Toby and I are less than one month away from a would-be due date. This date has sat tucked away, safely in the basement of my mind for a while now. But it occurred to me yesterday, as one of my closest friends gets ready to welcome her new baby into the world, that my due date is upon us and that I have no idea what that day will entail.
I tend to dramatize things ahead of time, but once the situation actually arrives, it’s never as lofty as I anticipated. My imagination is a mighty steroid when it comes to anticipation and real life.
I should probably also mention that I hate Februarys. I’ve always hated Februarys. No offense to all those with birthdays or anniversaries in February; when we found out the due date was in February, I was beyond excited. Finally! I had thought. I’ll have something to look forward to every February!
But in true February fashion, no such luck! Because February is a bastard with 30-day envy.
(I write all this with humor. I assure you.)
Truthfully, I’m not sure where I’m going with this one. I’m tired, that’s for sure. Emory and I were up most the night and so my guard is down. But as I near that day, I’m left wondering: What will it feel like? What will I feel like? Will I realize that almost all babies refuse to show up on time anyway? Will I realize that it’s just another cold day in February? Will I weep? Will I be away in a hotel room with my husband? Will our setting be tropical? Or will we sit still with it at home, let it be a contemplative one.
Will I even notice it?
If this story were taking place in a novel—if she were a fictional character—she might go to the delivery ward and sit in the waiting room watching pregnant women come and go; ankles swollen plump with water; cheeks puffy from practicing breathing techniques; bellies newly vacated and deflated. She might even buy a newspaper, like she did with her first, the one born right in the middle of a tornado, the first tornado in 100 years! Because that’s what fictional characters do—they do something poignant or peculiar in order to keep our attention.
But real life tends to be less weighty than that even with all the heightened anticipation. Even in my head. Even with due dates.
And, yes. Even in February.