“Do you realize that a year from now, we’ll have a nine-month old?” Relaxing on our deck after dinner, my wife voiced this question, and I was startled by the fact that no, I hadn’t realized that fact. Most of my thoughts about the pregnancy have been trained on the months leading up to the delivery and the delivery itself, but every day, there seems to be more to consider, more to think about, more to plan. I heard a news story on the radio the other day, highlighting the effects of the stimulus package. The reporter spoke to a twenty-two year old who recently found a job, and the young man spoke of how, with his wife expecting in November, the job was a lucky break because now he could put money away for the baby. This instantly made me feel guilty. Should I be putting money away for my baby? Money for what? Food? Doctors? Supplies? College? Therapy? How much? How come he knows to do that and I don’t? What do we do if the baby doesn’t breastfeed? If they do, how do we know when to stop? When are babies supposed to start talking? Walking? Sleeping through the night?
It’s hard to imagine from where I’m sitting now that in one year I’ll know the answer to these and the countless other questions that spring out at me every few minutes. I can’t even picture myself holding a baby without also carrying a massive, unseen load of apprehension. Everytime I’ve held a baby in the past, there’s that moment when their face colors and screws up in pre-cry mode, and I immediately move to give them back to their parent as quickly as possible, thinking to myself, “ohmygodthey’recryingyouneedtotakethembacknow.” A year from now, there won’t be a parent to turn to. The parent will be me. Yikes.
81 days until baby.