The seventeen-week mark has arrived. Now that the baby is the size of a turnip, reality is really setting in. It’s been so theoretical up until now. Most of the process has felt like it has taken place in the comfort of a laboratory, but now that our friend/surrogate has started to feel the baby kicking, I also get a swift kick in the limbic system as if the baby is saying “Hey, I’m on my way!”
I’ve started the automatic nesting – maybe it’s way too early, but I oiled up the single baby stroller, and prepared our well-used double jogger for a future garage sale. We used the double as long as we possibly could with our Irish twin boys (8 months apart in age), even resorting to flexing their heads to the side so they could fit under the canopy for the final few uses. I’ve started the closet cleaning, the garage cleaning, and the pantry cleaning. I’m starting to throw out some overused clothes and washing some packed-away unisex infant stuff. The other day I found Alen on his knees sorting the contents of the boys’ toy chests into two piles: trash and save. I rummaged through the trash and sadly pulled out a few things he tossed (old cars, etc.) in respect and gratitude for their time served, before Alen smartly made me return it to the garbage with one convincing look of his. I feel bad, because some of the toys were gifts that were opened, played with for 30 to 60 minutes, and then abandoned, never to be played with again. Of course as I try to gather up the toy now to perhaps donate it or give it to friends with younger siblings, the boys have somehow lost one or two crucial parts of the toy in the above-mentioned 30 to 60 minutes of play, rendering it completely useless. As parents we all buy birthday and holiday gifts for other kids, knowing full well that we are in essence taking a $20 bill and ripping it in half.
I’ve cleaned out the minivan and placed a car seat in the very back row, hopeful that one of the boys will give up their second row seat so the baby can be closer to me while I’m driving. I’m talking up the fact that sitting in the back row will allow them to make eye contact with the rear-facing baby for the duration of each ride; based on their reaction, I’m lead to believe that not one but both boys will be taking their booster seats to the back row.
I’ve thought long and hard about a diaper bag and have decided to go without one this time around, instead using a big masculine backpack for everyone’s stuff. I never felt comfortable with a diaper bag, no matter how I held it, so forget it.
We’ve got some serious considerations ahead. Where is Baby #3 going to reside in the house? What type of beds are the boys ready to switch to in order to make room: bunk or twin? We need the yard landscaped so that the boys can have a club house to spend hours together while the baby needs feeding and burping and changing all day long. We’ll need another room now (for our friend/surrogate or other guests) so we need to do some renovations in the next 23 weeks, which to me sounds like such a short time I call it a half a year instead.
We’ve used so much restraint not to discuss baby names yet. Not a peep out of either of us. I figure that if we can just wait until the next ultrasound in 9 days from now (when we will almost certainly learn our baby’s gender), we can eliminate 50% of the possible names we like right off the bat.
Our baby can move all of her joints now. She can hear loud noises and see some light. She is finally adding on some body fat. And sweat glands have started working profusely.
Just like Daddy’s.