Friday, January 30, 2009

Getting Ready for the Birth

I've been thinking.

There's a baby living inside my wife's stomach. It kicks and moves and stretches and sleeps and eats. Regardless of how happy it might be in there, it's outgrowing its space.

I can't believe we're almost there. We're almost a family of five. It seems like such a long time ago when we found out she was pregnant, and yet it seems like everything went so instantly. Incidentally, when we did find out, we were camping on the beach near Santa Cruz. My wife came out to the cliff where my daughters and I were watching the ocean and waved her pee-stick in the air excitedly. We explained to the kids that this was going to be a long time, but they'd have a new sibling, etc. And now Solstice goes around saying, "Do you remember that we were camping and daddy put a baby in you?" Real. Nice.

Whenever it happened, we're almost to the end of this journey. And the house is a mess. And until a couple days ago, we didn't have any clothes at all for this unknown person we're bringing in. And we've been spending money on cloth diapers for some months (that's another post). It's strange how you can just go and make a human for free, but that they don't come with anything. You have to accessorize yourself.

In many ways, there is no being ready for the baby. Saying that our preparations are making us ready is like being ready for a nuclear blast by putting on safety glasses. But really, this house is a mess.

I don't know at what point this pregnancy seemed real to me. As a father, I have the luxury of not having a constant and physical reminder of the impending. I have the luxury of even just not thinking about it once in a while, if my thoughts fall to something else. But intermittently throughout the last nine months, I've been struck by this overwhelming reality. The reality that we've made another interpretation of what it is to be human and we're going to be raising it soon.

We took a "survivor" childbirth course at our birthing center. It didn't do much for us but let us talk to other parents about their experiences. Then my sister bought us a Yoga for Childbirth class at the studio where she works in Austin. It was pretty neat and gave us a great review of the "gates of labor" and what to be looking out for.

And sill, ready isn't anywhere on the map.

I've talked to people at work about it. I have someone lined up to take my classes while I'm gone. But it is frustrating that the world insists on keeping up all the activity while you're trying to break-in your new life. It'd be great if every time it happened, people around you would courteously pause for a few weeks while you got your sea-legs. Of course, I suppose, they'd still not have resumed from my first kid.

We're sitting right now at 38 weeks. We don't have a record of going early; our first daughter was on her due date and our second was 8 days late. So I'm not holding my breath yet, packing bags for the birthing center or anything. We haven't thought about what food to bring, or what clothes to bring for the girls, should things happen at night, and we haven't memorized our midwife's phone numbers or even programed them into a phone. Hell, I don't even know where to find it written anywhere.

So, no. We're not ready.

We don't even know if this baby is going to be a brother and son or a daughter and sister. Hair color? Musical preference? Demeanor? Bad habits? We know nothing about this kid.

And yet.

With all of this under preparedness, our lives are going to have a huge hole in the hull and start taking on water fast once this thing finally bursts. But I know this particular iceberg is going to be worth all the trouble.

We are not ready for this at all. And I just can't wait.

No comments: