Week 23

Parenthood practice

I think our child was assuming control of my wife, making her do things to prepare me for fatherhood: Jas had been sick; she peed all the time; she woke me up through the night; she needed constant feeding; she needed help getting her shoes on; she cried, without obvious reason, wetting my good shirts with her tears. He was in there, maybe doing a Jedi mind trick with his little fingers, periodically having Jas do something out of the ordinary, unexpected, out of her control, just when I might be getting on top of it all. 


Up until this point our babies’ movements could have been kicks, punches, tumbles, cartwheels, hiccups or somersaults. Now, he had no place in the uterus to do much of this, as he got plumper and the tummy tighter. And so I started seeing his movement, not just feeling it. And for once, it was something I experienced before Jas! It first happened on the south side of the mound, on the far side of the dome, where Jas could no longer view. I was amazed when I first saw it. I began to peer motionless at the tight belly skin, unblinking, until a little limb, foot or hand would jab visibly outwards. It was like watching for lightning bolts in a big storm, seeing a force of nature suddenly show itself in momentary flashes. “Did you see that one! That was a big one!” And then suddenly Jas could see, as if he knew he was being watched, and the skin around the navel – further north - begun to bubble. We were highly entertained. We don’t need a TV anymore.


Sometimes you learn something that you’re not quite sure that you wanted to learn. Up until recently I had been blissfully unaware that our bub would have a need to pee – inside the womb - despite the fact that we all obviously do this once we’re on the outside. I’d just naively thought of our foetus as something like blowing a balloon up, with stuff flowing in through a little tube, making it grow, nothing coming out. But no; our little one actually drinks the amniotic fluid in which he is suspended...and then, when he has processed it, puts it right back. 

Taking this snippet of information - reluctantly - to the next logical step, I thought: “What about...number two’s?” Thankfully, most of what he “eats”, he uses, and the rest is saved until just after birth. After I googled “baby’s first poop”, I joyfully discovered that a new borns’ first bowel movement is quite a memorable one. Hm, I can’t wait.

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