Well, this week had some ups and downs, as I’m sure many will after this.
We started out with a bit of a down.
My wife and I had particular things we were looking forward to happening during the pregnancy, as I’m sure many soon-to-be parents before us have had. The whole idea behind ‘nesting’ seems to be something most people look forward to doing while pregnant. Getting things ready for the little child to arrive by doing things you mostly enjoy doing anyway such as painting walls, building cribs, collecting the cutest articles of clothing you can find. Seldom to people prepare for their baby by practicing changing other children’s diapers, setting alarms to go off every hour or so, saying no to almost every social event, et cetera.
There was a distinct change that my wife and I were both looking forward to happening that was not happening. At first, it was more of a bummer than anything else. But as time went on it actually became a worry, especially for my wife who has the medical knowledge to project and comprehend the ramifications. And from worry, it grew into a possible medical emergency.
A quick routine trip to our OB/GYN confirmed our fears. Actually no, that’s misleading. The doctor’s visit merely set us up with orders to go get our fears checked out at another location. Nothing was confirmed. The doctor did say however that our situation could be a multitude of things from absolutely normal development to a medical emergency. So that was helpful (read: not so helpful). We still don’t know. The orders weren’t to be filled for another week and the results of the test weren’t ordered as express. This coupled with everything looking okay in the ultrasound to my (mostly) untrained eye as well as to my wife’s (mostly) trained eye put us at ease for the time being. We won’t actually know until a few days. So again, nothing was confirmed and we still don’t know. Seems to happen a lot at doctor’s visits.
On the upswing, Christmas happened this week. My mind was still fluttering around with the events of the week, personal and otherwise. I was however determined to have a family-oriented holiday. On Christmas Eve I read The Night Before Christmas, starting a new family tradition for us. The next morning we exchanged just a few gifts before heading out to spend the day with extended family. My wife gave me a children’s book about music and said, “You can use this to teach our child about music!”
I started to tear up at something as simple as a gift meant to connect me with my child. It hit me that just like any other day, Christmas presents are really about me being present. Having my mind so filled with the fragility of our unborn child kept me from being present to the truly rich and meaningful reality around me.