Sunday, April 12, 2009

Stages of Reality Acknowledgement

[by Mike]

It's funny how with each incremental "component" that makes up the world in which the baby will reside is added to the universe of "baby things" in our apartment, the mental "realization thermometer" that's measuring degrees of understanding/acknowledgement in our heads goes up another degree.

(Strunk and White, the mini "writing" guide, hates long sentences like that last one. So do I. Sorry. I'll try something else...)

The idea of a baby being present in our lives was an elusive one to grasp. With every concrete baby-related object added to our stockpile, and every significant milestone in the baby's development, the whole "we're-going-to-be-parents" thing became more and more real.

Here are some of the biggest that confirmed, "Yup, we're having a baby!":

* Pregnancy Test. Of course, that was HUGE. It's kind of the "kickoff" for everything that follows. At this point, this is more of a "We're having a baby!" (I'm really writing more about things after the actual "news" is delievered...but had to include this since it's pretty, er, critical.)

* First Sonogram (5 weeks, 8/28). The tests are confirmed by a professional and his fancy-shmancy machines. And we have our first baby photo! (Of our spec-sized baby.) Now it's more of a "Yup, we're having a baby!"

* Second Sonogram. "Look, the mini-doughnut turned into a small brine shrimp! Yup, we're having a baby!" It has a HEAD! Thoughts are sent spinning, as the little person begins to take shape... The realization that "someone" is actually growing in Tara's little womb-home hits home.

* Telling the Family. Now it comes up in conversation more, and our sphere of family and friends joins our little pre-baby world...and it begins to feel like a part of the family. Two individual parents' thoughts grow and spread into other's...

* Third Sonogram. "It's a BOY!! And look, HE's raising his fist up as a sign of strength and power! Omigosh, we're having a baby!" Wow. What a moment. At this point, our fuzzy thought clouds begin to clear up as "boy" stereotypes enter our minds...GI Joe, not Barbie; rough housing, not "house"; blue things, not pink things; short hair, not long hair; and the hundreds of other things that stream through daydreams about girls and boys and the two vastly different parenting experiences they represent.

* The baby mattress. After we first registered for baby shower gifts, one of the first "big" gifts we received was the crib mattress (thanks, Saurabh!). Here, we were staring at what the baby would actually be "sleeping" in for quite a while. "WOW. There's actually going to be a tiny, little baby in that thing. Omigosh!" It'll be his home, where he'll cry, sleep, poop, giggle, and chill for a good chunk of "babyhood". At this point, more and more solid, concrete evidence of the baby's upcoming arrival start coming in.

* The baby himself. Kicking and punching, bungee jumping, hiccuping, dancing around. "There is definitely something or someone moving in that belly of yours. Holy cow, we're totally having a baby!!" I couldn't believe the first time I felt him move. It's kind of like, now HE realizes what's about to come too, and is letting us know. We're all in on it, now.

* The stroller and car seat. "WOW. The baby's going to be chillin' 'n' riding around in this thing!" The space is sized, sculpted, and framed specifically for a little baby. There's no denying it, a baby's definitely on its way. It'll be the baby's replacement-travel-womb after birth. Cool.

* Baby clothes. Tiny shoes with "pretend" laces. Miniature versions of things a full-size guy might wear. A Yankees cap. A onesy. "Holy cow, we're having a baby!"

* The calendar. "What? There are less than 10 weeks left until the baby arrives? Holy smokes, that was fast! I can count that on my toes..!"

* The weekend. This is what hit me yesterday and today. "Omigosh, the baby's gonna be here any DAY. He's practically HERE. Today we had lunch with my parents. Next Sunday, it's possible we might be changing baby diapers!" The due date is still 9 days away, but that really isn't much... My next chiropractor appointment is 8 days away...yeesh!

We're getting incredibly giddy and excited. Tara's birthday is today, and she just turned 32. That will forever be a big age number in our minds, as that'll be the one she'll forever remember as having first become a mother...

"Omigosh, Tara, you're going to be a MOM, in like, DAYS!!!!"

Unbelievable. And so exciting! I'm really getting to the point where I can't wait for him to arrive...and that feeling will get a lot stronger over the next few days. (And that's not just because of the paternity leave I'll get.)



Tara M said...

That's a great post, Mike! Yes, all those events and moments were little pre-baby milestones in our minds! I'll never forget them--the sonograms, the mattress, the car is incredible! Reading your post made my stomach all nervous and excited. I mean, as you say, your next chiropractor appointment is 8 days away, so what is 9 days away? There is no one else I'd rather go down this road with than you, Mike! :)

Monsoon Mama said...

what a great post! i loved reading it and retracing all the milestones you guys have been through during this pregnancy. gestation is long-- i feel like we need those 9+ months to wrap our heads around this crazy and fabulous notion of having a REAL LIVE BABY in our lives and our care 24/7. but at other times, pregnancy seems to fly by, and you're suddenly like, "holy crap, i could be a parent tomorrow!" but no matter what, you guys will be wonderful parents, and we are SO thrilled for you. we are thinking of you all the time down this home stretch!

and, fwiw, we all know that boys can ROCK the long hair... isn't there still evidence of dan's ponytail in the BH basement? yeeesh. and a yankees hat? for shame!! :)

grandma berta said...

And soon will be the "this is our first... with the baby". Mother's day (soon), Father's day, etc., etc. If you think this has been a fast 9 months, wait till your baby is having babies! How 32 years flies by!

Kat said...

Mike, I love hearing from you and your perspective! It is so wild when you can start thinking about the baby coming in a matter of days. Hope you are managing to get some sleep, despite all the nervousness/excitement. Get ready to be "mommy" and "daddy!" Can't wait to meet him!

Mike said...

Tara: Yeah, it's incredible...I can't believe how close it is. (Today, another milestone was added when my office threw a shower.) I'm looking forward to making the journey!

Monsoon Mommy: Heheh. Hey, I have nothing against long hair...I had a ponytail of my own circa 200-2003. Though I'm happy to let that memory slide... :)

Grandma Berta: Omigosh, you're thinking too far ahead for my brain to process... Father's a father...yikes!

Kat: Thanks! I'm counting...we'll be broadcasting live via Facebook via iPhone to keep everyone posted. ;)