Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Eddie or Not

With a matter of hours—days at best—remaining until my son is born, it seems I ought to expound upon this silent post from March. For those who don’t know, Melanie and I are on the verge of having our first child. His name is Edison. He is due Thursday, July 13th. He will be born much sooner. Or so we are fairly certain. Melanie has been having contractions for over a week and, at last check, was dilated just past a 3 and 80-90% effaced. Contractions get more intense, they get closer together, but then they gradually subside, keeping us just shy of what would be deemed “active labor.” The hospital doesn’t want to see you until you’re in active labor. And so we wait.

This morning Melanie was having quite regular, fairly strong contractions that made us think it could happen today. But, as always, they’ve mellowed a bit. (Then they return. Then they decrease.) Being teased like this gives us plenty of opportunity to ponder the idea of having a baby on the fourth of July. Though Melanie has become rather indifferent and just wishes Edison would be born, there are pros and cons to having a July 4th baby. On the pro side is the fact that I’m home from work. Melanie won’t have to call me and wait 20 minutes for me to get home, or end up relying on somebody else to get her to the hospital (which she wouldn’t do unless she really didn’t think she could wait). It’d also provide an extra day off of work. I had already planned on missing five days, so I could have a full week at home with Eddie as a newborn. If he comes on a holiday, that’s just a bonus. And, most importantly, he’ll be here sooner, which Melanie and I are very eager to have happen.

On the downside, Edison will forever be associated with Independence Day. People will act like he should be ultra-patriotic or have red, white, and blue birthday decorations every year. For gifts he’ll be given sparklers or t-shirts with the flag on it. He’ll always have to choose between celebrating his birthday with fireworks, or working his birthday plans around the fireworks, or just not seeing the fireworks at all. Either way, being born on a day that celebrates freedom will greatly diminish his own. That’s irony for you. And, in a prideful way, Melanie and I prefer he not be born on July 4th merely because everyone we know already thinks that’s when it will happen. I guess they find the notion cosmically profound. Or, as my cousin Aunt Grandma recently said, “We need another July 4th baby around here,” referring, of course, to my great-grandfather whom I never knew. Yeah, that makes sense.

So, if you don’t hear from me for a while, you’re probably safe betting that Edison has finally arrived. My life will completely have changed. But I promise to write at least a few more times before I head off to Atlanta on August 8th. We already have our plane tickets. It’s enough to give me contractions myself. My, how life will change over the next several weeks. Stay tuned…