By David Nitkin

Ehrlich to skip delivery room
'Traditionalist': The governor says he'll keep his distance for the arrival of baby No. 2.

October 14, 2003

NO NEED to hand Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. a pair of surgical scissors. He won't be using them.
Ehrlich says he has no desire to be in the delivery room when his wife gives birth to the couple's second child in March. He also stayed on the other side of the wall when son Drew, 4, was born.

"I'm more of a traditionalist," the governor said last week, speaking with reporters the morning after he and first lady Kendel S. Ehrlich formally announced they would be parents again.

The first lady said she would not be upset if the governor doesn't make it to the hospital March 16, the due date that occurs deep into the annual General Assembly session.

"The governor will be governing. I will be in very good hands," she said. "He will be there in spirit with me, if he can't be there for the exact time of birth."

Asked if the pregnancy was planned, the Ehrlichs answered simultaneously. She said "Yes." He said "No."

"I was not in on the planning," the governor said.

Kendel Ehrlich, 42, said she had no pregnancy-related health concerns, even though "clearly I'm a little older on the scale of things."

Doctors have told her that physiologically, she has the body of a younger woman. "With all the risk factors taken in, I'm only 37," she said.

The Ehrlichs will not be finding out the gender of the baby before it is born, and they wouldn't disclose the names in contention. But they said they'll follow the same system as for the first pregnancy. If it's a boy, the governor will pick the name; a girl's name will be the selection of the first lady.

The first family seems amazed at the amount of change they've experienced in the past year, from a new job to a new house and now a bigger family. There's discussion of even more: whether to bring a dog into Government House.

Last year, the Ehrlichs said they would get one for Drew as a reward for potty training. That's past now, but still no puppy.

Governor Ehrlich says there are "two schools of thought" in the family about getting a canine. Sounds like the Ehrlich men want one, while the first lady is opposed.

Copyright © 2003, The Baltimore Sun