February 22, 2002
They say a watched pot never boils. I think
the same must be true about pregnancies. My wife was due a week ago
and so far not a single contraction out of the little nipper.
It appears this baby of ours is going to be
very late, just like his father. My mother informs me I was born
more than two weeks past my due date, and I have been late ever
The waiting itself isn't so bad. So far I've
indexed my videos, done my taxes, and found out what's been making
that weird smell behind the furnace (best not to ask).
What has been driving me nuts is constantly
getting up to answer the phone. Anxious friends, family and near
strangers have been calling around the clock looking for news. When
you're pregnant (or your wife is), her womb is an open book and
requires more bulletins than CNN. Everyone wants an hourly update,
and wonders why you sound so snarky when they've only called three
times so far that day.
We have been trying to enjoy our last
opportunity to sleep in until the baby is in college, but still
people feel they have to call us early in the morning to "see
if there is any news". I've noticed this is a common failing of
people who already have children. They're up a six am, so they
figure the rest of the world should be too.
Of course, these are the same people who
keep telling us: "Get your rest now, because you won't be able
to get any once the baby arrives."
And don't think I haven't been keeping a
list of who these early-calling people are. Even now I'm programming
them all into my speed-dial, so the first time I'm awake for a five
am feeding I'm going to start working my way through my list.
At the moment we're as nervous as a
long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs, so the constant
ringing of the phone is starting to drive us crazy. We're lucky to
have so many people interested in what's going on (unless of course
they're just checking up on us to make sure we haven't just faked
the whole pregnancy to get a few days off). But we've also been
trying to keep the phone lines open so our army of specialists can
get through. We have the obstetrician, our birth coach, the
hospital, the after-care nurse, the pediatrician, and a group of
specialists that number in the low hundreds. There's probably an
astrologer in there too for good measure.
I don't know how babies managed to get born
in the days before call-waiting and the Palm Pilot. I doubt the
logistics were as daunting for the Normandy landings on D-Day or the
moon landing. There isn't a square inch of the fridge or bulletin
board that isn't covered with sticky notes or lists. We have
checklists just to manage the checklists.
We've taken some friends' advice to heart,
and been out every night this week - each after a full day of
waiting around for nothing to happen. They tell us we'll never go
out again, so there's been a dizzying whirlwind of dinner and
movies. I'm not sure we can keep this pace up.
And when we come home, there's always a
dozen new messages on the answering machine, all wanting to know if
Trust me - you'll be the first to know.