Terri hefted the brown leather duffel bag onto the mattress and stood beside the bed, waiting to catch her breath. She arched her spine, one hand pressed to the never ending ache at the small of her back while her other hand massaged the tight skin of her thirty-six week stomach. Her exhale filled the room. Those stairs were a killer these days and lugging the bag up from the cubby beneath them more of a chore than it should have been. Surviving the last four weeks of her pregnancy would be a miracle.
The baby in her womb squirmed in its tight confines. Terri smiled at the sensation and watched the fabric of her shirt roll and shift. “Anxious to get out of there, aren’t you?” Her voice seemed to calm the restless baby. While the baby stilled, Terri’s heart boosted into overdrive. “Four weeks?” Am I really ready? Her heart answered yes, even while her mind flooded with doubt.
Her hand reached for the phone. Callie, Pam, or Karla would reassure her. The hand fluttered back to rest atop the mound of her belly. Don’t be a goof. She admonished herself. You’ve waited for this your whole life.
She stood, snapped open the duffel, and started loading items into it. Once all of her clothes were packed for the anticipated two day stay in the hospital, she turned to the baby items that would go in last.
Terri added the tiny footed outfit that Callie had insisted on buying just for the baby’s trip home. She smiled. The outfit was white. Callie was one of two people who knew the sex of the baby. She’d been so careful not to let any hint slip. Pam’s contribution came next. A white cap and tiny gloves both knitted in the softest yarn Terri had ever touched.She nestled in a small stuffed bear in the suitcase as well.
The last item was Karla’s hand crocheted green and yellow blanket. Terri hesitated. She sat on the bed and spread the blanket over her belly. Her hands drifted across the blanket so lovingly fashioned by her friend. She could almost imagine her baby cuddled up in its warmth. “Just four more weeks and we’ll get to meet each other face to face.” Oh, baby!!