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Holding out for one of life's last surprises.

Amanda Jo Greep

This morning, I unexpectedly attended a birth in the neighborhood. I wasn't actually on call, but the midwife needed me, I was able to work out last minute childcare between my husband and our daycare, and the mama lived just two blocks over so it would've been hard to pass up. A couple of hours later, I am counting my blessings. I watched a family grow by one person this morning and now, just a few short hours later, I'm settled at home with my toddler peacefully napping in the other room. I'm pretty sure I have the best job in the world.

Today’s birth was a bit of a surreal experience as an expecting mom myself. It was only a week or two ago that I felt Boo finally move for the first time and since then it’s been sporadic at best. But today, as the baby was born peacefully into the midwife’s waiting hands, mine decided to have a little dance party of his/her own. It was like s/he was trying to say hello to the new little guy in the room. Or perhaps compete for attention.

Later this afternoon, my daughter, Poppy, and I are meeting my husband in the city for our 20-week anatomy scan, so my day is going to bookended by babies. I’m really excited to get a good look at Boo and confirm that all his/her parts are present and functioning properly. Today is also the day we could find out the sex, but, like with our first pregnancy, we’re choosing not to. There’s something magical about that moment after the birth, when everyone is letting out a big breath of relief and trying to finagle mom and babe into a good position to meet each other. When your baby is still simply, “the baby” and not yet named or known. And when you get to take a good, deep look at the new little one and soak in those first moments together without expectation or preconceived notions of who he or she may be. It feels like one of life’s last surprises.

I’ll admit, I’m occasionally tempted to find out; more so this time than last, though I really have no preference either way. I can see ups and downs to having either a boy or a girl on our second go round, so I’m happy to just wait and see who shows up come February.

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