Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Baby, It's a...

Yesterday was one heck of an eventful day. My sister and brother-in-law threw us a wonderful brunch so that with our family and close friends we could find out Baby F's sex.

They had me do some of the old-wives' tricks to divine the sex. I unwittingly sat on a chair under which there was a knife, which in Cuban folklore means you're having in a boy. Then I tied a ring on a string and held it in front of my belly, and it moved in a circular motion, which means... a boy.

I didn't know how the actual reveal would happen and kept thinking I'd bite into a croissant and discover a little pink or blue plastic baby, but finally, my sister brought out a piƱata, one side decorated in pink, the other in blue. By now I'd been yammering on for over an hour about how sure I was about this baby being a girl and was about to explode if I didn't find out, like, NOW, what it actually was.

So what is it? Is my Baby F a girl or a boy?

Let's review the tape:

I crack up every time I see this video, and I've seen it like 50 times now. I'm pretty sure that's me (for reference, I'm on the right in a purplish blue top and Jevo's on the left in an aqua top) yelling, "OOHH NOOO," and there's really no mistaking my utter shock, because that's exactly what I felt, very much so.

What the video doesn't capture is that my eyes instantly filled with tears as Baby F very suddenly became insanely real and wonderful and amazing to me. I'd so completely accepted that I was having a girl that I'd just not imagined, not at all, that I could in fact be carrying a boy. And yet, three seconds after finding out, I loved that baby a million times more and was already praying for a continued healthy pregnancy, a healthy labor and most important of all, a healthy baby.

A boy. I'm having a boy. We will be parents to two sons. Max is thrilled, even though he'd said he was "dying for a baby sister." After things had quieted down I asked him how he felt to know it'd be a brother, not a sister, and he said, "I'm so happy my heart feels like it's going to explode with love." 

Could I ask for anything more?

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Posted by Tere @ 9/23/2012   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Baby's Gender is Known, but Not by Me

In five days, we'll know Baby F's gender. We did an ultrasound today, and the tech told us he could see the gender clearly. We had him seal the image with ID in an envelope, and Saturday, at a family brunch, my brother-in-law will reveal to us all what the baby is. I'm excited to find out, mainly because I can NOT wait any longer to buy baby things. It's been torture to see so many cute things and not be able to buy anything! It's also pretty amazing how very little there is available in neutral themes or colors; I'm convinced that in the seven-and-a-half years since my last pregnancy, infant clothing and accessories have become ever more genderized.

More than this, knowing what Baby F is will make him/her more real to me. When I began to feel him/her move last week, I was floored and giddy and awed, thinking (yet again), "wow, this is real." This is just another piece of that. At the appointment today, when the tech confirmed that he knew the gender, I choked up and blinked back tears, overwhelmed (yet again) by the awesomeness of all this. Watching that baby move and wiggle and knowing that it was actually a he or she now, it was almost too much to bear. Jevo and I held hands and smiled at each other, making it all such a perfectly sweet, cheesy scene that I just didn't know what to do with myself.

This kid is ever more human and real to me now, and my thoughts are moving now to more concrete things, about what this baby will look like and what his or her personality will be like and how we will parent him or her, especially if it's a girl, since we have no experience with that. I am slightly terrified of having a girl, but I won't get into that unless it turns out to be a girl.

But - let the record show, I think I'm having a girl. This is a girl belly, and for whatever reason, I have just had this very strong feeling ever since I was about eight or nine weeks along. I could be wrong, and that will be fine, this is feeling is very strong.

So now, we'll see what happens Saturday, what we discover about our tiny, thriving Baby F.

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Posted by Tere @ 9/17/2012   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

About the Boy

He is seven today. He is seven and all that seven should be, all high energy and unending questions and incredible curiosity and insatiable desire for knowledge and fun and toys and adventures. His face is all drama and emotion and smirks and wide, gorgeous smiles. His voice still has a little lisp, and his knees are perpetually caked in dirt - I've given up on ever successfully scrubbing it off. His imagination is wild, whether he's playing any one of his various made-up games or driving me nuts with his invented scenarios: "What if one day I'm getting out of the car and I fall back and I land on the street and a car is coming and it doesn't see me and it runs me over, and I die?" or "What if one day you give me dinner but you forget to cook it all the way and you poison me?"

