The Strange Waiting of an Anticipated Future Event

by Kevin on June 27, 2013

A first time pregnancy is such an odd and exciting time for a husband and wife, especially a pair so detail-oriented and fond of spreadsheets as my wife and I.

Our first kiddo is bound to enter the world sometime in less than three weeks. As such we have been planning, cleaning, nesting, shopping, organizing, nesting, cleaning, stressing, learning, putting together things, and did I mention nesting okay I think I did… for several months now.

We’ve been showered with gifts, and love, and hugs, and stories… some of which I doubt I will ever delete from my memory no matter how hard I try. (It seems that as soon as you let the world know you or your wife are pregnant then it is no holds barred on breast feeding stories or delivery stories or… Hey! Can you tell I’m still in the room?! It’s like you are suddenly members of an elite club of gross or inappropriate-if-we-weren’t-pregnant stories.)

But I digress.

We put together a list and a spreadsheet of anticipated costs. A long, giant list of tasks we needed to do, things we needed to buy (and then put together), and general reminders for The Big Day. A detailed spreadsheet of how much we were going to spend.

We’re through that list and have marked things off on that spreadsheet. We’re… done. And have been for about two weeks.

It’s a little unnerving knowing that, wow, we, uh… feel… mostly… somewhat… kind of… prepared for this to happen. (No, I have no delusions that we are actually prepared. Are you kidding?) What do you mean there isn’t another task to scratch off the list?

So now we wait.

I’ve been telling friends that having a baby (or for you especially sensitive souls, I’ve been telling my friends that my wife having a baby…) is kind of like getting married.

You have this huge, life-altering experience that is coming to you in the future. You know about it. You plan for it. You participate toward it.

The only thing is… with bringing a child into this world it is like someone is throwing you a surprise wedding. Imagine walking along one day, happily engaged, then boom! Surprise! You’re getting married today!

How do you prepare for that?

At some point, you can’t. You just accept it. You try to live your life somewhat normally until that big surprise comes, but it seeps into every day.

Is today the day? Or tomorrow? Or next Tuesday?

You try not to make firm plans for fear of canceling at the last minute. Everyone is very understanding of course — you’re having a baby! — but it is still a little difficult.

I prefer life this way. I prefer to feel at least somewhat prepared. It’s the same thought process behind having different emergency funds for things like unemployment and house repairs.

Having that cash set aside is like admitting you know you are going to get an unfortunate surprise at some point in the future, but you accept it, and you are at least somewhat prepared for it.

It doesn’t make it something to brush off or not a big deal, because it is. But the preparation helps ease some of the financial concerns that would turn the rest of my hair gray.

And now we wait.


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