Some Pre-Baby Thoughts – Week by Week

I’m realising I should have started this 20 weeks ago. Anyway, here goes nothing. Hello. You know me. You’re on my website. What’s up? How are things? I know, it’s been aaaaaages. We should catch up.

Anyway, back to it. 20 weeks ago, my wife fell pregnant. I don’t like the term “fell pregnant”. It implies a degree of negativity, and also sounds like it was accidental. I’ll try again. My wife got pregnant. That also makes it sound like an accident. Like “Whoops, I got my hand stuck in the door” or “I got run over by a truck”. How can I put this? My wife and I made the decision that we would like to make her be pregnant and then we did what it takes to arrange that. There. It’s clumsy, but it’s accurate.

Image - This Guy

Okay, various things have happened in the last 20 weeks, but I’ll summarise.

Around week three, we did some tests and they came up positive. We smiled and we danced and we giggled like giddy little children. (Giddy little children who would very soon be parents). Then shortly after that, we told our parents. Many hugs and handshakes took place. Some time passed, without us telling any more people. I talked about it on stage quite a bit, but often used the lie “My wife and I are thinking about having a baby…” as the context. I know, I know… genius, right?

Some scans happened at various medical facilities, and they all told us our little bundle of human was healthy and growing as expected. Many more hugs took place. Hooray! Healthy baby! Some gender-neutral toys and clothes have been purchased, and many many plans have been made for the front bedroom of our home, which will henceforth be known as “The Nursery”.

Week 20 – So we’ve just had a scan that was supposed to tell us the gender of our tiny person. It did not. Apparently it’s “relatively common” for babies to be a little shy, and hide their bits and pieces from the scary people trying to spy from the outside world. Our baby, with its head down and bum up, turned its back on us and curled into an unhelpful ball. Thanks, baby! You sneaky little monkey. Colour me disappointed. Oh well, we’ve had to book another appointment so we can try again next week.

Week 21 – So we tried again to have a wee look at our munchkin, and guess what? Still not co-operating. I swear this is some kind of conspiracy. First there was a crash on the motorway, so my wife was extremely late (another minute longer and we would have missed the appointment entirely). Then we finally get into it, and baby’s sitting there waving at us, but still strategically hiding various items. If I didn’t know any better (and I probably don’t, because I’m a little bit stupid), I’d say the universe was trying to keep something secret. Maybe our baby doesn’t have a gender at all. Maybe our baby is the first in the next step of human evolution; the outright genderless. Think about that! No more gender stereotyping. No more sexism. No more reverse sexism. No more people whingeing on the internet about imagined sexism. Our proud baby will pave the way to the androgynous future of humanity… or maybe it’s just being difficult. We’ve booked YET ANOTHER appointment for next week, as the doctors still need to assess various organs and whatnot.

The nursery is almost painted. Now it needs carpet, furniture and curtains (after I finished painting, that is)

Week 22 – We tried again to have a look at what the obstetrician has come to affectionately call our “little monster” and… success! We finally got a good look at her. That’s right. I said her. Not only did they get the vital organ pictures the doctors needed, but they were able to tell us that we were having a little girl. A beautiful little baby girl. I’m gonna be honest with you here folks; on the way home from the appointment I had a little cry in the car. Okay it was a pretty big cry. I did. I’m not ashamed of that. Men are allowed to cry, right? I was just so happy. It became so much more real and wonderful, from the very second we were told.

We went straight to our respective parents’ houses to tell them the good news. There were more hugs and stuff, and lots of “I knew it!” or “I was convinced it was going to be a boy!” or “You must be so excited!” Then we went home and my wife baked some cookies with pink tops on them, to reveal the news to her workmates the next day. I know, I know “Pink? Really? What happened to the non-gender-stereotyping thing?” Get over it. It’s just cookies. Sheesh.

Image - A Girl

Week 23 – Okay, so we got a bit excited and went overboard on the clothes shopping… quite overboard. We now have more than enough clothes for our little girl, and she’s still 17 weeks away. With what we’ve got (and what we’re likely to get before she’s born), our baby is going to have about ten times the amount of clothing I have. I, a semi-functioning adult, will have nowhere near the wardrobe of my newborn daughter. That’s a weird thing to think about.

