Shelby is now 39 weeks along.
Any baby born between 37 and 42 weeks is considered full-term, and could come at any time the baby’s ready.
Ours, despite her growing size, is stubbornly showing no signs of getting any closer to the birth canal, according to our doctor.
“Oh, no,” I imagine she’s thinking, “It’s a scary world out there. I’m going to stay right here where it’s nice and warm and safe, if a bit cramped, thank you very much.”
Well, little one, pretty soon you won’t have much choice.
Everything’s set; her clothes are washed and neatly folded, her bassinet is set up (after two hours and lots of swearing at the directions), and her car seat is properly installed, thanks to Lt. Megan Vizena of the St. Landry Sheriff’s Office.
One grandmother has been here, and the other arrived just the other day from New Jersey.
The only thing missing is the star of the show.
I know it’s a big, scary world out here, little one. There is a lot of pain, a lot of grief, wars, famine, murders, disasters both natural and manmade.
There are sicknesses, bruises and scraped knees and elbows in your future.
There will be needles poking you, and you won’t understand that these vaccinations will help keep you healthy, only that they hurt.
There will be grief from the loss, further down the road, of the people you love and who love you.
But along with the bad, there is also a whole world of new discoveries to make.
There will be your first sights, and being held by your parents, your aunt and your grandmothers. There will be all sorts of new sounds, new smells, the taste of mommy’s milk, and a few months later, your first foods. All sorts of new things to eat!
There will be your first sitting up, your first steps, your first words.
The books we read to you and the first books you’ll get to read all on your own!
Your first day of school, your first bicycle, your first vacation, where you’ll get to see all sorts of new things!
There will be balloons in the sky, favorite toys, best friends and so much, much more.
Later, there will be dances and driving lessons, first kisses and graduations.
There will be love, and one day, far in the future, there may even be a little one your own.
It’ll be a wild ride, full of ups and downs, but that’s what life is.
It’s not a perfect world, but it’s the only one we’ve got. And it will be up to you to try and make it a little bit better, in your own way.
There’s only one thing missing right now, and that’s you.
It’s your time, little one. Seize it.
Jamie Anfenson-Comeau is news editor/reporter of The Eunice News.