I want to meet my baby.
Last week I bought a little stack of newborn onesies while I was as Target registering for baby items. Delicate pinks and white with polka dots. One of them has a monkey on it. “I love my daddy,” it says. Another has a little embroidered baby monkey, frolicking with a larger female monkey which I believe is supposed to be me.
I bought them over a week ago, but instead of tucking them into the Baby Box with other collected odds and ends, I laid them on the arm of my living room couch. I keep them there because every time I pass them, a little jolt of joy goes through me. Something about them makes it all seem so REAL.
I told my husband about this and now he too gives them a little acknowledgement as he passes—a smile, a pat. We grin at each other and keep doing whatever we were doing.
Part of the reason why these onesies have made such an impression in my mind is that at about the time I bought them, I’d just found something called ‘belly mapping’ online.
Apparently, other pregnant mothers have also asked the question: “What on earth is kicking me right now?” I’d been asking several related questions for a while. “What body part is it that keeps punching me in the ribs?” “What the heck is that one bulge that keeps showing up again and again to the left of my belly button?” “Where is her HEAD?”
Thankfully, the bottomless curiosity/time wasting capabilities of the pregnant community means that there are answers to these questions online. You can map your belly into quadrants, then use the movement patterns you’re seeing and feeling to figure out where the little thing is located (for now).
Looks like my baby is head-down (good), and she is doing a bit of a bottom-out twerk against my belly button. Her feet are somewhere back-in-there, pointed at my ribs, and on the whole, she’s just where a child of 31 weeks should be.
When I put all this together (and had it confirmed by the doc, the same day I bought the onesies), something just snapped into place for me.
You mean—that’s her bottom? Right there? That’s her head? She’s HOW LONG? She’s upside down? She’s sitting right here, right now, and in a month or two she’s going to be big enough to fill out these tiny onesies? Then she’s going to come OUT?
Like a six-year-old having the wonder of pregnancy and birth explained to them for the first time, I was entranced.
At about the same time, I had a couple of dreams featuring the baby. This has been the case since the beginning—weird pregnancy dreams, very common—but these were different. They weren’t breastfeeding nightmares or surreal sagas about being safely delivered of a Teletubby. These were about HER. I woke from two or three of them with a distinct (though perhaps false) impression of a small face, a small personality. For the first time, the word daughter makes sense to me. It doesn’t feel like I’m playing some kind of pretend game.
I can’t believe it, but she’s real and this is happening.
The nursery just got painted (‘Toasted Coconut,’ with an accent wall of fat gray horizontal stripes—even though a decorating blog informed me that “stripes are out”) and the first baby shower is in just a few weeks. But it’s all about those onesies for me. It’s the onesies that I keep on the arm of the couch to glance at as I go about my business. It’s her little belly that’ll fill those onesies out, her little legs that’ll get snapped in, her little head that’ll pass through that envelope-style fold at the neck.
And I just can’t wait to meet her.