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What should I be doing right now?  Should I be repainting a room?  Putting together bassinets and cribs?  Practicing the fold for the reusable cloth diapers we intend to use?  Probably, but I’m not.  None of it.  Mostly what I’m doing is walking through the world with my eyes wide and a little glazed over.  That’s because half the time I’m concentrating on the fact that we are having a baby, and the other half of the time I’m thinking about everything I should be doing and I’m not.

I’m still a spectator out here on this side of the womb.  We need to get started on birthing classes and there are videos I definitely need to watch in order to prepare for the actual event.  Although I’m not sure there’s a way to get ready for fatherhood in general, I am certain that are many things I need to do to prepare for the day of delivery.  I’m not a planner per se, but I do like to be ready.  And one thing I am sure I am not ready for is when the baby’s head emerges goopy and real and I’m supposed to be the one that helps it along into the world.

Breathing, concentration, focus, determination, these are all the tools that will help me along.  I’ll probably have to learn how to withstand extreme pain as Lu crushes my hand during contractions.  Gonna be a tough day.  I wonder if they have an epidural for the guy.

As Lu’s belly expands I can feel it pushing on our world.  New equations must be calculated to apprehend the inevitable.

20 Weeks.  Wow.  The baby will be full-sized at around 37 weeks and that is not that far away.  It is impossible to comprehend how quickly this happens, even as it is happening. I look back and remember when my brother’s wife was pregnant and now suddenly Oren is about to be a year old.  He is full of life and has an incredible personality all his own.  12 months ago he wasn’t here.  Now he is everything.

I can feel the internal pressure of Lu’s self and soul building as well.  She can’t breathe when she lays on her back now.  On the side isn’t good either.  There is a full load of life squirming within her and it is growing faster than my beard and it is pushing on her.  We churned up the yard in the back to grow vegetables and we are buying a car.  The interior configurations of the rooms in this apartment have to be changed and improved.  The future is pushing on the very fabric of our home.

This is like algebra with reality.  Given these known circumstances multiplied this unknown quantity equals everything utterly changed.  We can use factors based on friends and family that have kids.  We can subdivide by the memories of our own childhoods.  Exponents of hope appear when we think about the future years away.  This is no simple math here.  Certainly not the easy addition of adding one life to the two of ours.  This is more than three.  This next step contains x-factors and square roots.

Imaginary lives suddenly become real with the birth of a child.  Hope manifests in that tiny physical being.  Fears appear as we each take on a brand new role in society.  Plans and intentions are put to the test of cold hard reality with all its sharp edges, rough surfaces and random shoves.  We are going to be changed and the proof is in the pressure pushing out from Lu’s lovely womb.

Big day today. It was our mid-pregnancy ultrasound and everything looked great.

It was absolutely stunning to see the child within Lu. Arms legs toes fingers face spine, we could see it all. We could have seen the sex of the child, but we decided not to and the ultrasound technician did a fabulous job keeping the secret for us. I’m certain she saw what it was, but she was careful to have us turn away whenever she was in that area. I know I didn’t peak and I’m fairly certain Lu didn’t either.

This weekend we saw friends, and one of those friends was Andrea who had dreamed that we were pregnant many weeks ago. She had another dream recently in which our child was a boy so obviously that’s huge points in my favor. On the other hand, Andrea’s 3 year old daughter Tasia told Lu that it was a girl. So really who can tell? Well, then ultratech could, but she didn’t, and so we still don’t know.

I’m actually kind of shocked that we both made it through that experience without finding out. The child was twisting and turning in her belly, at one point flipping upside down within the womb.

“She’s a little yogi!” Lu exclaimed, smiling.

“He is!” I agreed and we all laughed.

The child can hear our voices now and so I say goodnight I love you every night to the skin of Lu’s belly, to the tiny ears within, to the newly forming brain and heart.

And despite the silly wrangling of gender guesses and expectations, all either of us really care about is that our child and mom are safe and healthy. I cannot wait to have either a boy or a girl but I’ll have to because we’re only half way there. Which is a good thing. The baby was 11 ounces today. I was born at 11 pounds. He or she still has a ways to grow.

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