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The Third Stage of Advanced Denial

We’re coming to the official end of the second trimester today.

I was joking recently that we were in the third stage of advanced denial. One person didn’t get the joke and wanted to know what the first two stages entailed. We have plenty of pregnancy books sent by thoughtful friends, but we don’t seem to read them much. Loads of “baby stuff” have arrived from friends and family, but the boxes sit un-opened and un-inventoried. We don’t even know what we have. But that bulge in Xy’s belly is getting pretty hard to ignore.

During the first trimester we pretty much kept a lid on things. Throughout the second trimester, as word got out, I was surprised by some of the silly reactions. People seemed to expect me to be walking around with a smile on my face all the time. People would ask, “Are you excited?” I was expected to burble excitedly in response. Anything less, and they seemed almost offended. I’m sorry, but I don’t burble on cue.

For the record, no, we’re not excited. We’re in denial. Or, to frame it in more positive terms, we’re taking things one day at a time.

The other popular question: “How’s Xy?” Answer: She’s moody as hell and she sleeps a lot. In other words, she’s exactly the same as she’s always been.

I wonder what the third trimester will bring?

Congratulations to Pam and George on their newborn baby boys — all three of them!

Published inLife with Xy


  1. I think I mentioned to you previously, Bart, that DaLynn (my wife, for those who don’t know) wasn’t particularly thrilled about being pregnant. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that she was full of fear and trepidation until pretty much the day Julian was born. It bothered her counselor that she kept calling the baby in her belly “the alien.” It bothered DaLynn when strangers would come up, touch her belly, and say things like, “oh, you must be so thrilled.”

    I’d hazard to say that it’s an even more difficult thing for strangers to understand when a woman refuses burble about her pregnancy than when a man refuses to burble (sorry about that clunky construction; hopefully you know what I’m sayin’).

    All that changed the moment DaLynn grabbed that baby from the midwife. I could see it in her eyes. It was, frankly, an immediate and complete and really pretty astonishing transformation. She’s been an amazing mom.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to sidetrack from your experiences; rather, to say that you’re not alone in your trepidations and feelings that it’s not quite really real. I remember taking photos of DaLynn just a few days before the baby was born, watching the bulge move around, thinking, I know there’s a baby in there, but I don’t feel like a dad yet. It was still very abstract.

    You could call it denial. You could also simply call it the reality of transition: you’re not there yet, but you see the big change coming. Try to enjoy where you are. These are your last days as two.

    I don’t know if I ever shared this with you, but I did write a column on a topic pretty close to this. Hope you enjoy; it’s here.

  2. B,
    It’s all good. It’s a wonderful experience. Moody, though–you haven’t seen moody yet 😉 But, it’s all good. Our youngest, Devin, is a Touro baby–and he’ll be celebrating his fourth birthday tomorrow. Time goes by so very fast. Enjoy the whole experience. Banzai

  3. Ray Ray

    If there’s a book you want to read now, while you have time, it’s a good book on how to care for a newborn. Because once the spawn is here, you won’t have time to read it, and you’re going to need a reference every time something weird happens in the middle of the night and you don’t know whether to call a doctor or call grandma.

    Also, last chance to go out to see movies in the theater for a while. Make use of it.

  4. Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t bounce around with the annoying baby glow. While I’m excited about getting the kid, I hate being pregnant. My hubby is very supportive, but he misses the old me – the one who only needed 3 hours of sleep and could out-drink an old irishman 😉 I have about 2 months left and I can’t wait to get my body back from the little parasite.

  5. Stacey Stacey

    I remember a moment before I delivered my OB asked me if I was ready to be a parent. The word “parent” made me laugh for about a nanosecond. I wasn’t ready either until about two weeks before my son was born, I think I knew he was coming even though he was six weeks early. I went through my “nesting” phase. The most important thing to have gathered is your hospital bag in the trunk with a camera, baby book (for baby’s footprints), newborn clothes and a set of clothes for mom… some pjs and maybe a dress to go home in. Oh, and lip balm and a lollipop. They don’t let you have food or water during delivery, and it helped to have these.

  6. […] I don’t know if someone at the Onion got knocked up recently, but given B’s new stage, I thought I’d pass along a few choice recent submissions and a couple […]

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