I haven’t written to you in two weeks, and I’m sorry. Your father hasn’t been in much of a writing mood lately—there are about six unpublished fragments in my Movable Type queue that don’t relate, have no beginning or ending, and have no narrative structure. I think that it must be summertime-related, because I’ve been strangely unmotivated to do anything these last two weeks, whether it’s writing, taking pictures, working on the house, or just being. Strangely though, I’ve been able to focus on work pretty steadily, which is good news for your diaper fund.
You have been very active these last two weeks, which is great to see. We’ve been sitting on the bed watching you bump yourself around and making your mother’s belly wiggle and move. It’s better than TV. If you’re as active as this after you’re born, we’re doomed. When you do finally show up, we will have to have a serious chat about your shyness around the camera. Every time I turn it on to shoot some video of your mother’s belly, you stop moving around, and as soon as I put the camera down you start shaking your booty again.
We are no closer to finding you a name than we were last week. We have looked at three thick tomes from the library which claim to contain names other than “Kaitlin,” which makes Mommy and Daddy want to punch someone in the neck. In looking through each of these books, though, I get tired and overwhelmed pretty quickly. One of the books seems to have the same fifty or so names re-arranged in different lists throughout each chapter, and then finds it helpful to list the names of famous Hollywood progeny, as if calling our child Blanket, Kal-El, or Speck would be a good idea. Another has a list of names “so old they’ll never be new”, like anyone is still considering the name Zebediah.
Your mother’s been doing the bulk of the baby research for us over the last few months, and from what she tells me, there’s a huge industry out there geared towards scaring the everloving shit out of expectant mothers. I’m looking through one of the delivery method books now, in preparation for our upcoming classes. The first three chapters have been a repetition of the same basic idea: HOSPITALS BAD, DRUGS BAD, DOCTORS=UNTRUSTWORTHY. The authors also don’t pull punches when comparing their method to the other big method, dissing philosophy and practice, which begs comparison to the old East Coast-West Coast rap feuds of the late 90’s. It all gets to be a little tiring after a while. I understand why the authors need to hammer their points home, but I’m ready to just skip ahead to the birthing part now.
We’re wary enough at this point to hire a doula to help the two of you with this thing, even though I’m going to be with you two through the whole process. All of the books I’ve read do this strange thing where they spend an entire chapter ratcheting up the fear quotient, and then when they refer to the actual birthing process it’s all puppies and sunshine distilled into a three-sentence paragraph. Maybe I haven’t gotten to the meat of the whole thing yet, but this is feeling eerily similar to a lot of the computer programming books I’ve read, which alternately treat me as if I’m a genius and an idiot in the same sentence. So a doula will help with all of the things I may have read about but don’t really understand, and be a more informed advocate for you and your mother where I may not be. Besides, it’ll be less freaky for the nurses to walk in the delivery room and see the doula massaging your mother’s girl parts instead of me.