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Monday, July 26, 2004

Boy, girl, or monkey?

On the screen above my head, the Maury Povich show is quietly broadcasting screaming mothers and would-be fathers in the timeless tale of paternity tests and the men who hate them.

If I let my head slip just a little more toward insanity, you might hear me say, "Gibbon? I'm having a fucking gibbon?"

The response would be "Gibbous, sir. The moon is a gibbous moon. And your wife isn't in labor...yet."

My mind is jumpy.

My wife laid down next to me in bed this morning (she'd been up most of the night suffering severe discomfort in just about every region of her body).

"I could be in labor," she said.

I had heard this one once before. The first time it spawned an evening of running around, packing bags, and fretting about the lack of a car seat in our cars. This time, I muttered something about whether she was having contractions.

"I don't know what a contraction feels like," she said with the whine of a puppy on his first day in a new home.

I think there should be an anthology of poems dedicated to nothing but what a contraction feels like.

It is here we reach the time in my wife's pregnancy in which we start speculating less on the sex of the baby and more on the birthdate.

A little background:

About three weeks after we conceived the kid, Mrs. Otis went to the doctor. Said doctor confirmed that conception had, indeed, occured. Said doctor said the due date should be August 2nd.

Thereya go. A date. Let's start planning.

But, nuh-uh.

About four weeks later, Mrs. Otis started having a few minor problems that required an ultrasound. Now six weeks into pregnancy, the nurse performed an ultrasound and said, indeed, the due date was August 12th.

Science.

I consulted Dr. Beaker, Brother of Otis, who said the ultrasound due dates are notoriously unreliable. Pay more attention to August 2nd than August 12th.

Okay.

So, here we sit on July 26th and Mrs. Otis wakes me up with labor talk. That sounds about right.

The labor talk found its way to work, where the subject of the impending Baby Otis is dominating the conversation. As newsrooms are wont to do, we started the speculation.

Speculation #1 (and the genesis of this post): We are currently in the middle of a gibbous moon. Saturday July 31st is a full moon. Junk science says because of gravitational pulls and whatnot that more babies are born during full moons. A 1994 study of more than 4000 French babies showed that fact to be unreliable, if not entirely untrue. Still, my boss thinks Baby Otis is coming this weekend.

This speculation runs along the same lines as the Hurricane Otis speculation, which is quite unlikely since there are no hurricanes in the Atlantic at present. Regardless, the speculation runs like this: Some doctors there believe a drop in barometric pressure -- which happens when a storm hits -- causes pregnant women to go into labor. Again, junk science. Unreliable, likely untrue. And, again, the Atlantic is quiet anyway.

Two other myths that get a lot of play: Spicy foods and sex induce labor. I can attest that one of those isn't true.

We've been eating a lot of Mexican food.

Speculation #2: This is my own. It just so happens that the 13th of August falls on a Friday. A few people who know me well know that the first movie I ever remember seeing was Friday the 13th. Seems about right. So, here's my prediction: Friday, August the 13th, labor to begin shortly after noon, birth to occur around 9:30pm.

Of course, that means that the next post you see here will likely be announcing the birth of Baby Otis.

Hopefully the kid will only be a monkey in spirit.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
All poker stories, travelogues, food writing, parenting and marriage advice, crime stories, and other writing should be taken with a grain of salt. It is also all protected under a Creative Commons license
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