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Veeder: If you're reading this, baby has arrived

WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- If you're reading this, I've had this baby we've been talking about for so long. I was making preparations, and besides diaper organization, laundry and floor sweeping, I also had to make sure I kept these weekly stories coming.

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WATFORD CITY, N.D. -- If you're reading this, I've had this baby we've been talking about for so long.

I was making preparations, and besides diaper organization, laundry and floor sweeping, I also had to make sure I kept these weekly stories coming.

I was worried I might be in the hospital when my deadline came around, imposing itself on the biggest deadline of our lives--the arrival of a new person.

Because it's gotten pretty real around here.

The night I got home from my doctor's appointment where they told me it could be any day now, my husband and I suddenly found the energy to finally install the car seat, set up the changing table in our bedroom, finish washing the onesies, clean the garage and pack our hospital bags.

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We were a whirlwind of brooms and blankets, instruction manuals and boxes, nervous laughter and blank stares, running around this house as if at any moment I could explode like the ticking time bomb I'd suddenly become.

My husband followed me around the house, from room to room, watching me as I randomly folded clothes, cleaned the inside of the washing machine and organized the bathroom closet. He stood in doorways, dressed in his boots, beanie and Carhart coat, ready to go outside and work, but instead lingering, chatting, picking up things I was dropping, folding random socks and underwear and blankly staring into space.

I could relate.

I was doing the same thing.

And then he said, "Isn't it crazy. Anytime we could be meeting a brand new person. And we will be the first ones in the entire world to see him."

"Yeah," I said smiling at him leaning up against the baby's dresser, looking sort of big and rugged in a room featuring a fluffy rug, stuffed horses and tiny clothes. "I never really thought of it like that."

"Well," he added. "I'll probably meet him first ..."

Ah yes, the perks of being a dad.

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Anyway, I'll tell you now, as you're reading this, we've met this new tiny person, are counting her fingers and toes and staring at her with wonder and terror. And we've finally found out if it is a boy or a girl, putting all of the guesses I've received from cashiers behind the counter at gas stations, strangers on the street, and that lady in line at the post office who is NEVER wrong, to rest.

I'm writing this so you can read it while we're busy wrapping our minds around the fact that our lives will never be the same.

And, according to my husband, neither will the world.

Yes, it's a strange thing, to write ahead like this, to be in the last few days of pregnancy and in this in-between stage of parenthood, teetering on the edge of peace and panic, preparing to be prepared, hurrying up so we can wait.

On mother nature. My body's instincts. An unpredictable indication that the time has arrived.

Last month, my belly and I strolled through a crowd at a local holiday craft show. I was a walking billboard, a flashing sign standing by the taco-in-a-bag booth that invited smiles, curiosity and warm wishes from women who have been in this phase before, or hope to be someday.

"When are you due?"

"A girl or a boy?"

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"You look great."

"I've been thinking of you."

I walked out of there an hour and a half later, hardly getting a glance at any merchandise, but given the opportunity to look into dozens of smiling eyes. Of all of the things I've studied or read about in my preparation for parenthood, I couldn't have known the community support and excitement we were to receive from my hometown and from all of you and how it would become a much appreciated and needed lift in the unpredictable, scary and exciting final days.

So if you're reading this, I'm rocking this baby and probably crying for the 30th time today. If you're reading this, we've named her, wrapped her up and maybe even taken her home to an unfinished house with dusty floors and a beautiful view.

If you're reading this, the world has added another, and I can't wait for you all to be introduced.

Editor's note: Edith Elizabeth was born Nov. 24. She and her mom are doing well.

Jessie Veeder is a musician and writer living with her husband on a ranch near Watford City, N.D. Readers can reach her at jessieveeder@gmail.com .


Related Topics: FAMILY
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