i got 99 problems but the baby ain’t really one

when i had the nuchal translucency test done last week, the nurse told me they would have results in ten to fourteen days. but they called me back on tuesday morning–five days later, including a weekend–& told me that everything had come back 100% normal. my finger hadn’t even finished healing from the blood draw yet!

so now i’m officially in the second trimester & we know the baby is doing great. time to just sit back & let this thing cook, right? but this is ciara xyerra we’re talking about. i’m just not happy if i can’t be all angsty & anxious about something. so now i am anxious about when to go live with the baby registry we’ve put together. it’s all finished & ready to go…& really doesn’t have much on it, because we mostly intend to adopt attachment parenting practices, which requires very little gear. i just don’t know when it’s appropriate to put it out there into the world.

my confusion is complicated by the fact that most people make registries specifically for their baby showers. but it’s unclear to me whether or not i will have a baby shower. i assumed i wouldn’t, because jared & just aren’t that close to anyone in lawrence, & we know pretty much no one that is actually legitimately excited about this baby. (most of the people we know are childless graduate students who are dumbfounded that anyone would complicate the already-stressful process of graduate school by intentionally reproducing. one of jared’s colleagues took me aside at a barbecue & asked me, “so, how long before…you know. you can send it to, like, school for the whole day, & get your life back?” i explained that some preschools now accept infants, but i wasn’t intending to send my kid to school until kindergarten, at age five & a half. she seemed horrified.) the entire point of making an online registry was so that our friends & family members in other states–the people who ARE excited about the baby & most likely to want to help us out with gifts–would be able to do so from afar.

but then a friend in lawrence offered to throw us a shower after all. i still don’t have anyone to invite except for freaked out graduate students & grimy punks from kansas city, which will be an amusing mix of folks, but still. i didn’t think i’d get a “real” baby shower at all, so bring it on!

also complicating things is the fact that most women wait to make their registries public until after they get the second trimester anatomy scan, at which the baby’s sex can usually be predicted pretty accurately. that way they can register for gender-specific clothing, nursery decor, etc. but jared & i are planning to be surprised by the sex at birth. we’ll do the anatomy scan, because it checks for general birth defects & fetal health, but we intend to decline information about the baby’s sex.

adding to my anxiety is the fact that my sister gave birth to her daughter two months premature. my due date is still six months away, which seems like plenty of time to wait on the registry, wait on the shower, wait on doing any major shopping ourselves, & still have plenty of time to lay in all the necessary supplies well before the baby shows up. especially because, statistically, a lot of first-time babies come late. there’s no real reason why my baby would be premature just because my sister’s was–it’s not like it was some familial genetic complication. it was just the luck of the draw. but still. bad enough to have such a premature baby (my niece was in the NICU for her first month of life). to add to the stress by not even having an adequate supply of diapers on hand…i know this is my own neurosis, but i like to control for whatever factors i can reasonably control for. i don’t know if this baby will be early or late or right on time. i don’t know if it will be completely healthy or in need of emergency care. i don’t know how fast i will recover from giving birth or what my emotional state will be like during the first weeks of motherhood. but i can make sure i finish my baby shopping well in advance, damn it!

i did do some major shopping earlier this week…for myself. i dropped some major coin on maternity clothes. most frugal moms i talked to said maternity clothes were a scam & that i could totally get away with just wearing larger sizes of regular clothes while pregnant. my sister suggested that i stick with generously cut cotton dresses with some give in the belly area. one mom friend gave me all kinds of tips on how to make my own maternity jeans but cutting the waistband off some regular jeans & stitching on a stretchy elastic panel. i had been thinking about getting a maternity swimsuit, or at least a tankini, to replace my prepregnancy one-piece which is exploding off of me as i expand. my current suit has a little belt stitched to it, & a few weeks ago, the belt exploded off when confronted with my new girth. every morning, i feel a little bit more like a kielbasa while jared & i get ready to head to the pool. i started daydreaming about what it would be like to have clothes that really fit. t-shirts that were slightly too big for me two weeks ago no longer cover my belly. shorts that were baggy on me a month ago now have to be unbuttoned so i can lounge comfortably. i thought my pajama pants were holding up pretty well, but i noticed the other day that all of their waistbands now have tiny rips, which is how they are accommodating their larger load.

so i logged on to gap.com (not gonna lie, almost all my non-pregnancy clothes are from the gap–i like that their stuff is really plain & casual & easy to clean, & that they have about 9000 sales a week, so you NEVER have to buy anything at full-price…& i like that their larger sizes are actually large, which is not always the case at other stores; not very punk of me, i guess), navigated to the maternity sale section, & dropped $200 on a pretty extensive pregnancy wardrobe. jeans & skirts & dresses & tees & sweaters…i cannot WAIT to wear clothes that were actually cut for my weird new shape. jared was rubbing my belly the other day & he said, “man. you’re growing a whole new person in there. you big weirdo.” how sweet.

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

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