Moments of Actuality
My wife, Kerstyn’s pregnancy has, for me, mostly just been changes to her. The size of her belly, how often she needs to eat or sleep, different emotional triggers.
The last eight months for me, however, have mostly just been in preparation. We bought and renovated house, we had the shower, I built a bunch of pre-fab furniture.
But there have been small moments that have made the upcoming parent status more real, often hitting me right in the feels.
The first was during the first ultrasound. We had known about the pregnancy for several weeks at this point and while we were committed to it, having a baby still hadn’t been something we wanted. But here we were, at the obstetrician’s office, about to have him inspect the weirdly-shaped glowworm for the first time. It was only for a second before the curiosity of what else this machine would tell us took back over, but the first time I saw her on the screen I was overcome. I played a part in making something alive. The awe was brief, but it was very tangible.
The second time was during the diagnostic ultrasound. It had been discovered that she had only developed one kidney [a semi-common occurrence for about one in every 750 people]. In order to rule out any additional problems, they scheduled us for a more detailed scan. The technician did some preliminary work before the doctor came in and during that stage, RAD yawned while we were watching.
My first thought, clearly, was “same, baby”, but it was a moment that once again made her less abstract and more an actual (impending) person.
I immediately spend the next hour or so looking at research about fetus yawning. Science isn’t really sure on the matter yet, somewhere between brain developmental moments or muscle development.
The third moment happened just last night. I dreamt about her.
She was maybe a month or two old, had a full head of brown hair, and had a lower lip that looked just like her mother’s (something I didn’t identify until I was telling Kerstyn the next morning.
I’ve never had a dream project something in the future before. Usually they are distorted replays of old events or something entirely new, but never in a way that implied “this is yet to come”. It caught me off guard. Mostly because I like to be accurate and now I can’t tell if my brain is lying to me about what she’ll look like. I have a mental image of a baby that hasn’t been born.
But it made me excited. I haven’t been excited. In some strange way, I now know her face.
And I can’t wait to meet her.