Now that we've crossed into the second trimester it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders. Baby should be much safer now. What a relief.
I've found myself finally entertaining ideas and daydreams of what Babe-leo might actually be like one he or she arrives. It was hard to do earlier on, when I felt like our happiness was too fragile to handle too much optimism.
We've had our baby names tucked away for years, ever since we started trying to get pregnant several years ago. It occurred to me the other day that one of those two imaginary babies is now very real, and located inside my belly. Holy wow.
For a moment (or three) I was tempted to change my mind about leaving the gender a surprise, but after talking it out with Dr. Feelings, I ultimately decided to stick to my plan. It's a half emotional and half logical decision.
The logical half is that I am pretty much sure that I'll want to have more children in the future. It would be great to re-use all of the basics that we collect for this baby. By leaving the gender a surprise, friends and family will also end up buying gender neutral things, giving us a whole collection of gear that will suit any baby that comes along later. It will also make our collection of baby stuff easier to pass along to sisters and friends who have their own kids down the road.
As for the emotional half, I feel like this is a great opportunity to suspend my expectations and accept the unknown. I know that I'll love this baby no matter what, and my life is about to become a series of new and unexpected events. Leaving the gender a surprise helps me honor that commitment, and drive home the reality that though this baby is mine, they are also their own, and I have a very limited amount of control over who they will end up being.
It's not my job to decide what kind of baby they will be. My job is simply to love them and help guide them through life, no matter what gender, personality, or genetic cocktail they show up with.
Still, it's so hard not to picture them in my mind. I see a warm little newborn curled up on my chest, a little kid with round cheeks, dark curly hair, and huge brown eyes, an adventurous teenager with a talent for scaring their mother. Then I also see a chubby faced blonde, or a freckled scamp with a mop of red hair. I see so many possibilities, any number of which are all too easy to get carried away with.
A book I'm reading suggested that I should be spending my imagination on visualizing the kind of parent I want to be. I suppose that would be a lot more useful than dreaming about what the baby might be like.
It's hard not to do, with so many babies to compare: