I am sitting alone in my living room.  All the lights are off.  Everyone else is asleep, even Jasper.  There are a hundred reasons I should be trying to sleep right now, but it's impossible.  I'm all dialated and cracked out on adrenaline.

Today my doctor told me that I'm 3cm dialated and 90% effaced.  I've moved past thinking "Today is the day," and onto "This is the hour."

But none of today's hours have been "the hour." 

This feeling of waiting is foreign to me; I never waited on Madeline this way.  Just an hour or so before I went into labor with Madeline, Dan and I were at a Christmas party and our friend, Adam, asked, "Do you think it will be soon?"  I remember shrugging my shoulders and saying, "I don't know, I don't feel like she's coming tonight or anything."  No more than 8 hours after those words were on my tongue I was holding her in my arms. 

So this is strange, this holding my breath.  I'm fluffing all the pillows on my couches and arranging them just so, so that if we leave in the middle of the night, we'll come home to a welcoming living room.  I'm wiping down the kitchen table, dusting the lamps - lame, dumb stuff.  It's not nesting, it's just a distraction.  I'm killing time. 

I have the swirly stomach sensation, the nervous-pee sensation that you get when you're about to speak in front of a large group of people.  I feel like I'm about to give a performance, and I'm just waiting to hear my name annouced so I can take the stage. 

I'm about to have a baby.  I'm about to be in labor.  I'm about to be in a hospital gown, squeezing Dan's hands and breathing.  I'm about to BIRTH a BABY.  My body is going to bring another human being into the world.

And I can't sleep.