I'm officially on leave, having thrown in the towel on Tuesday at 39 weeks, 2 days. By this point in pregnancy, the inescapable presence of a tiny human ready to drop is so distracting I consider any woman a hero for working past it. As Vance's students are fond of saying, "The struggles are real."
At some point last weekend I realized that nobody gets an award for occupational heroism (at least not of the prenatal sort), and I had the support of my employer to spend the short time left before "Cletus's" arrival taking care of myself and finishing up whatever preparations were left.
So I called it.
And every day since has felt so unfamiliar to me. Like a sudden, unplanned retirement, but with a whole different list of aches, pains, and vitamins. I have no control over how long it might last, and no idea what to do with myself to pass the time.
Not two hours into this "vacation" I acquiesced to the urgings of our doula and set up The List. That place where all of the nagging items on my mental checklist can escape my brain and be visible to me and Vance and anyone who might stop by looking for a way to help after the baby is born.
Any.do: The list app that will do.
I believe I looked at every checklist, to-do, family organization, and project planning app in existence that first day. And they're all terrible, awful, stinking things. I did manage to find one that was a step up from paper, and have resigned myself to live with it. For now.
Any.do is perhaps the most tolerable list management app in existence today, seeing as it meets the following baseline criteria:
- Native on at least the iPhone (they don't have an iPad-optimized version, though you can certainly run the iPhone version hugely on the iPad)
- Syncing to a central service. (And it sort of works!)
- Accessible from our Macs (in this case via a web browser, though I've set up Fluid.app to make it feel more native).
- Easy enough to use on many devices simultaneously.
For all my snark, it actually has worked out quite well for us, save for the syncing issues that seem to plague every app of the sort. The system is set up in four lanes, which intelligently auto-fill overnight: Today, Tomorrow, Upcoming, and my favorite: Someday. As in, no pressure... Just putting this out there into the universe knowing that someday, we ought to take care of it. But not today. Today, we eat brunch and stroll through the farmer's market and drink in the quiet, pre-newborn sounds. And water the hydrangeas.
Tomorrow, I'll officially have been pregnant with our first child for 40 very full weeks. I count each day of it a blessing considering what we've been through, and the friends we've had whose babies have entered the world fearfully early. But tomorrow also starts the timer counting up toward 42, the buzzing of which we have no desire to hear.
So here's to the big 4-0. We made it, kid.
But seriously, let's get this show on the road.
Cletus The Fetus is wiggling away, upset at my cross-legged and very unlady-like stool sitting. Vance is preparing a summery Three-Pepper Pork Tenderloin with Peach-Cucumber Salad, after a mountain of cucumbers arrived on our doorstep from the CSA.