Tag Archives: pregnant

DEAR BABY 3

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Baby 3,

It’s currently 8:20 in the morning on a Sunday, exactly one day before you will be born into this universe.  Your mother lies next to me, still sleeping and me, feeling her belly, I seem to think that you are sleeping as well.

Two nights ago I laid my face on her tummy and hummed a song to you before lying my finger on her belly button, pressing, and saying, “BEEEP”.  You shifted quickly and some part of you bumped hard into my cheek.  Your mother said, “The baby just slapped you!”

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I kiss you and think, “You’re right there.  You’re right there.”  I lie my hand on you; your hand, your back, your head; and I wonder what you’ll look like; blonde hair, red hair, black hair; blues eyes, brown eyes, hazel?  Will you strongly resemble Rory and Quinn as they strongly resemble one another or will you stand out all on your own?

There is nothing in this world like the anticipation of a parent wanting to meet their child for the first time and these days just cannot seem to pass fast enough.  Tomorrow we see you.  Tomorrow we hold you.  Tomorrow we name you.

We don’t even know if you’re a boy or a girl!  It’s a big day for all three of us.  Listen, the very first thing you’re ever going to do when you enter this world, is change my life.  That’s your first act!

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I’ll be straight with ya, kid… we’ve got a really solid girl’s name picked out and we’ve got a couple options for boy’s names but no middle names paired up with them yet.  We’re sort of hoping that you’ll just let us know when you show up.  But, this is how it was with your brother and sister as well.  We knew we’d use Rory but Quinn was still up in the air between that and Harper.

It’s the night before Christmas, Disneyland, space travel!  Those are just three things that really excite me… the third a hopeful possibility for the near future… We’ve got a place all ready for you; a bed right by us, warm hearts and big arms.  Your brother and sister are excited for your arrival as well.  Last night, an hour after going to bed, Rory opened his bedroom door and said, “Dad?” and I said, “Yes, Rory?” and he said, “Baby’s comin’ soon,” and I said, “That’s right!  Are you excited?”  and he said, “Yes.  Excited,” and I said, “Good boy.  Go back to sleep,” and the door shut.

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Your Aunt Theresa texted me this morning and said I’d better not keep them waiting tomorrow.  She demands that I send out all information on you just when you arrive!  Your Grandma June is here now, patiently awaiting your stage call and your Grandma Kathy will be here in just a few short weeks to take second shift.

Baby Boy or Girl, I already love you with more tenacity than I could’ve thought possible.  Tomorrow morning, in a cold white room, I’ll hold you in my arms and kiss you on the cheek and say, “Welcome to the Universe,” and you will answer all of the long thought questions I’ve pondered over the last nine months.

I love you and will see you shortly,

Dad

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KID COUNTDOWN: DAY 1

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Lying in bed last night, Jade and I staring at her belly, we watched The Baby shift and move under her skin.  With only two days to go we’re in The Zone wherein her belly most resembles something out of a cheap sci-fi movie.  Her guts shift and move, maneuver with liquid ease.  The right side is solid with ridges and divots; running my palm over her stomach feels like she’s swallowed a handful of oddly shaped rocks.

In the other room Quinn screams.  I ignore it because… well, this is what Quinn does sometimes.  She doesn’t necessarily want or need anything… except to see if one of us will appear at her whim.  When Jade and I still owned Kaidance (our large Rhodesian Ridgeback for any first time readers) we could hear her bark and know what she wanted or needed.  If there was someone in our yard, coming through our gate, she had a very aggressive, violent sound.  If she wanted to go outside or eat, she had a very high-pitched yip.  If she was happy that we’d returned from a long day out, she would just have this very middle of the road bark, neither aggressive nor naggish.

Don’t be fooled.  Infants and toddlers are no different than your run of the mill domestic canine.  When they cry, they tell you exactly what they need and you either give it to them or you don’t.  And sometimes, in my opinion, what they need, is to be ignored.  If I go running in there in the middle of some fit they’re having, the only thing I’ve taught them is that if they cry long enough and loud enough that it is I, and not they, that will finally break.  No, thank you.  This is MY house!

