Yesterday, Saori walked to her midwifery appointment with Coco, and learned she was already one centimeter dilated. We both had the same reaction: how many hours do we have before Saori goes into real labor?! Coco's response was basically, it could be anytime between now and four weeks (or two weeks after Saori's due date). While it's disappointing to get such an ambiguous answer, at least Wildbad is looking good and healthy, if not still a little on the tiny side than we'd all really like her to be.
We're coming to the end of pregnancy, and I must say that my experience, and very much of Saori's experience, pregnancy itself seems like a good warm-up for parenthood. Kids, I hear, are not cheap, and we're ramping up spending on stuff for baby, spending on medical bills, and tightening up everything else as a consequence. Saori has to wake up three to four times a night go to the bathroom, and usually that wakes me up (lightly, I get to immediately fall back asleep), but it's getting us ready for feeding and changing and living with debilitating sleep deprivation.
There's a new urgency and focus to our lives. We're planning more now than we have ever before. Both the long term and short term have a new weight and reality to them. Pregnancy forces us to plan the things we used to do spontaneously. Saori can't just jump up and throw on her clothes and we go out to dinner or meet me downtown for a movie- she can't walk that far, she tires easily, and she's got to rest a lot and use the bathroom constantly. I imagine I could easily have the same comments about Wildbad when she gets here. Life in Germany slowly crushed the spontaneity out of my life, and pregnancy put the nail in the coffin.
Right now, I'm mostly tired. I don't worry so much about all the things that could go wrong with childbirth as much as I worry about being able to remember everything I should be doing, and being an active and vocal fighter for my wife and baby. We still don't have a car, which bothers me. Part of it is we don't really know what the final bill is going to be from the hospital, and I want to make sure we're prepared to deal with that financially before I commit to several hundred dollars a month in car payments, insurance, and gas. Part of it is just inertia from trying to figure out everything else at the same time.
In some ways, I wish we could have had Wildbad sooner because I'm sort of getting used to the life here, and a baby will be another huge shake up. My coworkers were so apologetic and amazed at how unflappable I was at the breakup of the old office and the foundation of the new office- and I wanted to tell them, please, that was a ripple.
On the other hand, we've used our time here strategically- finding a family friendly office and home, looking for midwives and hospitals, and most importantly focusing on making friends and building a network of supporters and cheerleaders. Even moving very quickly, establishing a local social network is time and energy intensive. We are extremely lucky however, that I come across as warm and sincere, and most people fall immediately in love with Saori.
Although the preparation I go through to get ready for a new baby, attending classes, reading, decorating, picking out books to read to Wildbad, and especially assembling the crib forces me to think about the reality of being a father (make this tight so she can't shake it apart, is there a gap between the mattress and the frame she could get into?) I still struggle to visualize the totality of what my life will be like with Wildbad.
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