Buying a crib, and other thoughts on impending parenthood

Biffle and I spent the weekend in Atlanta, visiting the Ikea to load up on stuff for the house. The main thing we bought was a giant wardrobe unit--nearly 12' x 8'--so that we can get rid of the array of weird and only vaguely functional bedroom furniture we've collected or inherited or found on the side of the road over the years. (Please don't assume that this comment is meant in any way to disparage furniture found on the side of the road--Biffle has done some amazing things with other people's rejected furniture.)

We also bought a crib--this one--and some of Ikea's ridiculously cute, random stuff for a baby's room. There are certain aspects of this whole pregnancy/impending parenthood process that are freaky for me, and buying a crib was one of them. I kept saying, "Biffle, we're buying a crib. Did you ever think we'd be buying a crib?" He seemed unbothered. But to me the crib represented something--a piece of furniture, solid and material, in our house, is different than the baby clothes and knitting people have given us. Maybe it's that the clothes seem fun, playful, while the crib is Serious Business. When you have a crib, it means you are Having a Baby.

Not that this is a surprise to me, given the way I look these days.

Speaking of which, that's another thing that has been occasionally freaky to me. When I was in Tennessee a couple of weeks ago, Megan asked if Biffle had been taking any artsy pregnant photos of me. He hasn't. For a while there we were taking a picture every Sunday night, to document the progress, but when I really started to show we got lax and stopped taking the pictures--I think because the progress was so evident to us at that point. So when I got back home, Biffle did try to capture one representative--and perhaps artsy--moment of me standing in the kitchen, eating a bowl of cold cereal (one of 12,000 bowls of cold cereal I've eaten so far in this pregnancy).

Here's the picture. When I saw it for the first time, I thought, "Oh my god, there's me in a pregnant suit." It looks just like me, only pregnant. The thing that freaks me out is not the size issue--I know some women do feel weird about getting larger, since we're in a society that relentlessly tells us to slim down--but that I actually look so pregnant. Unambiguously pregnant. Now I'm at the point where people take one look and congratulate me.

So why does it weird me out that I'm looking pregnant? Perhaps because this is more unambiguous evidence that things are changing. Even if I do eventually get my pre-pregnancy body back, things--as people with children regularly remind me--will never be the same again.

And, of course, this is what we wanted. If we'd wanted things to stay the way they were, there were plenty of ways we could have helped that to happen, and procreating wouldn't have been our game plan. But actually facing the changes, for someone like me who is so wary of change, can be a bit freaky.

Later on, if you want, I'll blog about my efforts to resist all stereotypes of pregnant womanhood.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of stereotypes:

Pregnant? Check!
In Kitchen? Check!
Shoes? You'll have to let us know.


Blogless Reader

nashvillemidwife said...

We recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Boston. The highlight of the trip? Buying baby stuff at Ikea.

Meghann said...

My question is, what TYPE of cold cereal has it been?

Catherine Bush said...

It was nice to hear some of your inner thoughts about this impending life changing event. I love you.


p.s. I *do* want to hear about your efforts to resist pregnancy stereotypes ... and if there were any that you found to be true.

Ian McCullough said...

Pregnancy stereotype:

Nesting - buying stuff for baby, obsessing over same items. Also extends into cleaning, organizing or improving the house/stuff in house.

Anonymous said...

As far as the body you "never get back"

Bah humbug. Three kids and now the story has changed to "when you reach a certain age."

Of course your body will change it's life and that's fine. I just got annoyed with the smug attitude.

Curtis said...

You know, we're At That Age when all my friends are pregnant. It's commonplace to me now. My first thought on seeing that photo wasn't "Wow, look at her belly." It was, "Wow, Alison has really nice kitchen cabinets!"

marc said...

I have to say that, with a one year old, we just got rid of our side-of-the-road furniture for that exact IKEA wardrobe. We love it.