Monday, June 5, 2017

We're nothing if not different

Though we may be your quintessential American High School Sweethearts (Tyler and I started dating senior year), that is about where our quintessential-ness stops. I'm sometimes dragging the Mister kicking and screaming on my march to be different, but he always comes around to my side. In this case, we are both slogging through the uniqueness of this pregnancy, and learning all the various ways we can go about doing what is usually a straightforward, traditional, everybody-does-it activity in the most complicated, abnormal, why-would-you-choose-to-do-it-this-way way possible.

Traditional: Get married, have a few baby-free years (usually just 2 or 3), go on a Grand Vacation, then get to baby-making.

Tyler and Amber: Get married, have almost NINE baby-free years, move overseas with no plans to move back any time soon, spend several of the nine years convincing Amber that motherhood isn't the enemy, then cautiously get to baby-making.

Traditional: Get pregnant. If living far from home, start the process of moving home. Baby's gotta be close to at least one set of grandparents.

Tyler and Amber: Get pregnant. You're already living far from home, so continue to live far from home...can't live further away than you already are, so make plans to move to a country in just about the same time zone as when you conceived, just to bewilder the grandparents (Sorry Moms and Dads!).

Traditional: Baby shower(s).

If THIS was a baby shower, Amber would be on board in a SECOND

Tyler and Amber: NOPE. First of all, Amber is the literal worst at being a gracious recipient of gifts or compliments, so the idea of being showered with gifts for a baby you're only just getting on board with sounds like a nightmare. Secondly, having to support Amber through that kind of emotional trauma sounds like a nightmare to Tyler. Best to avoid it. Thirdly, most of your friends and all of your family--the people traditionally invited to a baby shower-- are spread across 7 or 8 time zones and at least 4 continents, so...there's that.

Traditional: Nesting. Gotta get the house set up with everything baby will need after coming home from the hospital.

Tyler and Amber: Everything. must. go. Sell it all. Is reverse nesting a thing? Because that's what you're doing. Don't buy a crib. Don't buy a stroller. Barely get any baby clothes. You're moving two months after the kid pops out, so there's no time for nesting! RESIST THE URGES!

American Traditional: Gender reveal parties. (Because seriously this is only a thing in America and it confuses everyone else that you would have an entire event dedicated to telling everyone the gender of your baby in a Pinterest-worthy way.)

Tyler and Amber: NOPE. No gender gets revealed till the kid is revealed...even though it would make the paperwork for your impending move to Korea WAY easier and your future employer could purchase a plane ticket for Amber and the baby well in advance and at a decent price...NO GENDER REVEAL! (Sorry future employer!)

Traditional: Arrange with your current employer for maternity leave well in advance.

Tyler and Amber: Let's see, you don't have medicare because you're not an Australian citizen, so you're looking at at least a few grand in medical bills. You're not going to work after the baby is born, so you've got two months of rent and living costs to save up for before you stop working. You've got a shipping bill of at least a couple grand waiting for you if you ever get around the packing for Korea. Oh! And you've also got to keep paying your bills and living expenses while you're pregnant. Sorry, Toots, no maternity leave for you. Cross your legs and hope that baby stays in until at least the due date. In fact, start working your SECOND job when you hit six months and don't stop working that second job until 12 days before your due date, just to confuse everyone.

Traditional: Play it safe, Papa Bear, until the baby is born. No sudden changes in your lifestyle or habits. No need to stress out your baby-brained wife.

Tyler and Amber: OR, and hear me out here, you could sign up for an experimental study at a local university that will require you to adjust your eating and sleeping habits, strap no less than FOUR electronic monitors to your body (two of which are physically attached to your skin), get muscle biopsies three times, AND spend a few hours every night for a week at the university working out while being monitored. All while hoping your wife doesn't go into labor while you're gone because this is all happening in the weeks before the due date. Yeah. That sounds like a plan. You'll do anything for 800 bucks! (Yes, this is something Tyler is actually doing. A local university is studying the effects of diet and exercise on circadian rhythm in men, and my husband, never one to turn down a good story...or $800, signed up)

I hope you all see the humor in our situation and don't find this post to be overly "whinge-y," as our Australian friends would say. We love our life, untraditional as it is, and obviously had to do this pregnancy in the most un-traditional way possible.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Vicariously yours,

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