Islanders, I've had countless pregos in my life.
The past 3 years have been full of expectant joy and celebrations for some of my closest friends.
I've shared my journey, as a supportive and excited friend, with you guys along the way.
We've had a number of baby showers featured on the island.
It's interesting because it wasn't until the news of my nephew coming that I realized I have always been on the maternal side of pregnancy.
That probably doesn't make sense to you but hear me out, okay? This is the first pregnancy where my affiliation isn't with the mom-to-be. I mean, Ryan was a childhood friend of mine. Hubbs and I did hook her and Mike up.
Their first date was at our NYE housewarming (one of the silly pics from the night below).
We did spend every weekend together until they got married.
You know, get married, get your own and make your own way in this world.
I get it. With the expectant arrival of my nephew this Fall, there are a number of things going on with the pregnancy - appointments, updates, plans, etc. All of these things, I just realized, are dictated by your relationship with the mother-to-be.
This is the first pregnancy where I'm on the paternal side. Keeping it honest, I'm still figuring out how to process that role. It's kind of like a wedding. Your involvement pretty-much depends on your relationship with the bride. In the case of my nephew, I'm adjusting to my role as paternal auntie during pregnancy.
Communication happens. We chat on Facebook and stuff. Ya know, she's a cute pregos... I just don't want to overstep my PATERNAL side boundaries. If she needs or wants to share something, I'm here... if not, is it too much to ask? Is it weird to touch the belly? Like, I need some rules of engagement! No one talks about this stuff.
This is a weird thought BUT, again, hear me out. If it were my brother who was pregnant, I'd belly rape him on sight every time I saw him. What?! He was like that with me.
You see him in the photo above. It was his Virginia Tech graduation and he was up on my belly (because he kept bumping it, lol).
Did I tell you I almost caught my brother about to breastfeed my baby? FUNNY STORY. Z was a newborn and would turn toward the boob when hungry. She kept doing that to Michael and one day, I turned the corner to hear him say, "that ain't what you want... weeeellll, if that's what you want..." Just before he slid his under shirt to the side for my baby to turn his hairy nipple into a pacifier, I started fussing. WHAT WAS HE THINKING?
I snapped that pic after he said, "she wanted it?!"
He knows what it's like to be obsessed with your blood niece/nephew. My kid said her official first word to my brother, "DA-DA!!" on 11/5/2006. I was there to document the moment:
She preferred to nap on his shoulder until she was *like* 5 years old.
Everything that smelled manly was Michael-scented to Munchface.
I know the bond between uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews can be super strong. It's just that nobody talks about what to do on the paternal side of pregnancy. Help me out here, Islanders.
I know what you're thinking and the baby shower. We'll get to that... Let's just digest being on the paternal side of things; isn't that enough stress?!
Have you dealt with being on the other side of major milestones like a baby or a wedding? Can you offer any advice?
Feel free to share your experiences in the comments!