EVERYBODY LIMBO: THE OTHER TWO-WEEK WAIT
The last time I wrote was months ago, and now my wife, Sir Mixalot, and I are expecting our first baby…today. Actually by the time this goes up it will be yesterday. Welp! I’m a terrible pregnancy correspondent, what can I say? It has been hard to find much to say about it on this blog because the experience has seemed pretty typical (except for maybe the time the midwife offered me a pap smear along with Sir Mix’s, almost like it’s a reflex any time she sees an adult with a vagina). I’m feeling pretty lucky, if a little disappointed by how un-gay the experience has been. But here’s the haps, of late:
Has gone just peachily. No hiccups (figuratively; there have actually been quite a few of the diaphragm-spasm kind of hiccups, and that — that babies in utero have hiccups that you can see from ex utero — is just one of the bazillions of things no one told me about pregnancy), and we’ve had a chance to spend time with just about all of our VIPs. Lots of family and close friends from most of our major life epochs have made cameos this summer, and it has made mean old New York City seem a little sweeter. I have been having sporadic fits of homemaking that make me think nesting really should have its own DSM entry. I’ve uncovered completely shocking parts of my personality, such as the one that spent roughly two weeks heavily researching rugs. Rugs! This surprised me as much as it would to hear Barbara Walters saying she spent a week listening to 50 Cent’s complete discography on repeat. (Not that I mind. The person I have become finds rugs to be fairly interesting.)
A reader emailed me a question a while ago, and I’ve tried a few times to answer it, unsuccessfully:
I’m wondering if you (or another writer) could perhaps write about the relationship that the non-bio mom’s family has with the baby. Unfortunately, I think that this will be in issue that we will struggle with. My partner’s family has the tendency to always throw in a ‘dig’ or a ‘zing’ when we’re together. When we talk about having a baby, they always ask when T is going to have ‘her own baby.’ Also, they are pushing for us to use the sperm of my partner’s brother, too, so that she will be ‘related’ to our baby.
Maybe I’m being too emotional and sensitive, but these things hurt me. Why can’t they just love the baby and not be so preoccupied with my partner being biologically related to him/her? I’m scared of what will happen when the baby is born and how they will treat him/her. I foresee them calling the baby ‘K’s baby’ and maybe not being as invested in our lives as they would be if my partner was the bio-mom. I’m afraid of what all of this will do to our relationships (me and my partner, and my partner and her family’s relationship).
I’m wondering if any of you guys struggle with this issue. Do you have any advice? I really don’t know how I will react if her family doesn’t accept our baby, but I bet that I will say/yell something back to them due to all of those hormones in my body.
Every time I’ve started to write something in response to this email I’ve gotten stuck. K voiced so many of my own fears about my parents and about what kind of parent I’ll turn out to be. And after months of trying to think of something helpful to say, all I have is this: Yes, I do struggle with a lot of these things. But I’ve reached the conclusion that parents who are habitually not supportive are going to be unsupportive no matter what — the issue isn’t really about you having the baby instead of your partner, it’s about her parents either not knowing or not caring that they’re being insensitive. You’re doing yourself a disservice by assuming that if they do end up rejecting their grandkid that it is because of you and your partner’s choice in how to make your family. Whatever the reason is, it’s not that. I’m not saying it wouldn’t suck for you and your family if they made that choice, just that it’s their problem, not yours.
And, finally, the headline of this post.
We are everybody limbo-ing, currently. The baby was due today; he’s not here. We’ve already had one this-is-it visit to the birthing center, only to learn that it was not, in fact, it. I shouldn’t complain — we chose to do it this way as opposed to scheduling an induction or C-section — but I want to, at least a little. We now know that the baby has to come sometime in the next two weeks, since that’s the longest overdue the birthing center will allow him to go. The ‘any day now’ thing is fast wearing thin, but I’m trying to think of things it might be teaching me. (“What, like patience?” says the other part of my brain. “Fuck that mess!”) So we’re just chilling here. Cell Ball is head down, ass up, waiting to make his way out into the world. Sir Mixalot is pretty much ready to stop being pregnant but trooping on. I am being watchful and excited and nervous and happy and sad etc — feeling emotions, as one does. With any luck, my next post will be smeared with newborn poop, confusion, and love. Wish us luck!