Every post these days seems to celebrate a number, a span of time left before this baby will be born. Each week is a new breath of fresh air and each day left is a count-your-blessings moment. Today is the marker for 100 days left until our due date and like all these numbers it's the first ever experiencing this. These weeks of pregnancy were always markers that I never thought I would get to, let alone be able to write about on a regular basis. Everything is "a first." I broke down and bought my first toy for the baby. I couldn't resist those knit dolls I've always wanted to buy.
This also marks the first baby toy I don't feel like stashing away like a closeted secret - afraid to let myself and others see it for fear it will just verify what I might lose. A breakthrough is an understatement. It was like some sort of shock therapy. After the initial shock wore off that buying the toy didn't unleash the infertility heavens to shit all over me and I didn't immediately get a phonecall telling me bad news, I felt like we might as well go whole hog. We decided on the crib, the bedding, the rocker, the wall paper, the stroller, the whole shebang. All in one afternoon a load of emotional baggage lifted in one fell swoop. First time moments are truly magical.
Words have a similar first time moment. There are words you never say until that time arrives to welcome it. Do you remember the person you first said "I love you" to? Do you remember the first time you referred to someone as a boyfriend or girlfriend? It was scary to say at first. I remember after I got married it still felt so new and weird to say, "My husband did this, my husband did that" or "I am his wife." It felt like a funny mistake my tongue had made without me knowing it. But years later, forming those same words in my mouth are as common as any other noun, adjective, or verb I might need to say.
But I had this same new moment the other day making an audio tape to send to A. I had decided to record some stories so the baby can hear me since at this point the baby is suppose to be able to recognize voices. So I grabbed some books with my niece who acted as my assistant reader. I slowly flipped open the story book, took a deep breath, pushed the record button, and began, "Hello, this is mommy."
The word fell out of my mouth with that same hesitation and weirdness as all first time words. It felt funny, slightly exciting, but mostly like trying on new skin. The same way when I would say "husband," I felt like I was pretending or playing dress-up. "Surely the word 'wife' is not me, I would think to myself. "Surely that man over there I've been dating is not my husband?" But yes, those words were correct. And saying the word "mommy," not referring to a third person or a concept, but to myself will take some time to not feel a little absurd. But like all things, there has to be a first time.
Luckily, a little voice reassured me I was not insane when my niece handed me another book and said, "Say it again, 'this is mommy.' That sounded nice."