Breaking Down Any Day Now: A Double Entendre

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

Why, hello, August. It’s nice to see you. July came and went, leaving us without an outside baby. We did not get a July baby after all, like so many had hoped or predicted based on belly size and readiness. I’m okay with that. I actually secretly wanted an August baby because that’s what I was told we’d have when this whole thing started ten (yeah, not nine, but TEN) months ago. But then a little something called “hype” began toward the middle-end of July that drove the baby-daddy and grandparents into a frenzy of “LET’S DO THIS” (I’m talking to you, Stuart Siegel).

At 37 weeks, we went to see Dr. Fiiiiine as part of our regular now-weekly checkups. She inspected the nooks and crannies and declared that I was 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. With raised eyebrows and a smile, she gave us the thumbs up that we could be seeing a baby “any day now.” WHOA! And then followed it with, “See you soon. Probably sooner than your next appointment.” DOUBLE WHOA!

Okay, well, a week came and went. No baby. All right. It had only been 6 days between appointments so “any day now” was wrong. But surely we’d have news at the 38 week appointment, yes?

So last Wednesday, Dr. Fiiiiine inspected the nooks and crannies and said again that we are still the same as the week before, remaining 2 centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. She looked at us with excitement on her face and said, “this is it! Any day now! See you at the next appointment, if not sooner!”

What do rookie parents do when they are told for 14 days in a row that it could be “any day now?” They sit. At home. And stare. At walls. Watch movies. Eat. Sleep. Watch TV. Eat. Eat. Stare. Twiddle thumbs. We are professional thumb twiddlers.

It’s a cruel, cruel world when “any day now” does not mean “Within the week,” and instead could mean “Week or two? Or more? Oh, I don’t know.” I am writing a letter to the board of, what, medicine?, whatever The Board is, and demanding that doctors not use “any day now” unless they absolutely know without a thin speck of doubt in their minds that it really is any. day. now.

To me, “any day now” has a 72 hour expiration. You get 3 days to be correct. Then “any day now” becomes a tease. I mean, at what point might “any day now” mean “oh, ya know, before 2013, for SURE.”? And if that really were the case, no problem! That would hold up in “any day now” court because this pregnancy is not lasting another 2 years and therefore, the assessment would be correct. But as a people, as humankind, it is imperative we come together for the sake of pregnant women everywhere (and their overanxious husbands and fathers), and decide on something that affects us all. No, not the stupid debt ceiling. I’m talking about the phrase “any day now.”

Let’s redefine what “any day now” means. If it’s more than 3 days, then we don’t utter a word. Because here’s what happens: perfectly calm and normal-excited first-time parents hear it and then freeze themselves while time stands still.

Is it now?



How about now?

Is it going to happen………. now?


N-n-n-n-n-n now?

And you do that for 3 days which is not only ridiculously annoying, but also a giant waste of time. Because once a “now” happens and nothing occurs, you’ve wasted a perfectly good “now.” And before you know it, you’ve wasted so many “now”s that it’s been three days of “now”ing and there’s no baby to show for it. The frustration and anticipation rise to all new levels.

Also, 2 weeks of “any day now” mania trickles beyond to non baby-carrying relatives: it causes my dad to cancel a multi-day business trip, Bryan to hazily dawdle through work, and the grandmas to check in at every minute with a detailed explanation of their plans and phone numbers of where they can be reached in case cell phone towers decide to crumble on the actual “any day now.”

The best part of this is that Baby Girl isn’t even late! Her due date is this Friday, August 5th. Technically, she has til then before we can really get on her case about this. But see? This is what happens when you’re told “any day now.” You throw the calendar out the window and hold on to the doctor’s words. Don’t get me wrong — I love Dr. Fiiiine and don’t think she’s purposely trying to drive us all insane. She made a guess. And by my 3-day expiration of “any day now” expectations, she was wrong. So this Wednesday, we will go to our usual weekly appointment and she will check my nooks and crannies. And we shall see what she declares.

But if she sing-songy says, “any day now” I’m seriously going to ask her to brand my belly with a time stamp and sign off on the eviction papers I will be sending to Baby at 12:01 a.m. on August 6th. Read ’em and weep, kid.

  1. Cyndi Camp
    8/1/2011 5:57 PM

    I wouldn’t just sit at home. Seems like you and Bryan are going insane! Live your life go, go on dates, spend as much quality time together as possible. She will be here on her own time. I was a 9 days early with Rylee and a week late with Heather. You never know.

  2. Marilyn Hollander
    8/1/2011 2:49 PM

    Have you tried Mall therapy yet? No, NOT shopping. Walking. A LOT. Also, if you have a rocking chair, that can be very helpful, especially once “now” actually starts. You can still twiddle, if you must, but do it while walking or rocking. In all honesty, it might not work, but since you have that dilation and effacement already going on, it might be just the thing to take it to the next level, the level of NOW.
    P.S. One thing you can, pretty much, take to the bank, sometime in the next 3 weeks-ish, you WILL be holding your beautiful baby girl. If you look at 3 weeks, anything before that will be a delightful surprise.