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Anticipation

Amanda Jo Greep

This is really the only word to explain my current emotional state, and apparently that of everyone else around me as well. Everywhere I go, people are asking, “When are you due?” And the closer I get to my due date, the more I adore this question.

“About a week and a half – and my daughter was a bit early – so, really anytime now.”

The reactions I get vary a little, but usually run along the lines of, “Uh, don’t go having that baby right now, ok?” while staring at me with wide, unblinking eyes.

I can’t help but laugh every time.

Yes, sir. Because that is how childbirth works. One minute we’re chatting in the elevator and 35 seconds later a baby will be effortlessly falling out of my vagina. OMG! CALL AN AMBULANCE! And don’t forget the shoelace!

Of course, I never say anything quite that snarky, usually sticking to something like, “Don’t worry – if I go into labor RIGHT NOW, I’ll have plenty of time to get upstairs. And if I don’t, I promise I won’t need you to do anything. I’ll handle it myself.”

Ok, so I can only contain my snark so much :)

Really, though, I find it all funny. It’s like people see me and can’t help but envision a cartoon fuse sticking out from the top of my sizeable bump. As a second-timer, I suppose there is a higher chance that I’ll have a speedy labor, but even so, I feel confident I’ll be able to get some place semi-private and safe first. Besides, it’s not like I venture far from home these days anyway.

That being said, I have plans to take one final schlep into Midtown today to have lunch with my husband and to pop in to say hello to his coworkers for what will probably be the last time for many months to come (you ever try to wrangle two wee ones on public transit in NYC?), and I can’t say I’m not a bit nervous. Which, really, is silly considering I worked until the Friday before I had my daughter last time and my hour-long commute at the time included two trains and a 1.1 mile walk.

Tomorrow, however, I’ll be wielding both a 9-month baby bump and a 27-lb toddler in a stroller. And as much as I laugh at people who worry that I am going to unexpectedly have the baby in their presence, I can’t help but think that the NYC subway system is the absolute last place I would ever want to birth a child.

When I expressed these concerns to my husband last night, he sarcastically replied, “If you have the baby on the train tomorrow, just pee on it afterward to sterilize it. S/he’ll be fine.”

I know you're jealous that I married such an awesome guy.

The other comments I get from strangers these days tend to revolve around the sex of the baby. These conversation usually goes like this:

“Are you having a boy or girl?”
We don’t know. We like surprises.”
“Ohhhhhh! Turn to the side. Let me look at your belly.”
[I oblige, just to humor them]
“Definitely a [girl or boy]. You’re carrying [high or low] and look just like [me, my sister, this lady I worked with once] and she had a [boy or girl]. I’m sure I’m right!”

I know people enjoy playing the guessing game, but I really can’t help but find it all ridiculous. Just today, my chiropractor’s receptionist told me, “Oh, girl! You’re carrying so low! That is definitely a boy!” She didn’t seem to care when I told her that I was carrying high and round a week and a half ago and am only “low” now because the baby dropped and the head is wedged so hard in my pelvis that I can barely walk in a straight line. Either way, she’s got a 50/50 chance of being right, which are pretty decent odds, so it’s not terribly risky to make a wager either way, I suppose.

However it all pans out, the truth is that we’ll be having a baby soon. We hope to have that baby at home, as planned, and not on any sidewalks, moving subway trains, or in the backseat of a cab. And it will be either a boy or a girl.

Now we’re just eagerly anticipating the details.

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Follow Jo on Twitter at @outtajo or visit her personal blog, Outta Jo, Onto You.

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