An Important Life Update

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I am approaching the last frontiers of womanhood, the last few “big life announcements” that garner hundreds of likes on Facebook and make blissfully easy small talk among people whose names you once knew.

I’ve ticked off graduating high school, getting into college, graduating college, getting into a relationship, getting engaged, and getting married. As I am not an ambitious person I took the life route that skipped the subsequent accomplishments of getting into and graduating grad school, etc. or earning a promotion, etc. or becoming president, etc.

The only interesting, noteworthy things left for me on the Normal Life Track are having a baby and writing a book. Once those things happen, unless I am charismatic and funny and popular or ambitious (see alternate life route above), I shall recede into life as one of those people who report only their children’s accomplishments and/or their book sales.

Can I get a moment of silence for the impending death of my personal interesting-ness?

Thank you.

Without further ado, I am crossing off another noteworthy thing on the Normal Life Track.

Meet Baby Stegersaurus!

He’s healthy, perfect, and twenty-weeks-old, due December 27. (He’s sending salutatory kicks delivered to my abdomen as I write.) I am pretty dead confident he’s going to look exactly like his daddy, which hopefully means my genes for horrific teen acne and flat feet get cancelled out.

He came into existence around the time I was laughingly brushing off my friend’s inquiry as to when we were planning on having kids. “Oh, not for another year, at least,” I said. “Erich and I just talked about it. Another year with just us, and then we’ll think about adding a baby to the mix.”

It was a great plan. We were buying a house, we needed my second income, we’d spend the year fixing up the house, I’d further my career as an elementary teacher, we’d maybe even save up for a spa getaway for our first anniversary.

Then a few weeks later, I was following the directions on a 99 cent pregnancy test from Walmart, at my sister’s request. Sure, my period was late. But it was late once before, a few months into marriage. I’d stared at the test line for the full recommended three minutes (and counting), only to see nothing else show up.

It was the exact same situation this time, I told myself. No pregnancy symptoms whatsoever, just a tardy period. I prepared for the three minute and counting wait for the nonexistent second line to show up.

There was the test line. The wet traveled further down. A second line. A thick, full, undeniable second line. All within two seconds of each other.

I had always planned on being the cute little wife who takes a pregnancy test early in the morning after hubby leaves for work, comes up with an elaborate scavenger hunt in his absence, and surprises him with the amazing good news that he’s going to be a daddy. We’d kiss and giggle and curl up on the couch to dream of our upcoming life with baby, and we wouldn’t have to rearrange our finances.

Instead I was the wife who yelled hubby’s name from the bathroom and walked out, shellshocked, to announce through tears that I was pregnant. No kisses, no giggles, no scavenger hunts. Just one new mama caught off guard and wading through the remnants of her shattered two-year life plan.

Erich was researching bridesmaid dresses for an upcoming wedding. He looked up at his distraught wife and said what any happy father says: “That’s nice. What do you think of this dress?”

It was exactly how I hadn’t imagined our first pregnancy going down.

We both wandered the apartment, processing our horror and happiness in our separate ways, and then Erich said something about baby names, and I said something about was he mad at me for being pregnant and ruining our life plans?!, as if it was my fault. And he said he already knew I was pregnant, and why would he be mad?

That was significant, you see. We are both emotional people — things hit us squarely in the gut and take a while to travel up to our brains. When Erich is overwhelmed, he is silent, changes the subject, and/or says the wrong thing (always). When I am overwhelmed, I cry and tell Erich he always says the wrong thing.

Don’t be alarmed. Everything goes up to our brains eventually, and Erich starts saying on-topic things (like baby names — very on-topic for a man who just found out he’s a daddy), and I start expressing my emotions in a more coherent, accessible way.

We’ve spent the past twenty weeks rearranging our finances and life plans, adjusting to pregnancy (yes, both of us), and mistaking bowel movements for baby kicks. (It was a very precious time of family bonding, nonetheless.)

All of that to say, we are extremely excited for this little one. This blog will, most likely, be flooded with mother-related posts for a while, until other interesting, personal things happen — like writing a book.

But right now, I can’t think of anything more interesting than this little guy.

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23 thoughts on “An Important Life Update

  1. Lauren

    Congratulations! Having a baby is the most fun I’ve ever had, and the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever experienced. I hope you enjoy this unique and beautiful season of life in your own way.

    Like

  2. Abigail

    OH MY GOODNESS! ^_^ I’m so excited for both of you, and love the realism here. What a terrific post about an exciting milestone. You and Erich are going to be wonderful parents, and I’m looking forward to vicariously enjoying this new stage of your life through your blog.

    Like

  3. Krissy

    Congratulations!! LOVED reading your story! I remember going through the exact same emotions when I became pregnant last year. Glad to know there are others out there who experienced the same whirlwind of emotions. Good luck mama!

    Like

  4. colleen55

    Congratulations! Very exciting! So happy for you both! This will turn your life on end and give you lots to write about! Welcome to motherhood!

    Like

  5. DFJones

    I’m kind of in a similar place-ish, and it’s nice to hear my worries are not just mine. No, I didn’t have the pregnancy part (I’m a dude), or any of the challenges that come with that besides just growing a human. Though, I am a stay at home Dad, so our baby is my day job. I was “forced” into this situation by my MS, and the combination of the illness and the childcare makes little time for writing. However, I do it and I’m sure you will as well. I hope you will because I’d like to read your book :) I’m sorry I made this about me. I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. Congratulations, and I wish your family the best!

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  6. Kaiya

    [after an appropriate moment of silence for the impending death of your personal interesting-ness] (Joking!) Congratulations to you and Erich and your little one! :) x I look forward to reading all about the next few months, and then the stories and joy Stegersaurus brings.

    Like

  7. ruxeestanescu

    Congraaaats!!!
    I have a 7 weeks old bundle and I remember I had a similar reaction to yours when I found out I was pregnant. And then when I found out that it’s a girl I cried the whole day cause I imagined a little chubby boy.
    Mommyhood is great, horrifying, sweet, exhausting and the best thing!
    Oh, I am so thrilled for you!

    P. S. I imagined myself to be the intellectual momma that wrote articles and read medical journals while breastfeeding, and instead I find myself cooing along with the baby and congratulating her for every poop. There are whole new priorities.

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    • Bailey Steger

      Oh no!!! It’s so funny how our reaction to pregnancy-related things are so different than we imagine! We were rooting for a girl for various reasons, so I was surprised at how let down I felt when I found out our love bug was a boy. I’ve just been learning that these things are so huge and complicated and involve so many different emotions that it’s pointless to label any one emotion as the most appropriate. A few hours later I was overjoyed it was a boy, so, it’s a whirlwind emotional process. ;)

      Oh, I am most definitely not an intellectual mama! I have a whole stack of books on child rearing, of course, but I go gaga over babies and how cute they are and have been having lots of conversations about poop with my daycare kids. ;)

      Like

  8. Allison Caylor

    So many warm wishes and hopes flowing from my heart right now! The life you’re getting into will be far harder but also far happier, and Bailey, you’re going to rock it. May the Lord keep you all three well & happy during your pregnancy. :)

    Like

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