There are occasions in your life that you count down to because you’re excited about them. Weddings, the 40 weeks of pregnancy, days until vacation, that kind of thing.

There are other things you count down to because you’re terrified.

Today I scheduled on of those. For 36 days from now. September 22.

Childbirth, when it goes right, is a beautiful thing. In all the movies, the mommy pushes, the baby’s here, there are no complications with either participant.

With Helen and with Alice, there were no complications with either baby at all (aside from Alice’s attempts to scare us from weeks 28-37) — each was perfect in absolutely every way, aside from the minor conehead. I, however, sustained some injuries from the first experience that still haunt me. Helen literally burst into the world, tearing a very inconvenient muscle. Being pregnant with Alice furthered the damage, though the childbirth itself didn’t cause any more. On September 22, I will have that critical muscle sewn back together. I had to wait until I was finished having and nursing children to have this surgery, because the painkillers that I will have to take to get through it will be pretty… um… effective.

So. I will be in the hospital for several days (the surgeon said that he likes for his patients to stay for 4 days, but I can go home sooner if I want to, situation permitting). And then I will be doped up at home for about 10 more days after that. The full recovery period will be about 6 weeks.

36 days. And then X days, and then I have an 80% chance of an improved life through medicine. Let the countdown begin.