As the due date comes closer and closer it is quite amusing to see the reactions from people regarding the (second) baby’s arrival. There is a sense of excitement and anticipation even amongst strangers. It’s a fun game to play – guessing the gender of the baby based on how you are carrying the baby, if you look like you are glowing etc etc. I remember how during my first pregnancy about three or four weeks before due date I would get so many questions about my due date. And because I am petite I guess my tummy showed so much that so many people asked me if I was either due right then or if I was having twins. This time around surprisingly no one has asked me if I am having twins but people have begun asking me if I am due to go very soon. We went to the beach last evening and I had a drink at Starbucks. The clerk made an error and charged me a lower amount for the drink. She called the manager who came to fix the error. He told her “Ahn, it’s ok, she has a baby coming soon anyway” and didn’t charge me the full amount for the drink. He was a tall, plump guy with a rather cherubic face who then cheerfully looked at me and said, “You look like you are ready to go soon”. I said “Yeah, kind of”. And he said “I would say in a week?”! That was a pretty close guess and I could see he had fun guessing and then checking with me to see if he was right.
The other day I was at the grocery store waiting at the cash register and the clerk, an older Chinese woman said “Let me guess what you are having, you are carrying it in front, I think it’s a boy”.
Hmm…as I am writing this post I realize I haven’t really even written about this in my blog – if I am due to have a girl or a boy. So let me leave it at that until the baby arrives!
A friend wrote to me after seeing my recent photo “You look like you are going to have a boy because you are glowing and they say if it is a girl she robs you of all your beauty”. Interestingly the same week, two of my relatives used the same phrase in Tamil to guess the gender of the baby. I find such traditional phrases in any context very cute and interesting. Translation doesn’t do it justice though. They said “Nee Azhagu vittundrukke, unakku ponnu dhan porakka pordhu” – translating literally, it means “ You are emanating beauty, so you must be having a girl” quite the opposite logic of what my friend said about the same thing. I too see a pregnancy glow when I look at pictures of some friends/my sister's during their pregnancy. I do believe though, "Pregnancy glow is in the eye of the beholder!". I don't see any glow when I look at myself in the mirror!
It’s fun to see how people – both known and unknown – love to participate in this guessing game. Something about the arrival of a baby is exciting and makes people want to know more details and want to converse about it. As the due date comes closer, I find myself receiving more calls from people wondering if the baby has arrived. Somehow they think if I haven’t called them it could be because the baby has arrived. A very close friend from India who normally doesn’t email and calls very infrequently (nevertheless is one of my closest friends) suddenly mailed me today asking me if I was in the hospital and if the baby had arrived! He is usually completely preoccupied with his work and on a normal day would casually leave an intentionally rude message "only called to quickly check if you are still alive, not much else, bye!". Another friend who lives very close to our place called me a little while back and said “Haven’t talked to you in two days, was wondering if the baby had arrived”! It is as if every one is eagerly waiting for the grand arrival of the little one. And I totally relate to it because a close friend was due to deliver on May 26 but I did not hear from her till May 31. I was so eagerly waiting for her call but I had already called her on the 25th with the “SO?!!” opening as soon as she picked up the phone. I didn't want her to feel pressured especially since this was her first child and she was already nervous about the labor pains etc. Every evening I would tell my husband “Haven’t heard from N yet, wonder if she is in labor now”. Some people find these sort of questions and guesses annoying but I actually really enjoy it. As long as it is obviously meant in a lighthearted manner which is usually the case. It makes you feel connected as human beings and makes you enjoy the true magic of bringing a new life into this world!