Janelle and I have done a lot of preparing. We read books, we follow a diet (sure, it was mandated, but still), our nursery has been prepped for weeks, we’ve cleaned the house, we’ve stocked up on snacks and prepared meals to freeze, we take walks and do exercises, we are interviewing pediatricians and day cares and we just straight up won’t be ready.

The arrival of the baby is simply too big an event to really wrap our minds around. How do you prepare for never having your life be the same? How do you prepare for becoming a different person? How can you anticipate every priority you have being rearranged and redirected through another lens?

It doesn’t help that the baby remains pretty abstracted. I’ve seen the ultrasounds, I’ve felt the kicking, I’ve even been able to startle the baby awake a couple of times by talking to the belly. I still can’t really visualize the baby. A big part of that is the baby’s position: upside-down. Baby’s are so malleable that the kids is wrapped into a tight circle, head pointed at the ground. We have to approximate the position of the kid based on what we think is making protuberances on Janelle’s belly. Is it a foot? A fist? Knee? Elbow? And the ultrasounds are basically the worst photos you will ever see. They’re essentially interchangeable with shots meant to prove the existence of UFOs.

Also, I’ve gotten used to the belly. It may be because Janelle gained just about all of her weight and size in her belly, but I can forget from time to time that it’s there. It’s not that I forget we have a baby on the way, but sometimes she’ll turn around and I’ll have a brief moment of “What the heck is going on there?” The belly has become a part of the house and a part of our general life and it’s going to be odd when it is gone. It won’t particularly matter that I will have seen the baby come out of it, I’ll still be surprised when it’s gone.

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