I didn't know what to expect while I was expecting, mostly because I didn't expect to ever be expecting. Yet here I was, in my ninth month, just beginning to learn about pain relief options (there were options?) and that you could actually have someone other than a doctor deliver your baby.
In order to understand how I ended up this way, we need to reel the story all the way back to when I was nine and inherited an old typewriter from an elder brother. This event allowed me to type up one of my numerous horse stories, three-hole-punch it, and sell it to my parents for a nickel. I decided on the spot, a 9-year-old in rural Minnesota, that this was what I wanted to do: become a writer, which meant I would 1) move to New York, 2) live in a garret apartment, and 3) have a cat and books for company. Because I’d be so busy pursuing my career, inherent in this list was the proviso: Never have children.
Thus, while my childhood friends played with their Baby Alives, eventually graduating to babysitting actual babies, I kept aloof, aided and abetted by the fact that my parents were Korean War refugees, plunked in the middle of Midwestern nowhere due to circumstance and history. Ergo, we had zero relatives: no cousins, aunts, or uncles, no grandparents, no regular exposure to the cycle of life. I was often dispatched to play the piano for guests, but never to change a diaper or amuse a baby cousin. This made it so much easier to concentrate on pursuing the artist's life, one without any familial responsibility.