The Night Before

Tomorrow afternoon, my cousin Karin will arrive at the hospital to give birth to her third child. No, I’m not clairvoyant–it’s a scheduled C-section, just like my last two deliveries were. She and her husband Jimmy have two young boys (Ryan is nearly 4, and Robbie is not quite 2), and they have no idea what sex this one will be.

I remember it well: The Night Before. Such a wide range of emotions that wash over you as you prepare to bring another life into the world. There was excitement tinged with anxiety, and relief mixed with sadness.

When I had my third child, I didn’t know what sex it was, and I already had two girls. I was definitely glad to put an end to the litany of thoughtless comments from strangers: “Trying for that boy, huh?” and “Wow, this is your third? Okay, after this, no more!”

Truth be told, I was convinced my third baby was a boy, because the pregnancy was so different from my other two. And, I’ll admit it, I found the idea daunting–as much as I said I “just want the baby to be healthy,” in my heart, I secretly wished for another girl. I had no brothers growing up, so little boys were still something of a mystery to me. I was comfortable with girls, and loved everything about having daughters. Sure, it would be great for my husband to experience the joy of having a little “mini-me,” but it would also be wonderful to have a third girl, since I myself was a third daughter for my own parents. The Night Before, as I packed my bag for the hospital, I could only wonder which path awaited me the following day.

I had had two C-sections by then, so I knew what to expect when it came to surgery–the good and the bad. We already knew the date and approximate time the baby would be born, so finding out whether or not it was a boy or a girl was the one big mystery we still had to look forward to. These days, many expectant couples don’t wait to find out the sex of the baby, and get the answer as soon as they have their sonogram or amniocentesis done. I know they have their reasons, but in my experience, it’s definitely worth the wait.

So tonight, The Night Before, I am thinking of my beautiful cousin, and the little life inside of her, waiting to make his or her debut. Even though my last “night before” happened a little over 8 years ago, I find it’s still so easy to tap into all of those feelings, and my prayers are with Karin as she stands on the edge of this new path in her life.

I’ll post the good news as soon as I hear it. Boy or girl? We’ll know by this time tomorrow!

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