Sunday, 30 October 2011

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

We are fifteen weeks in and beginning to be faced by some tough decisions.  Will the baby's room be painted yellow or cream?  Exactly what multi-system pram will be purchasing to ferry our newly birthed child around in?  Will it be brand new or second hand?  And, sweet mercy, what are we going to call it when it arrives?

I love my wife dearly.  I need to make that clear from the outset.  But having a baby is testing - there are a number of areas to be agreed upon by two independent minds with their own opinions which, so far, appear to have little in the way of common ground.  Let's take my opening paragraph:

Yellow or cream?  This of course is not actually about an argument in the B&Q aisle on a Sunday trying to decide which shade of paint we should pick.  We are approaching our 20 week scan and we need to decide, if the option is there, whether or not to find out the sex of our child.  I am of the opinion yes, it will help us to prepare better for Junior's arrival.  My wife thinks no, she would like that particular question to be a surprise for the both of us after her efforts in labour.  Both equally valid, and in my reflective moments I can see both sides.  However, they are mutually exclusive.

Which pram?  How can anyone ever be expected to pick a pram?  The wealth of options there are, designs, clever gadgets that can be built in and range of prices make it staggeringly difficult.  Luckily we both agree on a few things - robust, spacious so there is room to move, adaptable so it can be slept in if we happen to be out and (this is the really important one) facing the parents. 

Why, oh why, do parents buy prams that face the baby away from them?  Humans learn language through interaction, modelling and imitation.  Babies can only do this with people who are responsive to them and they need attuned carers responding to their early efforts (and certainly not the television - another bugbear of mine). So babies, in their early months, should ALWAYS be facing the carer who can talk to them and respond to them and make eye contact.  Let them watch you move all your facial muscles around to form words and expressions.  Let them imitate the sounds and see how delighted you are when you try to talk to them, or smile, or look.  Let them feel safe because they can see someone they trust.  When they are a bit older, and taking an interest in the world around them, then yes face them outwards.  But for those first few months have them facing you.  Diatribe over.

But back to the real crux of the matter.  Brand new or second hand?  I think second hand - why cough up hundreds of extra pounds - it's like buying a brand new car, think how much you lose simply driving it away.  Guess what my wife thinks...

And then finally, we have returned to the issue of names.  I am delighted to announce we have reached a consensus on a single, possible boy's name.  Maybe.  A straw poll of dads last night at a friend's wedding suggested the best strategy is to have a few names on the table and to make the final decision when you meet your offspring for the first time.  If my wife and I don't pull our fingers out we may need to resort to the Native American naming tradition of picking whatever we see outside the room after Junior's arrival.  Welcome to the world Tired-grandparent-sipping-vending-machine-coffee.  Rolls of the tongue nicely I think...

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Pregnant? Us? YES!

Today we saw our child for the very first time.  It was so much more than I expected.  Our baby was moving, responding to the outside world (junior wouldn't get into position for some measurements, but we certainly saw the after effects of my wife's very best hula-hooping!), had an umbilical cord connected to mummy, a heartbeat and, this was amazing, the hiccups!  I'm not sure anything could have prepared me for seeing our child moving about.  And the key word there is - OUR.  I could have watched all the You Tube videos, looked at all the Google images and talked to all the experienced parents in the world and they would not have prepared me for viewing my child for the first time.  Our baby is alive, is growing and is most definitely there.

Junior is 5.5cm long, approximately 11 weeks and six days old and due on the 20th April.  No longer is he a kiddie bean sized bundle of cells; he is a foetus that is interacting with his environment.  I have been able to tell people (and believe me since 12:30 today I have told A LOT of people!) and talk about the fact I'm going ot be a dad.  She has all her limbs, a nose, an active lifestyle and a busy few months ahead of her.

I won't see him for another eight weeks.  And already I'm missing him.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Pregnant? Us? Ummm...

It has been a while since I wrote.  Not because nothing has been happening - quite the opposite for the little one - but because nothing has been happening for my wife and me.  We are in a particularly awkward time.  Our first scan is Thursday and we decided to keep a general lid on the news until then.  You may feel otherwise, but we wanted to ensure things were moving in the right direction before it became public knowledge.  It has been a very hard secret to keep!  Our parents are desperate to tell their friends about impending grandparenthood and we are desperate to tell everybody about the happiest piece of news we have ever had. So come Thursday, we will be shouting from the rooftops for all to hear.

But so far, we have kept quiet.  Which is very difficult when people ask you continuously about whether you are trying, or not.  Conversations tend to look something like:

Friend: "So, any news on the baby front for you?"
Me: "No, we're still trying, which is a lot of fun but nothing yet!"

However, my mental dialogue is:

Me: "YES!  We're having a baby!  We aren't trying anymore because she feels tired and nauseous and if I so much as look at her growing breasts she winces because they're so sore - but all of this is happening because she is growing our child!  How awesome is that!  We're due in April, thank you for asking.  No, no names decided upon yet.  Don't know if we'll find out what it is.  But none of that matters yet because right now all that we care about is that we are going to bring a child into the world!  Of course you can tell people - tell everyone! Write to the papers, why is this not on the national news? Ooohh...I've got to go and update my Facebook status..."

Safe to say I cannot wait for Thursday to arrive.