Thursday, November 13, 2014

Growing Secrets Exposed

Next March, Claire and I will be welcoming a new addition to our family. Here's an early preview!


This has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to keep secret. When Claire agreed to marry me, we agreed to keep it to ourselves until we had the engagement ring. When we planned how we would get married six months in advance of our holiday to the US in 2008, we agreed to not tell anyone beforehand. When we got married in Las Vegas, we agreed to not tell anyone for a week until we were back in the land of fast, stable wifi and we could Skype everyone.

But when we discovered Claire was pregnant at only six weeks, I almost exploded. I wanted to shout it to the world, but we both knew that was just stupid. So many things can go wrong at the early stage, so we agreed that the smart move was to not tell anyone yet. When we got the first ultrasound at 10 weeks, it was just a tiny blob of cells. We told immediate family, but asked them to keep our secret as well.

Eventually we hit a point where we were confident enough to start telling some friends, but even then, we agreed to keep it a secret until we had the 20 week ultrasound, as it would be something more tangible to show off.

Finally, thankfully, the time has come.

Last Monday, November 10th, 2014, at 8:30am, Claire and I went to the hospital for the 20 week ultrasound and spent a half hour with the doctor as she photographed and measured every conceivable aspect of our little Spawnling[1]. I got to be amazed at her talent for pattern recognition, as I watched the screen fade between "mostly grey amorphous blobs" and "mostly light grey amorphous blobs". Every now and then I spotted a hand or a leg. The head was easy to see, but once it was measured, I was lost on rest. Our future bundle of joy was being a bit of a pest though, resting it's hand on it's chin, covering it's chest, and making some scans difficult. Despite the doctors repeated thumping of Claire's belly, Baby[2] refused to move or shift position. At one point, she was showing off Baby's facial features, when Baby visibly turned from the camera, leaving us looking at a perfectly formed spine and back of head.

We did get to watch it kick, which was nice. It's still too small for me to see or feel from the outside, though Claire tells me it's already starting to give her some trouble. We might be watching a movie or playing a video game, when Claire will poke at her belly and shout "Keep it down in there!"

All is great with mother and baby. Claire is still swordfighting three days a week, and sometimes at the weekend too. She's having to go easy on some of the floor exercises, but part of swordfighting is knowing how not to inflict injuries, so she's not having a problem with the fun bits of swinging large metal objects at each other. I'm doing great, mostly just smiling non-stop and constantly looking at Monday's scan, then smiling some more. All our friends know about the baby by now, so I've started telling anyone that will listen to me on a regular basis, like the English guy that works in the comic store, or the lifeguard in the morning at the pool I swim in.

2015 is going to be an amazing year. I just hope I still get time to play boardgames!

[1] Claire started calling it the Spawnling from around week 8. It stuck pretty fast.
[2] There was some discussion as to wheather we'd find out the gender before the birth. In the end, we agreed to keep this one a surprise until the big day, as I want, and find out in advance for the next one, as Claire wants. What can I say? I like surprises!

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