The reactions I get, especially as I grow rapidly rounder, never cease to amaze me. Well, I should say, they amuse me, and shock Greg. (Yes, Greg can be shocked.) The scenario: I am out somewhere in public (walking outside, in a store, etc.), and someone will ask me "wow, so what are you having?".
Depending on the person (and what shape my hormones are in that day), I find myself occasionally saying "a baby, more than likely". However, if I choose to be polite (which is a choice that I'm afraid I don't always make), I respond with "We're waiting until the baby's born. I love surprises." The reaction from the younger women are almost always "are you kidding? You're not going to find out?! I HATE that!!", and from the older women, they look at me in surprise, then say, "Good for you! I never found out with my children either. That's the way it should be." I suppose that makes me old fashioned, but proudly so. The reason Greg is shocked at these reactions, is that
1) he feels that it takes a lot of balls to ask a question like that
2) what business do strangers have in our business anyway?
3) he can't understand why anyone would want to "find out" in the first place
Of course, I'm used to it, so I don't think any of those things, but I like to tell Greg about it because of his reaction. =)
The interesting thing to me is that women around my age tend to hold it against me that I'm not "finding out", which I could find offensive (though I don't), since I don't give anyone flack about finding out themselves. Anyway, I know several people now who were told that they were having girls, decorated, shopped and named accordingly, only to have the sudden shock at the end that the baby was simply being modest, and oops! It's a boy.
Besides the fact that I love surprises so much, there is another reason why it's so important for me, personally, to wait. I need something to look forward to. I love being pregnant. I love the roundness, the maternity clothes, the shameless flaunting of a hugeundous belly in a skimpy camisole. However, towards the end, the reality hits me: now I need to get this baby out. That SUCKS more than anything I can think of. I have never had such an intense, terribly painful experience/endurance test like labor and birth. Not everyone feels this way, but I felt like
A) I might possibly die,
B) I definitely wouldn't have any more children,
C) that it was crazy for ANYONE to have more than one child (or any at all!),
D) that (irrational as it may seem) I wanted my mom to make the pain go away.
Not knowing the gender adds to the suspense and excitement of the final moment, and I NEED to know that there's a heck of a treasure waiting for me at the end of all of this.
In the moments just before Andrew came out, I remember that suddenly someone said they could see his head. It was at that point that I remembered my goal, that my baby was in there, and needed to come out. With renewed energy, I pushed past the pain, and his head came out, followed by the rest of him. My aunt put him on my chest immediately, and someone said that he was a boy. I cannot describe the cascade of wonder/joy/excitement/relief/amazement/love that poured out of me, over us, in that second. We didn't even have a name for him yet.
I looked into his tiny, beautiful face and recognized him as my own baby. His miniature body changed from blue to pink as I kissed him and cuddled him, rubbing his back, talking to him, probably making no sense at all, but he was out, and he was mine. I felt like I never wanted to let him go, and all the maternal feelings that had been building in me during my pregnancy came to a huge, avalanching expression right then. It was a moment like none other, and one of the best moments of my life.
I don't hold it against anyone who "just has to know", or those who "have" to do it for the practical reasons of shopping in color code ahead of time. For me though, the waiting to find out his gender until he came out added to that "surprise package", and I would never want it to be any other way.
As I write this, I am dying with excitement to meet the little person inside me. What will they look like? What will their personality be? How much will they be like Andrew? Is this a girl or a boy? And then the all important question of the hour: when the heck will this person come out?! I do hope soon. I will keep you all posted.
Due in 6 days....