He is a study in absurdity, making claims so outrageous and exaggerated  - "I've wanted you and (Jevo) to be married since I was a baby in your belly," "My stomach's been hurting for 15 million days now" - that it's hard not to laugh at him, and sometimes, I do. I'll tease him gently and get him to see that maybe he's stretching things too far - I don't ever want him to take himself so seriously that he loses sight of reality. He doesn't like it when I try to bring him down from these heights, where everything is so huge and such a big deal. More than anything, he thinks he knows best and very truly believes that he knows better than and more than us. Ha.

Over the last year, it's been harder and harder for me to write about that nutty boy of mine. I've hit that point that I think a lot of "mommy bloggers" hit eventually, when they start guarding their growing children's privacy more and more.

I have, anyway. I have felt less willing to share details about his life because I see his life growing more complicated, and don't feel anymore that it's "safe" to be as open about him. Plus, I feel more aware of his individuality, separate from me as my possession, and I must respect that there are things that might bother him to know are out on the Internet for the world to see.

I'm comfortable writing about him still when it's something that's really about me - my feelings about being his mother, how he affects me, how an experience affects me, etc. But his stories, I prefer to stay away from. Kindergarten last year brought a lot of difficult times, things that are normal but unpleasant, and it was in living though it that I realized that I don't want to write about his challenges or about him when it's just about him and his life. I don't know what the future holds, what unintended consequences there might be to my words. This is the right decision for me.

Still, he is everything to me and it's impossible to remove him from here. And as I've watched him approach seven and reflect on his first three weeks of first grade, I'm struck by the speed of time and his growth in individuality and into independence. He still straddles a line, where he can be a little man one moment, and a snuggly baby the next. He remains incredibly affectionate with me, and I still can't tell if this is part of his development or just who he is. I'd be thrilled if he was always affectionate with me, but I treat it always as something I will lose. I tease him about it, how he will one day be a teenager and I'll be his lame mommy and he won't want to kiss me or have me hanging around. The reply he always gives me slays me: "But why would I do that, mommy? You're my favorite person ever." And when I explain that it's normal, that kids sometimes want to not be so close to their parents, he tells me, "But why wouldn't I want to be with you when I love you the most in this world?" That he truly feels that way means everything to me, but I think I know better.

He would disagree, not just because it is he who knows best, but because it is in his nature to take an opposite stance and push back, talking a topic to death till you just want to seal your ears shut. He might be a bit like me in this way...

My quirky, sweet, crazily intelligent, open, dramatic, imaginative, funny son is seven, a big boy who continues to amaze me and inspire me and frustrate me and impress me. 

Despite all this evidence to the contrary, he is my baby still.

Happy birthday, kiddo. Your other dad and I love you like crazy.




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Posted by Tere @ 9/11/2012   | | | links to this post

Monday, September 03, 2012

This Weekend, Three Years Ago

Three years ago on this weekend, everything in my life changed. It was the weekend when Jevo made his big, big move and we entered into a romantic relationship. 

I love reliving it every year, and he's such a great sport for indulging me and going along with it. I still feel a sense of amazement, and it hits me anew how unexpected it all was to me. We went from a friendly lunch on Friday to his pouncing on me on Saturday to us staying together for days (while Max was with his dad). It was overwhelming and awesome and bewildering. Sunday morning we had our first serious talk about "us" - he made it crystal clear that he wanted a serious relationship with me and addressed my most pressing concern - Max - and once I let him know I felt the same way about him and wanted the same thing, we didn't look back. 

I think of those early days now - now as I sit here, his wife, pregnant with his child - and I can easily conjure what I felt those early days. It felt amazing to be in his arms, even as it also felt crazy - what the hell was I doing in his arms?? I love how we started, going back to our (seriously platonic) friendship and how that allowed us to get know each other without the pressure of needing to impress each other, and I love that I have the memories of our early days as a couple, because it was all such a good, healthy start to things. I hadn't ever had anything like that before - something so free of pretense or intrigue or drama. I think that's how and why I knew it was so right. I will forever be grateful to him for being so straightforward with me, for being genuine and sincere with me, for not hiding his enthusiasm and not being that kind of guy who plays it cool, who retains some distance. Maybe he knew that shit wouldn't fly with me, or maybe, like me, his feelings were too intense to do anything but give in to them.

Three years. It's technically such little time, but as he told me a couple nights ago, our early days seem like a lifetime ago. And they were. We'd closed the doors on our former lives and had these new, blank lives to make our own, to fill as we wished.

The best decision we've ever made was to start anew together, and to fill our new lives with as much joy and adventures and love and gratitude and commitment and openness and intimacy and trust and nuttiness as we can contain. These last three years have been chock full of all these, but there's room for so much more. 

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Posted by Tere @ 9/03/2012   | | | links to this post