Saturday, October 16, 2010

On "we're having a baby"...

I don't want to sound ranty, but I would like to share something that irritates me.

When my wife and I are talking with people, we will use the expression "we're having a baby". There is a certain segment of the population who immediately finds this objectionable and generally tries to correct the phrase to "No, Carol is having a baby, Mike is certainly not".

Now, don't get me wrong, I can be as anal retentive and pedantic as the next. I literally had a conversation yesterday where a co-worker was offensively trying to say that my large headed progeny was going to destroy my wife's "birth canal" sotospeak as my baby would be a "large cow". I said something to the effect of "well, hopefully the horns don't hurt her too much" which led into a discussion about cows having horns. I asserted that cows of course do have horns, much laughter ensued from the crowd but in about ten seconds I have three different websites open confirming same. As I then explained, my family out East runs a production farm and as a child I remember the first time I saw the baby cows having their horns sheared off. Anyways, most people wouldn't care about this level of detail and the rest of my working day was filled with people digging on my analness and painful attention to detail.

I am literally the type (and I use the term literally correctly) who will watch CPAN (i.e. parliamentary channel) rather than primetime TV. I have read copies of "Roberts Rules of Order Revised" as bedtime reading. I have four different rulesets of the Dungeon Masters Guide for DND (i.e. edition 1, 2, 3 and 3.5) and have read them all front-to-back. In Grade 2 I stopped a classroom after my teacher told me that there was 365 days in a year with the classic "I'm sorry, but I was calculating, and there are 365.2496 days in a year"... I mean, I stood up in class and corrected the teacher, and as a fairly young child to boot (I repeated this in most grades including in my post-secondary experiences).

So please understand me when I say that I deliberately use this expression and that I believe it is both logical and accurate.

Let me explain, briefly. The physical and physiological changes in pregnancy obviously occur with my wife only. (If the male partner, by being around the female one, experiences some kind of sympathy hormonal change or similar that I'm not aware of, then please consider me corrected in this small detail) Obviously my vah jay jay is not going to suffer as a result of this pregnancy.

What I'm saying (and more precisely what we're saying) is that the two of us are having this baby together. Now, this is not the first pregnancy/birth that I've been involved with and I am conciously aware of how much (or how little) the male can be involved. Given that I can tell you how this situation is different:

Just about immediately after we found out that we were having a baby, we announced our wedding. Names changed, wills changed, bank accounts changed, etc. Literally every appointment for everything throughout we go to together. Anyone who works a full time+ job can relate to how impossible this is to execute. We work together on every random food craving, every physical change to the body which is alarming at first, every emotional or logistical detail that needs to be worked out. Believe me when I say that pregnancy is like the prophetic iceberg - you can see the small bit on top of the water which is the public details but there is a mountain below the surface of private concerns that is not visible but is very much there. Anyone who has had a baby will know the sort of thing that I speak of.

Sometimes my wife is driving the day-to-day drama, somedays I am, but we are both going through this process together. Period.

Honestly, it is overwhelmingly a positive experience. I tell my wife daily that this is the best part of my life, that this is the best part of our lives together, and I am not the type to lie or exaggerate. Truly, watching the baby on a 1-1 ultrasound with a doctor and seeing my son clasp his hands and swallow in utero was both amazing and humbling all at once. In my adult life I cried three times before we found out that we were having a baby, and probably hundreds of times since. When we were less than a month in and had to have the emergency ultrasound and doctor said "your kid has the heart of a lion", well, thinking about it I still end up feeling a proud twinge in my chest. That is not necessarily logical or rational, but this certainly is:

We're having a baby.


Unknown said...

I can be as anal retentive and pedantic as the next. I literally a conversation yesterday...

I like the content of your article, and agree with you wholeheartedly, but I think there's a rule somewhere that says you can't have grammatical errors in an article that describes how pedantic you are.

Just sayin'. ;)

Pacho said...

I deny everything... it all reads fine now.

Alternately, I was going for an extra dose of irony. :)