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Editor braces for pregnancy due date, which also happens to be the day of the solar eclipse Aug. 21

"Are you sure you're not carrying twins?"

"You look sorta like a watermelon nailed to a telephone pole!"

"You're STILL pregnant?!"

Yes, these are actual comments people have made to me in recent weeks, making me wonder if pregnant women should be named as a protected class.

I'm pretty sure I'm more aware than anyone that, yes, I'm still pregnant, and yes, it feels like I've always been that way. You would think someone who didn't even find out she was expecting until nine weeks along wouldn't be so impatient to extricate this parasite, as my doctor so fondly called him, from her body.

And it's not even for the reasons that I lamented pregnancy earlier on. Yes, I miss drinking wine and going to happy hour at the sushi restaurant, and no, it's not as fun watching my husband enjoy water sports while I sit on the shore. But more than that, I miss being able to get out of bed without it being a production and I miss being able to actually put on my shoes, let alone be able to reach the laces to tie them.

The past couple months have made me evaluate the importance of every item that drops on the ground. The eraser to my dry erase board in my office sat on the floor for a good 10 days before someone came in and picked it up. I knew it was there. I just didn't need it and wasn't going to expend the effort. Same story when I dropped a Cheeto at a campsite where chickens roamed. No, it's not part of an ideal diet for them, but I left that Cheeto for the birds.

Since this is my first pregnancy, I can't speak with authority, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be quite so miserable if it were any other time of year. My swollen feet look like those Latex gloves when jokesters blow air into them. And, oh boy, is it easy to look indecent in everything I wear, unable to wear my extra large sweatshirts over my exposed belly. I've even grown out of my maternity clothes. And don't even get me started on that supposed glow I have. I think it's more like sweat.

But the worst of it is the pending doom of having my child at an inopportune time. You see, my due date is Aug. 21. Granted, only 5 percent of babies come on their due date but, based on my recent checkups, this little guy is right on target (I'll amend "little" since he is the size of a watermelon) and I wouldn't be surprised if there's some research or superstition regarding the earth's gravitational pull and celestial events having a hand in triggering labor.

Yes, it would be a great story to tell should I go into labor on the day of the solar eclipse, but there are too many uncertainties that day, thanks to our location along the solar path. What if I can't get to the hospital because of the millions of people on Oregon roads? What if I can't call my husband at work because cellphone towers are overused? What if my husband, who works in Wilsonville, is basically trapped on the other side of the Boone Bridge and can't get to me?

OK, so I'm not as overly anxious as these words make it seem. Sure, I complain a lot but, when push comes to shove (perhaps that's too literal of a term?), I manage to stay calm under pressure. There are several steps I can take to ensure I'm not in that predicament (one solution would be to accompany my husband to work that day, which is also my first day of maternity leave). Plus I'm pretty sure the baby will come whenever he feels like it, and it will likely be when we least expect it.

Regardless of the accuracy of my baby's due date, it's still the closest thing we have to a countdown goal, even if it is just a ballpark figure. And that's what I'm living for, counting down the days — no, hours — until my baby finally arrives.

Though it has flown by in many ways, I feel like I've been pregnant forever. Was there really a time when I could enjoy cocktails, lie on my stomach and even tie my shoes? Was there really a time when the next big event in my life wasn't preparing for a little one to join our lives?

Ultimately, my excitement eclipses any apprehension I might have about this new chapter in my life.

As I prepare for maternity leave, the newspaper will, of course, keep on going. If you have any editorial or newsworthy concerns between now and the last week of October, contact Phil Hawkins at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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