Well, my last post chronicled our West Coast travels, but left out one very important detail: while we were driving between Sacramento and Santa Rosa, we spoke with my OBGYN's office and learned that, in fact, we were expecting a baby. We felt fairly certain that we knew what the doctor's office would say when I spoke with them, but it didn't make the confirmation any less exciting or terrifying.
We are now about 8 weeks past that initial conversation, and the information is still overwhelming. Of course, it's fun. It's exciting. We are blessed to have wonderful, supportive and thrilled families. Our baby will have double the biological aunts and uncles that I have ever had, and at least a dozen "aunts" and "uncles" in our dear friends, all of whom have taken a special interest in our "peanut," "Baby H," or "legacy" (depending on your favorite nickname.)
Yesterday, John was brave enough to tell me that I was an incredibly hard pregnant woman to describe. Fortunately, his explanation struck me as humorous and accurate. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am typically a type A, moderate control freak. I like to have a plan. I like for the plan to go my way. I will typically go the extra mile to make sure that things are done the "right" way. However, as he has observed, this pregnancy has both heightened that trait and relaxed it at the same time. The things that I am deeply convicted about needing to happen need to happen right then. There is no way to do it but the way I want it done. And I most frequently want it done immediately. Fortunately for my husband's sanity, there are fewer things that I feel that strongly about. More things can wait. More things don't HAVE to happen. Life goes on without another side dish, an unnecessary cake, or extra home projects. Pickles, salsa, apple butter and jellies were not made this year--and that's OK.
Other things that can wait are the big decisions. We don't have our names picked out, and that's OK, too. By late December we should know if the baby is a boy or a girl. At that time John and I will decide what our child's name will be. I don't have a birthing plan and probably won't. That is something that can wait forever--and that I'm not going to be pressured into drafting. A thousand different nursery ideas (paint color, furniture, themes...) circle through my mind, but that doesn't have to be set for several months.
And I have no idea what I am going to do about work. As more people in my workplace know our news, the question is asked more frequently. And I have no idea what the answer is. As much as I feel that I am an "empowered, twenty-first century woman," I still feel that it is inappropriate to take a baby to the office. Some of my early memories of particular women in our industry were speaking to them on the phone with a screaming infant in the background. These particular women expected me to halt my business conversation to tend to the needs of their children, resume the conversation, and discuss their children instead. This hit me as particularly unprofessional and left a lasting impact (and made me realize how we as women undermine ourselves by assuming that our personal and professional lives can easily meld together because they are important to us--without realizing how imposing that is on other people.) I am not saying that emergencies don't happen, that an occasional work day from home won't be necessary, and that children can be expected to be silent just because a phone rings. However, having children at work as the norm is not very attractive to me (nor does it seem particularly professional.)
On the flip side, all day daycare is not my first choice. Neither is staying at home full-time. I hope that we are able to configure a balanced system where I have plenty of time with my child that isn't only first thing in the morning or at bedtime. I hope that we can find a special individual to care for our child when we can't. I hope that there is an excellent facility where he or she may occasionally go in a group setting. And I hope that I can stay actively involved with my work and successfully raise my child--the way that I want to, when I want to, and in the "right" way.