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Now, I can already hear the rustling in the seats and the hands going up and the objections being raised.  Listen.  I’m by no means suggesting you fully ignore your child.  Children are small creatures who need our help to survive but… I’m just saying that we, as adults, should just make sure that they need our help before we go in and smother them in it.  Baby bird needs to learn to fly on its own.

In fact, even as I write this, Rory sleeps while Quinn sits in their room saying, “Dad!  Moo!  Dad!  Dad!  Dad!  Moooooooo!” and I can’t tell if she’s hoping to genuinely garner my attention or if she’s mocking my weight, hoping to lure me in with insults.  In any event she does not need me and if I ran to my children at the first fart they made, I’d spend all day chasing smoke.

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Quinn and Rory have been sleeping through the night since they were six months old and we have people approach us on a regular basis and say, “You guys are so blessed to have kids that were born such good sleepers,” and we just smile and nod but let me say this now…  These two kids showed up at my front door with a predisposition for screaming and full moon parties.  In fact, for the first few months we owned them, we were sure they were at least partly feral (and in most regards, they were).  Children are wild animals – I say this with complete sincerity.  They run on instinct alone and it is our job to train them, not the other way around.

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The Belly twitches and adjusts itself, sending ripples and waves over the surface.  I lean down and place my face on her stomach and kiss her taut skin.  I hum a song; just random notes that I think sound soothing.  I place my finger in her belly button and say, “BEEEEEP,” and something hits me on the cheek.  A fist?  A hand?  A foot?  An elbow?  A buttocks?  I have no idea.  The Baby just slapped me across the face with a tiny brick and Jade says, “You just got slapped!” and Iaughs.

Quinn screams again, louder, same tone.  I roll over onto my back and ask Jade if she thinks it’s a boy or a girl.  She says, “I don’t know.”  Quinn screams one more time and then nothing, silence.  A moment later I hear her little feet march back to bed, I hear springs squeak under her weight and then, truly, silence.

I say, “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if it just had completely jet black hair?  Just totally left field from The Children of the Damned?”  Jade nods and The Baby shifts again.  I say, “AH!  I’m so flipping excited!  I just want to cut you open and take a look!” and she says, “Uh… don’t, though.”

She says, “Are you going to watch the C-Section?” and I say, “I hope so!  I want to!”  I say, “Let’s put a smile on that belly!”  Jade says, “Are you ready for this?” and I say, “It doesn’t matter, does it?”

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I pick up a book and Jade tinkers on the laptop for a bit and my eyes start to get drowsy, heavy, sleepy.  The words on the page start to blend together and I read and reread and reread the same paragraph two, three, four times.  Just get to the end of the chapter, I say to myself.  One… more… page…

Everything goes dark and then Quinn is screaming.  Screaming.  Not crying.  Her voice is in full tilt wailing, red faced, most likely.  The world comes back into focus and the blurry edges turn crisp and everything is sharp.  I hop out of bed, certain that someone has finally actually broken into my house to steal my children.  I open the bedroom door and jog down the hallway, reach out to push open the door and…

…Quinn is lying in bed, chest down, holding her head up and howling (again, picture a feral wolf) while Rory is dead asleep.  I stand in the doorway and say, “What are you doing?  What’s wrong?” and she says, “My leg!  My leg is stuck!  Dad!” and I imagine a coyote in a bear trap sounding not dissimilar.  I swing open the gate, saunter over to the bed and, assuming she’s somehow entangled her foot in the iron bars, I give her a tug but… no, she doesn’t move.  She truly is stuck.  Rory, still sprawled out on the bed, doesn’t even stir when I jostle the mattress getting up and down.

I lean back, grab the head board and pull once, hard.  The bed slides across the floor a few inches, scraping along the fake wood, and I reach down, grab her by the waistband on the back of her PJs and lift her into the air, free of danger.  I say, “Are you okay?” and she says, “Yeah,” and I say, “Good.  I love you.  Go to bed.”

Rory still sleeps.  Neither of them make another noise until morning.

I go back into our bedroom and lie down next to Jade.  I put my hand on her tummy and say, more to the baby than to my wife, “You see that?  Take note.  You’re next, little fella.”

I kiss the baby and go to sleep, thinking about the restless nights that await me later this week with midnight feedings.

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