38 Weeks and Still Cookin’

It’s about that time! I am told that while my due date is when Penelope is 40 weeks old, she is just as likely to come anytime between 38 and 42 weeks. Now that I have hit that mark, I feel like I have to be ready at any moment. And boy, am I ready!

Being on summer vacation is great because it allows me to relax, but it doesn’t help time go by any faster! It seems as though Kevin and I have had everything ready for weeks- probably because our friends had their baby at 36 weeks, so we saw that as the day when we should have everything ready too, just in case… and since everything is all ready, I am running out of things to do. I have read about as many baby books as I can stand, and fear that if I read any more, it will just confuse me and make me second guess things instead of actually helping me. What is an impatient mother-to-be to do?

Get out of the house, that’s what! So yesterday evening, Kevin and I decided to go out and celebrate a very special anniversary. June 12th is an important date in our lives, because it marks the date that we became a couple, 12 years ago, and also the date that Kevin proposed, 6 years ago. (A part of me thought the monumental importance of that day might inspire our daughter to make an appearance, but no such luck).

We decided it was the perfect evening to go to the beach. We chose Sullivan’s Island, because I was craving a chicken burger from Poe’s Tavern. How lucky are we that we can not only go to the beach on a whim, but also have our choice of beaches? Of the 3 beaches that we frequent, Sullivan’s Island is the one we choose when we are looking for a quiet, relaxing beach experience. It is the least populated by tourists, the most untouched, and has a nostalgic feel, as though you have stepped back into the 1940s. I can almost hear the Billie Holiday music in the background as we drive in.

We start by going to Poe’s Tavern, a great bar and restaurant close to the beach in a converted old beach house. It is named after Edgar Allen Poe, who was stationed on the island when he was 18 years old, in 1827. He only spent about a year there, but it left an impression on him, and served as the setting for several of his stories. Portraits of the author are all over the walls of the bar, the restroom is papered with pages from his books, and each of the mouth watering burgers is named after one of his stories.

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I love to come for the burgers (how accommodating that they make a chicken version!), and almost always end up picking “The Amontillado,” which has creamy pepper jack cheese, guacamole, and salsa fresca on top. Kevin comes for “The Sleeper,” which features blue cheese and giant buffalo shrimp on top, as well as the great craft beer selection. He chose one of his favorites from the local brewery Coast, a frosty Kolsch.

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After a filling meal and some great conversation, we grabbed our books and chairs and headed for the beach. In order to get to the water, you follow a sandy jungle path through plants and trees. It really builds anticipation as you trek through the sand, (me getting more out of breath than usual on this particular journey), and then, almost out of nowhere, the grassy dunes and ocean come into view. It always takes my breath away.

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I think it was really good for both of us to just take some time to relax and watch the waves. There is nothing more peaceful to me than being on the beach as the sun goes down. The salty fresh smells, hushing sounds, and rhythmic motion of the waves instantly calm me and help me to put things into perspective.

Recently our birth class instructor made an analogy comparing being in the ocean to child birth. She said you can either tense up, clench your eyes, and be shocked by the harsh waves crashing toward you, pulling you under until you feel as though you have lost control. Or you can be ready, know what’s coming, and simply go with it, letting the waves carry you gently back and forth. It’s a great analogy for child birth, but also a great analogy for life. So far, we have done all we can to prepare for the future in order to be ready for what’s coming, but we also need to try and stay flexible enough to go with the flow. I know Penny will come when she’s ready, and when she does, we will be more than ready for her arrival!