From the category archives:

Week 25

The baby’s foot maybe?

by Milton on Fri, Jan 29th, 2010

in Week 25

Every night I have the pleasure of rubbing down Esther’s belly with some oils and I use the opportunity to probe for signs of our son in there.  Which way is he facing?  How deep in there is he?  The midwives showed me how to go about this investigation, but I have to admit that I didn’t really catch on to what exactly is the baby and what’s Ester’s guts and organs.  I try to push her belly from side to side, trying to sort of bounce the baby around in there to get a sense of where resistance is met and where it gives.  Her belly seems to be pretty balanced from side to side for the most part.  But then how do kicks sometimes appear on all different sides of her belly?  Does he have 8 legs?  Is he part cephalopod (my spirit animal kingdom)?

Well, all of this prefaces the fact that last night , right next to Esther’s belly button, I felt a definite limb!  And he kicked with it!  And it was definitely a foot.  Esther felt it too and she squealed with delight.  I think that was the first time she had felt him from the outside as well.

It was pretty awesome.

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My father has been appearing in my dreams a lot lately.  Probably because I feel myself overlapping with my father at this particular part of my life.  When he was my age, I was 8 years old.  Which, in hindsight, is halfway through my life with him, as he passed away when I was 17.  But in many ways I see my parents as wise beyond their years in their parenting of me, and I only hope I can meet the bar that they’ve set.  I’m gonna try real hard.

In the meantime, I am discovering that I’m also highly sensitive to the thought of “changing” when I become a father.  I don’t like changing in predictable ways, and the more people say things like “oh, you’re going to think completely differently about things once you’re a parent” the more I resist those changes.  I want my changes to come from inside me, and not to be guided by expectations or stereotypes or the occasional cynical remark.

That said, I’ve already become much more of a home-body, just as the stereotypes dictate.  Ahead of time, even.  Half because I don’t want to leave my lovely pregnant wife at home by herself and half because I feel like I’m in some kind of cocoon state that is requiring all of my subconscious resources to build new subconscious structures to help transition me into the new responsibilities and opportunities of fatherhood.  That, and I’ve also become somewhat of a workaholic, at least in terms of hours.  I feel like this is my last couple months to really devote myself 100% to the foundation of my self-employment, and even though I’ll be as loyal to work and career after I become a father, it will no longer be the primary recreational activity that occupies my brain.  Also, I’m loving work right now and that’s pretty awesome to have.  Of course, even though people don’t actually say this to me, I feel like the male stereotype of PROVIDING that complements the female stereotype of NESTING is one I should resist.  Yeah, it’s all a little neurotic but that’s just the way my brain’s wired.  I will do everything I can to help the family, but I will never claim to having sole responsibility for the providing, nor exclusion from the nesting.  Enough about that.

Today Esther and I purchased some art supplies that we’ll be putting to use in the next week as our first joint art project.  In a way, other than our genes and bodies and minds, this will be the first physical gift that we give to our future son.  It’s quite fun to be able to celebrate and meditate on him through creative art projects.