I felt a couple of wee little kicks in my wife’s tummy this past week. They’re almost nothing, but they’re still really exciting. She’s feeling it quite a lot, and she calls me over, but it usually stops before I can get there. Oh well. Everyone keeps telling me it’s gonna start getting more and more noticeable, so I know I’ll get more chances.

Week 24 – Feeling those kicks a little more frequently now. Wife says she’s feeling them all the time. I’ve even seen one or two of the big ones. That’s exciting (and weird); seeing something moving inside my wife’s belly. It’s like a foreign body trying desperately to escape from a fleshy/organy prison cell. Soon, foreign body. Soon you will be unleashed upon the world. Muhuhahahahaha!

Baby’s room is a little bit more done. Curtains are up (they have pink butterflies on them… again with the pink) and they look awesome. Got a couple of little jobs to do in there now, and then it’s all done. Although it will still be a while because the entire house needs new carpet and other renovations before she arrives.

Week 25 – Oh yeah, I forgot to say we’ve got a name for our little girl. We’re not going to tell anyone, but we think it’s really special. It feels so strange (but great) referring to her by her name. “Hey, <name> just kicked!” or “I love our little baby <name>.” Cuteness. I’m a big wuss.

Nothing of note to report with week 25. Wife’s belly is getting bigger and more obvious. I like it. She is a little self-conscious about it sometimes, but deep down I think she likes it too.

I’m at the stage now, where most people I know have heard about the baby (some have heard time and time again) and now whenever I run into someone, the first thing they ask is “So, how’s it going with the baby stuff?” She’s not even born yet, and she’s already the most interesting thing about me. Man, I must be lame. My own friends want to hear about the growing lump inside my wife, more than they want to hear about me.

Week 30 – Wife just had a scan that I, unfortunately, was not able to attend. The doc says baby is right on par in her growth and development, on track to be an average sized new human when she arrives. Although it was noted that she apparently has a big head and really long legs. The big head, she definitely got from me. If you’ve seen baby pictures of me, I was like a head with a tiny baby-body attached. I have taken to calling her “Chupa Chup” (after the lollipop, in case you don’t get the reference) but my wife isn’t sold on the idea.

Image - Chupa Chup

I’ve been seeing and feeling heaps of kicks now.

The Nursery is in a completely finished state, except for the lack of carpet (which is an issue affecting the entire house). The carpet is getting put down in a few days, and that’s so mind-blowingly exciting for me. You have no idea. I can finally a) feel like I’m living in an actual house, and not a construction site, and b) arrange the baby’s furniture around her room and get it looking all nice and cosy. That’s the next step in the whole “This is becoming real” thing.

Week 31 – We start parenting classes this week. I’m excited about that too. There is still (I assume) a wealth of baby-knowledge that I haven’t tapped into, and this will no doubt plug some gaps in my think-sponge. Plus, it’ll be nice to meet some couples who are going to have a wee one around the same time as us. I hope they’re not boring and/or insane though. That’ll be a bummer (both for me and their child).

Week 34 – She’s been doing far more (and far more noticeable) kicks, and it’s exciting every single time. It’s the kind of thing that you might think “Yeah it was cool the first few times but now I’m over it” but I am so not over it.

Image - Baby Kick

Oh! And we saw her face last week in a very fortunately timed scan at the Obstetrician. Holy wow jeez. That was a moment. Out of the no-doubt-millions of times I’m going to look at my daughter’s face, this was the first. I’m not gonna lie to you… it was wonderful. At first I couldn’t tell – because of angles – but once it was pointed out to me, it was clear as day. Her face. Right there.

I did a show in the NZ Comedy Festival last week, with some of my friends (Ben Caldwell and Ricky Threlfo). My 20-minute chunk was all about my little girl. Well, mostly about it. Some of it was about parenting in general, and my apprehension about the upcoming upgrade in responsibility level.

We’re getting to know a few of the people in our parenting class too, which is cool. They’re all of a similar age to us, and it’s great to be around a bunch of other people who are soon-to-be first-time parents. We’re not the only new parents in the whole wide world! That may seem obvious, but sometimes you forget it.

