The hardest part…

Tom Petty got that bit right. The waiting. The countdown to “Due Date” seems to go into  slow motion during the final weeks of pregnancy.

i arrived in Turkey* almost a week ago. For the first time in my life, i bought a one-way ticket out of the country. My daughter let me know she was expecting right before i left for an extended trip to Spain in mid-April – she was about five weeks pregnant. As i trekked El Camino, i added weeks to the count as we crossed Spain. By the time we got home, she’d cleared the first trimester.

She and her husband traveled to the states in July, where we orchestrated a gathering of our entire clan – including my ex-husband and his wife. The first time we’d all been together since… well… pre-divorce (2004). When The Girl got married, The Boy was in the Army and couldn’t attend the wedding. The logistics were complicated but we were all together for a few days. It felt good.

The Band with Chorus RS

The rest of her pregnancy has gone well. Her school had hired an assistant/team instructor, so the transition to her maternity leave was seamless. She gets great medical care here – even with some cardiac issues, visits to the emergency room, and specialists in September, it didn’t cost her more than about $15 out of pocket**.

Yesterday was her due date, but Bebek has shown absolutely no interest in arriving on schedule. According to her obstetrician, “She’s very comfortable in there.” Bebek is already about 8 pounds. At the weekly check up yesterday, the doctor went through status, risks, options. The current plan is to let it ride for a week, with two check ups, and if nothing is happening, the delivery will be on Monday.

So we wait. We walk. It’s about 6 kilometers round trip from their home to the weekly bazaar. Their home is about a kilometer from a beautiful walkway along the Aegean Sea. It rained yesterday, so we wandered/waddled inside a gigantic mall.

Missing my travel buddy, who opted to stay home for this open-ended visit. We’ve discovered how much mindless fun it is to play with chat filters. We are dorks. We have enlisted the entire clan in this endeavor. They are dorks, too!

i’ve re-learned household routines, shopped, and planned meals to keep them fed. Put together a stroller that has more bells and whistles than my first car! Figured out their washer and dryer so i can assist with laundry.

Seeing her and her husband work through the preparations… Watching him help her put on her boots because she can’t bend over much… i’m excited to watch them become parents! They’re going to be amazing!

The waiting… Damn… It’s going to be a long week!

waiting

* The country, not the poultry.

** She gets 20 weeks paid maternity leave. Her husband gets two weeks. Paid. Her health care has been stellar, with very little out-of-pocket expense. She is a US Citizen, working and living in Turkey. The US has GOT to get its shit together on health care and family leave…

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15 thoughts on “The hardest part…

    • It does! We’ve got lots to do, and i’m “In Training” – learning where this thing or that thing goes in the kitchen so i don’t screw up their household systems. But we want to meet this li’l critter!

  1. You have me wondering if Tom Petty was referring to a delivery in this song. I tried to find something about the background but didn’t search much.
    For me this type of waiting is hoping all goes well with great health for all. Back decades ago with the lack of prenatal and natal care, I suspect the worry must have been even worse. But maybe people didn’t think about the dire outcomes?
    Wish you all the best.

    • There is always that sub-current of worry. Having been in the room for the latest ultrasound helps mitigate those fears. Back when i had my two, ultrasounds weren’t yet routine. I think i only had one per pregnancy! My favorite chapters in all of my books were “complications in pregnancy and childbirth”, not that it helped… There will always be that low-level fear, i think. Another reason we just want this baby to show up!

  2. I’ll quite Kurt, “well if that isn’t nice i don’t know what is.” Nice Work Gammy Fae. (Look at the stoner pull that one from a post ages ago! Who said weed kills brain cells?)

      • It is very nice. Enjoying down time with my kid, her husband and their eclectic collection of friends. Like a giant toddler, I walk the streets sounding out words, as I learn Turkish – “kedi” (cat)… “kuslar” (birds)… And my daughter is encouraging me to order food at the market – “bes yuz grams sarma, lutfen!” (500 grams of stuffed grape leaves, please). Things will change when bebek arrives…I’m enjoying these moments.

    • It really started when we did the Camino. Even when training, we switched our trackers (map my ride/fitbit) to kms. It’s just kind of carried over. Trying to learn to do more conversions in my head – everything here at the markets is kgs/grams. Have finally started to do the rough math estimates in my head!

      She no sleeped for the last month of her pregnancy. If you think about it, it’s pretty good training for the first weeks of having a newborn in your life! Definitely ripe, that pic was taken on her due date!

      i need to do an update – Bebek has arrived! But i’m almost as sleep deprived as the new parents. Hoping we get a rhythm soon… All good, all healthy!

  3. Very best wishes to everyone. Its a brave decision to have a baby abroad. Ours were nearly born in Madeira but we didnt know it was going to be triplets so thank God we decided to come back to the UK. Although….we’d have coped. one always does .

    Good luck for tomorrow — what a Christmas present! x

    • Thank you, Loony! Having spent the last 50 hours supporting my daughter and her husband as they welcome their daughter, I simply cannot comprehend the stress and complexity of having THREE of these sweet, moist squawk boxes at once! The challenges they face navigating the wickets of two different government bureaucracies pales in comparison! As you say – they’ll cope, one always does!

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