With the first trimester behind me I finally began to focus on what was really ahead of me. But just one bit at a time. What was I having? Boy or girl? My husband and I found ourselves in the position of being “the only hope” to carry on the family name. And though I thought that would be nice, I really wanted a boy for a much more important reason: I remembered myself at thirteen. And that was enough. Yes baby girl clothes are much cuter, and yes I found myself thinking of traditions and stories that a boy probably wouldn’t care much about, but me at thirteen … I deserved a girl to torture me for what did to my parents. I deserved it, and knew it, but was begging God and nature to spare me, for now anyway. We’d had one early ultrasound to confirm a due date (the day after my thirtieth birthday) so we knew we weren’t having twins, which had been my initial irrational fear of punishment for being so careless. But the second ultrasound at nineteen weeks was much more exciting. We invited my mother-in-law for the big reveal. Drum roll please … it’s a boy! Clear as day (once the technician pointed it out). My husband actually cheered, threw his hands in the air and everything. My mother-in-law cried. And me? I was stunned, excited, and absolutely amazed at the tiny figure moving around on the screen. So much more like a person than before. He was flipping around in there like crazy and I still couldn’t feel it, leaving me feeling still disconnected from him somehow. The technician said that my placenta looked “low” so we scheduled another ultrasound a couple of months out to make sure it made its way up. It occurred to me then how odd and complicated populating the earth seemed to be and it amazed me that it ever occurs properly. All of the little tiny things that have to happen in just the right way …
So, boy on the way, time to start planning the nursery (See? one little bit at a time). We were lucky enough to have an extra room that my husband had been using as basically a dumping ground. So time to clean it out and pick out paint. My husband works construction and to say that he hates painting would be a massive understatement. So I put him in charge of a chair-rail for the room and a friend and I handled most of the painting. Green and orange. I was so completely against blue for a boy and pink for a girl that I planned his entire room without a speck of blue. Of course, it ended up with a bit of blue accents and I’m glad of it. A person can handle only so much green and orange, trust me.
My belly poked out and it was time for maternity clothes. Apparently, they’ve gotten better over the years. What in the world was my poor mother stuck wearing thirty years ago? The really cute stuff is, of course, extremely expensive. And I just could not bring myself to spend that kind of money on something that I knew full well would only get months of wear, at the most. And the inexpensive stuff completely looks that way. Some designer out there needs to rethink the whole thing. The pants have various kinds bands around the waist for expansion. Good idea in theory, however, when you wear a light colored maternity shirt what shows through? The stupid band, that’s what. And do these bands ever really hit at the right spot? Are they comfortable? Some are loose, some are tight and some are just plain God awful. So I found a few things for work in the maternity section of Target and I wore my sweat pants around everywhere else for a while. But the sad truth for a lot of pregnant women, myself included, is that the first round of maternity clothes will not get you through all the way to the end. I needed bigger sizes and I would have rather hid in my house for the rest of my pregnancy than go to a store and buy maternity pants four sizes larger than I needed when I started. Of course, I did not hide in my house. I bought more awful, ill-fitting, overpriced, and rather large maternity clothes.
And then I began to feel him. I had read that it would feel like butterflies but I must not have been paying attention during that stage because it seemed that he went straight to kicks. At first it was really strange for me. It seemed my feelings of being possessed by an alien were being confirmed. I just kept picturing that scene from Alien when the little bugger rips out of the poor man’s stomach and slinks to corner to hide. But the more I felt him the more it just became a part of my daily life. For what seemed like forever, he would stop whenever my husband tried to feel it. Sometimes it was just a little nudge. But most of the time it felt like he was mad at me and wanted me to pay! For what I am not sure. But after a while for me, who had not planned for this and couldn’t wait to be done, it was a truly humbling experience.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3