Thursday, August 11, 2016

THE SHOWER

Waddling into the bright room adorned with safari animals and soft blue wrapping paper, I let out a sigh of relief.  The busy morning was behind me; I was here and ready to celebrate our little boy.

***

Only 18 hours prior, our friends arrived from Virginia.  I tell ya, nothing makes you feel like more of a grown-up than your first houseguests!  Conversely, nothing makes you feel like less of a grown-up than your houseguests’ children. 

I was confident our home was clean and safe.  Naturally our friends’ adorable toddler shot that delusion to hell. 

He bee-lined for a glass heirloom before tugging on a metal shelf stacked with kitchen appliances.  “That’s not bolted down!” I warned, imagining disaster at every turn.  This was all before he fell backwards down our ungated staircase.  Will caught him in a feat of INCREDIBLE Dad-to-be heroism – but man was that close! 

I could just see the headlines: 

“Prospective parents lure innocent family into death trap.” 

“CPS demands immediate surrender of unborn child; report cites ‘sharp edges.’” 

The words “would you bring your kids HERE???”  printed over a picture of our perilous living room.

Happily, our friends handled it with cool and grace.  They joked with us about taking notes for our own child and only had to tell their kids once what not to touch.  I was incredibly impressed by their behavior; everyone lived and a great time was had by all.

The next morning, I awoke early to make coffee and grab bagels from a local deli.  Once everything was laid out on the table, I handed the hosting reigns to Will and set out to make myself pretty. 

Now, it had been quite a while since I cared about my appearance.  Pregnancy exhaustion has a way of striking unnecessary primping from the itinerary.  People were coming from all over to see me however and I was determined to look halfway decent.  A little hairspray and a lot of shellac later, I was faced with the ever-daunting selection of shoes.  It had been at least three months since I tried to wear heels.     

Why not?  I thought.

Of course, before we even left the driveway, my feet were swelling like overly yeasted cake batter.

Right.  That’s why not.  I was reminded.

***

No matter – I had arrived.  The room quickly filled with smiling faces and big gifts.  My Mom and sister did a wonderful job organizing every last detail.  The food was amazing, the d├ęcor was adorable, the games were HILARIOUS and the company was outstanding.

I opened the beautiful gifts (barefoot) with the help of some girlfriends.






We now have everything we need to prepare for our little prince.  Once we trash every breakable, cover every outlet, and bolt every piece of furniture to a load-bearing wall – we’ll be all set!!!


A special thanks to everyone who made our day so special.  <3

Thursday, August 4, 2016

DREAM A LITTLE DREAM

It’s a beautiful day and I’m in a field.  I watch as a parade of bikini-clad women walk in a tidy circle, each stopping briefly to pose in front of the crowd. I realize I’ve found myself at a beauty pageant sponsored by our county fair.  But it slowly dawns on me that this is no ordinary beauty pageant.  It’s a mating ritual.  Each time a woman stops, an interested man emerges from the crowd to inspect and retrieve her. 

I look around - I’m the only woman in the audience - everyone else is an ex-boyfriend.

In front of me stops a slender chestnut brunette with smoky eyes and pouty lips.  Her bikini is colorful; coordinated perfectly with the impractical surf-board she’s carting for effect. 

I look her up and down.

She doesn’t have a protruding belly.
She doesn’t have cankles.
She doesn’t waddle past the crowd.

No – she’s gorgeous.  She’s graceful.  She’s thin.  She’s everything I’m not right now.

To my horror, I feel someone letting go of my hand. 
It’s my husband. 
He’s interested. 
He’s walking toward her. 
He’s picking her up. 
He’s whisking her to a shady knoll and he’s kissing her passionately beneath a tree.

I stand there watching helplessly from a distance as my heart audibly shatters.

And that’s when I wake up, sweating and gasping desperately for breath. 
“Another bad dream?” Will asks, sleepily.
“Yeah…” I say wiping my brow “I’m sorry --- go back to sleep.”

---

Leading up to my wedding I had a series of terrible anxiety nightmares.  But nothing compares to the absurd visions I’ve been plagued by this entire pregnancy.

The earlier ones were quite humorous.

During the first trimester I dreamed I was lost and late for an important class. 

“Join us” said the teacher as I rushed through the door.

Everyone was naked, so I quietly disrobed and got in line.

When it was my turn I was asked to shove my breast into a random man’s mouth while he ate a sandwich.  The crowd applauded my proficiency.  The next morning my husband and I decided it was a breast-feeding dream.     

I’ve also had several strange sex dreams.  In one such fantasy, I was engaged with my husband in an underwater bunker only to be discovered by a VERY judgmental Leonardo Di Caprio (circa Growing Pains.)

But as my due date approaches, my dreams have become more dark and menacing.

Virtually every night, my son rolls off of something.

Or I forget him somewhere.

Or I fall down the stairs while holding him.

One time his head was so big I literally COULD NOT negotiate my way through a door and I kept walking him repeatedly into the wall.

And yes – despite the fact that my husband is the most faithful human being on the planet; who has done nothing but compliment my changing body and pregnant glow every step of the way, I do have the obligatory “I miss my body” dreams.


What I’ve discovered is that pregnancy comes with some unexpected emotions and your subconscious can do a real number on you as it sorts everything out.  But just like my wedding day, I know it will all be okay in the end.

Monday, August 1, 2016

THE CRIB

After receiving normal glucose readings (YAY!!) Will and I got down to the business of nesting.  

Though my muscles are aching beneath the weight of our growing child, my legs are restless.  I’m CONSTANTLY itching to ready our home for Bobby’s arrival and it pushes me through the pain and discomfort of the third trimester.

The to-do list is lengthy, but I’m blessed to have tons of help.  My father painted Bobby’s room; my grandmother is sewing Bobby’s curtains; and my in-laws bought Bobby’s GORGEOUS crib.   

Though I was exhausted, I awoke Sunday anxious to build our baby’s bed.  I waited until a respectable hour and slowly kissed Will awake.  His eyes still closed, he began to smile. 

“Good morning, baby.” He said.  “What time is it?”

“10” I lied.  (It was really 9:30, but I knew he wouldn’t budge until the clock struck a double digit.)  “Come on…” I said “we’re building the crib.”

“Before coffee?” he asked, his voice still groggy with sleep. 

“It’s for Bobby!” I whined, kissing his cheeks and nose and lips and forehead. 

“I can see you’re convinced” he laughed.  “Okay, okay – let’s build the crib.”

I sprawled the instructions out in front of me – telling Will which bolt to use next, what washer was needed, what rail to grab.  I wiped the stray Styrofoam from each component and bagged up the garbage as Will did the rest.  In an hour, it was done. 

And… there it was.

Bobby’s bed – just sitting there waiting for him.

Will and I walked to the rails and stared blankly at the mattress.  I practiced leaning in to make sure I could reach.  “Not so bad!” I said.  I watched Will give it a try and suddenly it hit me. 

We made this child with our love seven and half months ago.  In that time, I’ve felt him grow and move and kick and hiccup.  But watching my amazing husband pretend to lift our bundle from his freshly assembled crib made it all real and wonderful.

A warm tear rolled down my cheek as I grabbed Will’s hand.  He looked up at me with glassy eyes.  


Its official, I thought.  We’re a family.