Two weeks out from my due date, the main question everyone asks is "when"? I sympathize with them, because, clearly, that's the main question on MY mind, but I can't help but find it odd that they seem to think I might know the answer.

I've always been such a know-it-all that it's hard for me to respond. I really have no idea, just wishful thinking.

They also ask when I'll stop coming to work, which is something I probably could control if I wanted, but I'd decided not to set an arbitrary date to begin my parental leave. I'd rather save up my 12 weeks for after the baby comes, not before. So I'd planned to just keep going to work as long as I can. I thought brooding at home, staring intently at my basketball-shaped abdomen, awaiting the onset of labor would not be the best way to stay patient and relaxed.

I guess one of the things I find most interesting about pregnancy is how communal it is. I can't really get anywhere quickly, not only because I currently walk with the speed of a three-toed sloth, but also because nearly everyone I meet has something to say. I'm given advice, asked how I'm doing, asked when the baby is going to be born, asked if I'm ready, complimented on my appearance (they're so sweet), given assessments on whether or not the baby has dropped, and delivered expert opinions on whether I'm having a boy or girl, based on a variety of arcane divination techniques. For the most part, I don't mind - it's rather nice to surf on a wave of general good will and benevolence. Although there are those who have the strangest idea of what is appropriate to share with a) someone you barely know and b) someone who is about to have a baby. I do my best to escape them, with all the speed I can muster, when someone begins to relate a horrific tale of birth.

I'd witnessed this phenomenon with various friends, when they were pregnant, and I'd thought it would be something I'd hate. I tend to be pretty private, and I didn't think I'd like having near-strangers pry into my affairs. But pregnancy has made me a bit more patient, perhaps - or maybe I'm just getting older - and I usually just accept their interest with a smile, bite my tongue when they say something with which I don't agree, and say thank you for their good wishes. It's not much longer now, after all.

Then I can look forward to parenting advice. I'm not sure I'll be quite so patient then.


  1. So excited for you!!!! And you have so much more constraint than I do. Having the gender be a surprise is such a fun thing these days, but something I can't do. Good luck!!! I just can't wait!!!

  2. It is interesting that pregnancy is an automatic entry point into conversation between strangers. While I was pregnant with Amado (and even recently with Camellia), what surprised me most was that strangers (male) would guess when I was due or the gender of the baby. It's almost as they go out of their way to share their opinions. Just wait until Goober's here and they try to guess how old the baby is, or better yet, get flustered when they can't tell the baby's gender because baby is dressed in green and cream. :-)

    I'm thinking of you and Goober! Can't wait until Goober's ready.

  3. Rachel - we actually know the gender - we're just not telling anyone else! :-)


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