Week 37 – Another scan (they’re weekly from now on). She’s about 3kg and the Obstetrician says that’s bang on; she’s developing exactly as she should… although he still maintains that she has a big head and that it’s my fault. I don’t have a big head, do I? Do I?!

The countdown is officially on. In all the literature we’ve sifted through, it appears to be generally suggested that babies can be born at any time from 36 weeks and be fully developed. She could show up tomorrow if she wanted to. That’s kind of a scary (but also wonderful) thought.

Week 38 – The countdown continues. Wife is at home, staying off her feet, and trying to figure out what to do with all her newfound spare time. I suggested Playstation or reading (which is how I would spend my days if I were in her position) but she declined, stating that those ideas are stupid.

Nothing else noteworthy happening this week. It’s all just about waiting now.

We’ve flicked through some of the pregnancy/baby books again, checking for any nuggets of knowledge we may have missed. I’m starting to learn that there aren’t really any “rules”, so to speak, when it comes to babies. I always thought “this thing has to be done this way, and that thing has to be done that way”, but in essence, as long as she’s safe, fed, warm, and loved, the rest of the job is to just do whatever works.

I found some “new dad” blog post about a guy who had to change his son but realised (too late) that he had nothing even closely resembling a diaper currently available in the house… long story short, that baby boy happily sported a t-shirt around his waist for the afternoon. There are no rules, people. Yes, folks will gawk and stare in the supermarket baby aisle, and wonder where your baby got a Nike diaper, but who cares about those people? Not you, that’s for sure.

Week 39 – Nothing new to report here. Just watching the calendar, pretty much. Days are crawling by. Every conversation I have begins with someone saying “Hey, your baby must be due soon!” and ends with “Woah you must be freaking out!”

Yes, the baby is due soon. No, I’m not freaking out. But wait… should I be? Should I be freaking out? Oh great. Now I’m going to freak out about the fact that I’m not freaking out when apparently I’m supposed to be freaking out.

Week 40 – the final stretch. (Okay “stretch” might not be the most pleasant choice of words at this point). The end of the line. Baby’s due date now…

Week 41 – Yes, that’s right. Week 41. Week 40 ended yesterday. We now have a naughty little girl who is running late. How dare she? I mean honestly, doesn’t she know how many people are waiting with bated breath just to meet her? I’ve never been as popular as she is right now, and she’s totally blowing it. Come on, baby! Get your act together.

We just had a check-up scan and doc says she’s very low, obviously getting ready for the body to do it’s thing. But then again, the doc also said “Ooooh little fatty” so I’m not really sure what to think. It’s Friday 4th July (happy American-Fireworks-day-or-whatever) and we’re really hoping our sprout comes out this weekend.

Okay now it’s the 7th of July and we’re still waiting. This is excruciating. Every time my phone rings, or so much as vibrates, I freak out and lose my shit. The waiting game sucks. The graphics may be great, but the lack of character development is really grating. I wish the new player would hurry up.

I’m on edge, folks.

Week 42 – Okay, this is getting ridiculous. It’s Thursday 10th of July right now. Right now. That’s the date as I’m typing. We have officially begun our 42nd week. My wife is over it (understandably), and the wait is killing me (and killing some of our well-wishing friends too).

We’re evicting our little girl tomorrow. Induction.

Sorry baby, but this is the way it’s gotta be. We’re plucking you out of there. We know you’re comfortable, but enough is enough. Let go of the past and come visit us. There are so many people who are just dying to meet you, your mother and I included (obviously).

Tardiness is not an admirable trait. Remember that, you cheeky little monkey. At least if I’m ever super late for something in the future, and you go “Dad, what the hell, man! You’re like an hour late!” I’ll be able to throw this back in your face.

I didn’t mean that. I still love you.

Just come out.

getoutofhere

The day – After a long and excruciating Friday and Saturday (excruciating for my amazingly strong and wonderful wife because of the immense pain and discomfort, and excruciating for me for different reasons), our baby girl finally arrive at 8:20pm on Saturday night.

She’s here and she’s by far the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes on.

I’m a dad now. The adventure is only just the beginning…

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