rest of my life, for the partner to spend it with was absolutely over.

I have wanted a baby, a child of my own, since I was a little girl. I was a nine-year-old who would offer to take a mother’s crying baby into a dark room to rock them to sleep during a party. I would forgo playing with kids my age, outside in the summer, to smell the sweetness of a little one and dream how someday I would have that.

Carefully, I waited for many active years before I (well, we) decided that it was time to have a baby. Like anyone else who has never experienced an “oops” before their first pregnancy, I was spectacle about the possibility. But it was easy for us to make a life together and in no time the months and the first, second and now third trimesters were behind us. I remember being between three and four months pregnant and becoming so anxious to start showing. Around 20 weeks all I wanted was to feel the baby more and more. And now, at 40 weeks and two days the waiting for babies arrival has really started to hit home.

It is not that I am uncomfortable being pregnant and want that part over with, it is the pregnancy and little one with my baby inside of me that I will miss the most. The waiting and anxiousness that I am now starting to feel come with the passing of dates that I had hoped would allow us to meet our bundle of joy. Initially I really believed that all the Braxton Hicks contractions and activity would give us an early baby. So I worked as hard as I could to get the house ready for when my mother came into town on Christmas. By the 25th we had all of our ducks in a row and even though we had not even reached our official due, the officially “waiting” had begun. My mother was here, the house was immaculate, and we were all getting more excited by the day.

The baby did not come on the 25th, on the 26th I had more contractions and thought that maybe overnight we would go into labor just in time for the birthday my mother and I share on the 27th. But that day came and went, too. I was doing all of the things a pregnant woman does to naturally induce; I was eating pineapple and Eggplant Parmesan, I had lots of sex walked like a madwoman. Still, nothing.
We reached our official due date yesterday and now it seems the cloud of anticipation and waiting (with no real signs in sight) are hanging heavily over us.

And while I am okay carrying the baby for another week or so, it seems like everyone else just is not. The calls (well-wishers, I know) keep coming in. It seems like everyone is one serious baby watch. We keep missing deadlines. I am not in labor now, which means the baby is not coming before midnight and we won’t be able to claim him or her on our taxes. Fiscally, it is going to be a strained year without it. Every day that goes by with my mother still here is a blessing for me, however, every day that she is here without the baby being born is a day less that I get her knowledge, help and advice with a newborn. Needless to say, the waiting has begun.

Before 5 am this morning I would have said that I am not waiting, not anxious, not nervous that the baby will come two weeks late. But now I cannot help but to be waiting. I am ready for the little one to make its appearance and for everything to proceed as planned. As we all know, babies are on their own schedules. I just have to remember that in the end, this wait will be worth more than I have ever known.