My nephew was born last night at 6:16pm, and I got to meet him within the first few hours of his life.
I think that’s the newest baby I’ve ever been around. Even with my little brother I had to wait until the next day to meet him. (And I was 6 so I think much of the experience was a bit distorted by my own weird 6-year-old perception.)
I’ve seen my sister-in-law pretty regularly throughout her pregnancy because she lives about 10 blocks away. It’s been helpful because this is her third pregnancy so she has been a great sounding board for what’s normal (or normal-ish) about this process, and helping me get organized. I’ve watched her grow from a modest bump to a glowing pregnant goddess. I actually don’t know if I’ve met anyone that carries a pregnancy as naturally, effortlessly, and beautifully as Natalie.
So naturally, I’ve watched her, done my best to emulate her – falling short more often than not. I’d see her at certain stages of pregnancy and make random mental notes like: Alright, 30 weeks is the time you move from having a ‘bump’ to formally being a pregnant lady. And Ah yes, eviction notice is served around the 39 week mark. Got it.
I’ve identified with her, watched her, and related to her on many aspects. She also graciously invited me to be there for the labour and arrival of her baby… which I decided against being a part of. I actually really would’ve loved to be there, but I am in a really fragile state of mind these days – and if anything were to happen that would shake the already unstable confidence I have in my own ability to deliver a child, it might send me into an unnecessary tail-spin. I knew watching her would either psych me up or psych me out. And I don’t feel confident in my resources to recover from the latter, so I decided not to gamble.
Shortly after 6:30pm, we got the call that he had arrived. He! We didn’t know it was a boy. And so many were expecting a girl. So exciting. They have another boy! Brin and I finished dinner and then drove to High River to take them up on their invite to come meet him. When we arrived at the hospital I felt really nervous and out of place… like this was some really intimate moment that I wasn’t actually supposed to be a part of. However, Natalie has a gift for making you feel very welcome… even 1 hour post-partum – which is pretty admirable in my opinion; when we walked into the room she smiled so big my anxieties disappeared.
I walked over to them and this wrapped up burrito on her lap. And the craziest thing happened when I saw my little nephew for the first time. His hands and fingers wriggled around his squishy face. It was in this moment, for the first time in my life, I realized that human beings… actually create… human beings. WHAT.
No. You think you know this. But you do not understand. A literal living, breathing, contributing part of society was in my sister-in-law’s stomach only yesterday. And now it’s just like, here? She pushed an actual HUMAN BEING from her body.
I’m completely baffled by this.
Anything I have ever expelled from my body has gone in the toilet, or a tissue.
But this is a literal human being. One of which will have choices, decisions, morals, opinions, personality traits…
I wish I could explain to you the level at which my brain is broken right now.
Okay, so I’m not entirely unintelligent. It’s not like I thought that babies came from cabbage patches or the stork. But the trip is that I myself am walking around with this plump belly… of which I have been treating like any other appendage on my body. My stomach is no more interesting than my big toe. Why would it be?
But what seeing my nephew made me realize is that there is an actual HUMAN with its own mind and fingernails in there; that moves of its own free will. THERE IS AN ACTUAL PERSON LIVING IN MY BODY THAT IS NOT ME.
I can’t even right now. I can’t even.
People make people. WHAT THE ACTUAL F.