We have baby clothes washed.
We have little cloth diapers prepped.
We have the bassinet side-cared next to our bed, and our infant car-seats installed.
I've been ticking away at it. Very slowly but surely.
It was all but done.
And then I was supposed to pack our birth-center bags this weekend (OK, last weekend, but who's counting?)
A duffel full of clothes I'd wear home after having the baby, a sweet little newborn-sized ensemble and blankets, swim trunks for the hubs, a bag of toys and clothes and diapers for Ella, snacks, gifts for the new big and little sisters.
And I just didn't do it.
Instead, I went shopping for some clothes that would hide the post-baby bulge and the nursing boobs. I doubled and tripled beef and barley soup, vegan lasagna, and meatballs and sauce, freezing them for those rough weeks with a new little one.
I played with Ella and washed more and more laundry.
I walked and bounced on my birthing ball and made lists. I looked into plane tickets for my brother's wedding in June. I had my engagement and wedding ring checked and cleaned.
I even had a false alarm in TJ Maxx HomeGoods, where I truly, honestly, thought we might be going into labor.
But no. I didn't pack my bag. Or the baby's bag. Or Ella's bag.
I am so incredibly sore that I sometimes wonder if I'll bend down to pick up Ella, and this baby will plop right out.
I admitted this to a few friends - fellow natural-birth mamas like myself - and even they all expressed shock that I hadn't so much as thrown a pair of clean undies in a satchel.
I was e-mailing back and forth with Lindsey, too - who is due right behind me with her second - and she admitted she was in the same boat. The second time around, something was holding us both back.
And it got me thinking.
With Ella, I was positively keen to load that bag down with relaxing essential oils and my labor CD.
This time, I'm all, "I'll do it tomorrow. No, I'll do it the day after that."
Why? What was my hesitation? I wondered.
Was I scared?
To be honest, I don't know.
I think I'm a bit in awe - shocked, even - that we're here.
Full-term. Over 37 weeks. About to have our second baby.
After all we've been through over the last nine months, I'm sitting here on the edge of labor, with a perfectly healthy little girl just waiting to come out.
Am I ready? Oh, yes.
But it is scary.
Scary to know you're on the precipice of labor and all that hard work. Scary to know that soon, your first-born's world is about to be rocked irrevocably, never to return. Scary to know that another little girl is about to grab your heart and never let go. Scary to know that soon, everything is about to change.
So soon, in fact. Today. Tomorrow. This weekend. Next week. Even if she lasts longer than we all think - which is my newest fear, mind you - it will be sooner rather than later.
Yesterday, the phone calls, text messages, and e-mails started, asking if I'd had a baby yet. If I thought she was coming soon. What I was doing to get her out already.
It's touching and exasperating all at once, really. A mom can only say so many times, "She'll come when she's ready."
I think that's part of the reason I still haven't packed.
Because if I do, it's like admitting there's a reason for everyone to get worked up. There's a reason to think she could come tomorrow, or, heck a few hours from now.
There's a reason for the phone calls and the extra fanfare and the nonsensical thought that - snap! - my water could break just like that, just like it did at 38 weeks with Ella.
Plus, once the bag is packed, it kind of taunts you. Almost as bad as that infant seat we installed last week now riding around in my backseat pointlessly every time I so as much venture out for eggs.
I don't want that lingering over my head, too.
So I've been putting it off.
It's almost time, and I can't wait to meet her.
But all the rest of it? Well, I'm putting that off, too.
It's the curse of having your first baby earlier than most at just 38 weeks. People assume you'll do the same the second time, like you have any control over it at all; some times, even I assume the same.
But there is absolutely no way to make a baby come when she's not ready. That's my real mantra, and I'm thisclose to printing it on a T-shirt, making it my e-mail auto-reply, and changing up my voicemail, just so everyone can hear it.
It's actually a natural instinct for a woman nearing labor to retreat, go some place without others that's quiet and safe. Maybe that's what I'm doing; I don't know.
I have an appointment today, and I fear I'll cry. As I told my husband, I'm ready to be on the other side.
It's been a long nine months, from the surprise of this pregnancy, to the shock of all the ultrasounds, to the relief that the baby is perfectly healthy, to the sheer amazement that we are literally almost done, and it's as if I just blinked.
I'm excited. I'm ready for labor. But I'm nervous, too. It's a big mountain to face, and I'm standing at the base of it, waiting for some signal to "Ready, Set, Go!"
I want to tell you all, "She's here!"
I want to be so ridden with contractions that I'm not worried about my phone.
I want it to finally be the end.
But first, I need to do what I've been putting off.
I need to pack that bag.