“So…do you know what you’re having?”

 

INTELLIGENT LIFE MAGAZINE MAY / JUNE 2012 Intelligence Portrait of Expressive Baby rvw196741                                                           (       #           -       (           8       3           C       >           N       I           ^       Y           k       f           u       p

With the soon arrival of my first child, comes the realization that (in the PG sense), opinions truly are like noses, everybody’s got one. However, when the topic of child rearing, pregnancy, diets, education, discipline, and a multitude of other parenting aspects arises, opinions are more like blood cells, everyone has trillions.

The first of many conversations happened when we found out we were pregnant, and the question  “so…are you going to find out what you’re having?” was posed, to which we definitively replied “yes!”

I’ve come to learn that regardless of what you answer with, the retort will either be “Really? we didn’t find out with ours. There are so few surprises still left in this world, and this is the biggest!” or of course, there is the “All I would care about is that the baby is happy and healthy; ten fingers, ten toes.” Or my favourite, “Yeah, a lot of people are totally finding out these days, I guess it’s kind of a thing now.”

Personally, our choice to find out is mostly due to the fact that we are very organized people (though that could be contested from time to time) and we want to be prepared. In my career, I oversee a project management team – the essence of which is time management and determining the critical path to completing a task. Becca manages a retail shop where she needs to be on top of product and sourcing, staffing and time, or dollars aren’t made and business falters. Suffice it to say, we both try as best as possible to not leave things up to chance or have to be too reactive.

So we waited until the week 18 ultrasound and decided that as a compromise for the folks who were convinced that we should wait, we opted to host a ‘reveal party’ so technically we would still get our surprise, but it would be a few weeks before baby arrives.

On an aside, Pinteresting for a gender reveal party can be a full time job!

Finally the day came, and Becca headed into the ultrasound room with the technician while I sat back and waited. This particular ultrasound is 45 minutes long, so they would rather I wasn’t in the room there with her as Dads usually ask a lot of questions and the technician needs to focus.

Finally, I got the okay to come in, and the technician showed us very quickly, just a few choice shots but couldn’t answer a single question. We would have to wait on the midwife for confirmation.

We asked that the results be kept secret from us, but we provided Becca’s sister’s contact info as the recipient to keep the secret until the reveal party.

3 days later, Becca got a call from the midwives.

Baby was too active, and they aren’t definitive that they know the gender.

You’ve gotta be shitting me.

The pros:

When people ask, we have an easy out; “Baby was just too active, so they weren’t sure – looks like we’re waiting till he or she arrives!” – this satisfies both parties; those who wait, and those who find out early.

The cons:

Our newborn wardrobe is full of yellows, greens and whites – no real defined theme. Becca has made the best of it, and done a great job with teals and oranges. It works really well actually, so regardless of gender, this is going to be a very stylish baby.

And of course, the other con, and probably the most entertaining yet borderline annoying; not knowing the gender, brings out everyone’s psychic abilities.

People have dreamt of our baby.

Everyone knows every old wives tale out there and can advise by how Becca’s belly looks, what her diet is, how the bridge of her nose looks, or how frequently baby kicks.

My favourite so far is that apparently the frequency of your “baby making attempts” at the time of conception, dictates what the gender will be. If you humped like bunnies, it means you’re having a girl. Every now and then means you’ll be a having a boy.

So yeah, I guess we know what we’re having. So when my daughter arrives, please make sure to act surprised 😉

Pets make for healthier babies… and nervous parents

Here is our dog, Party, listening for our babies heartbeat. So bloody cute. So endearing.

Makes you almost forget how absolutely cray cray he can be.

The number of times Becca comes home and out of sheer enthusiasm and excitement, Party will jump up and smother her with kisses…and inadvertent scratches. Right now it makes me fear for Becca, let alone my unborn baby.

Party means well, and when he calms he’s a gem. A little too curious sometimes and wanting to literally get inside my nephews mouth (as seen below), but otherwise, I sincerely think he has some innate tendencies of wanting to safeguard the youngins in the house.

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Articles I’ve read, hint to the fact that babies brought up in a house with pets, get to deal with the dander and other airborne loveliness that surrounds our furry beasts, and therefore get an early dose of strengthening their immune systems.

All I know is that the photo ops are going to be priceless.

 

 

Hello, my name is Dad

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I remember the first time reality set in that I was going to be a father.

It wasn’t from reading the results of the Clearblue test, or even when we got back our first ultrasounds. It was at around the 11 week mark when we told Becca’s family over dinner, that we were expecting.

Plates were circling and I offered Becca’s sister food from one of the dishes to which she replied, “no, no… daddy first.”

I paused and waited, trying to figure out who she meant, then finally realized she was talking about me.

I was going to be a daddy.

I’ve waited for so long and now couldn’t be a better time – I have a partner that I love, cherish, and adore; we have a house, careers, support, and our health.

My father was 35 when he had me. And now here I am, 35 years later, starting my path through parenthood.

Thanks to my upbringing and the people in my life, I have a strong idea of what should and should not be done in order to raise good upstanding human beings… of course, it’s all so easy to say.

I will look to my parents for guidance and support, but I will also look to my friends. The same friends who used to queue up for hours to get front row concert tickets, or help sneak 2-4’s of beer into my bedroom closet as a teen, now will be comparing stroller models and where to get the best return for my child’s RESP.

Things have changed, but I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to meet my child.

My name is Ben, but soon you can call me Dad.