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Becoming # 2

First of all, this entry has nothing to do with diapers, poop or anything of a less-than-fragrant nature...I know, this is rare for me. No, the # 2 here is in reference to one of the most incredible changes that occurs during pregnancy. It's not physical, it goes fairly unseen, and it definitely isn't listed in the beginning of the chapters of 'What to Expect'. What I'm talking about is how becoming pregnant and getting ready for a baby has the magical power of causing an expectant mother or father to become almost completely selfless. Now is that to say that there aren't selfish parents out there? Of course not. There is a fair share of parents out there that still are in love with themselves. They are called stage moms, and you can usually find these freaks on reality shows planting wigs and fake teeth on their children to gain attention. But I digress...

I'll admit it, I've spent most of my life being selfish. I'm not too proud to say it. Quite frankly, I think the majority of people do, whether they will own up to it or not. We come into this world immediately being babied, coddled, and given everything that we need as soon as we need it. As we get a little bit older, this conditioning becomes pretty obvious as the phrases "I WANT" and "MINE" become the most regular parts of the child lexicon. Now, obviously as kids, we are generally taught the basic concepts of sharing, caring for others, and all that storybook, Sesame Street, golden rule propaganda. But, throughout our youth, do we REALLY ever stop considering ourselves to be # 1? I'd venture to say no. We may go through a brief phase between the ages of 7-9 where we get a kick out of being considerate of other people, but its pretty much human nature to look out for yourself way before anybody else. And do I really even have to talk about high school?

So what is it about those little unseen miracles that gets a grown man to crumble and forget about any of his own issues? How can a 1 1/2 pound person who can't even speak and still has partially translucent skin wrap her daddy around her finger before she's even here to give me sad eyes?

I HAVE NO IDEA. Seriously. I'm completely and utterly stumped. I've taken a step back and looked at my habits recently, compared them to how I used to act, and I am in total disbelief. No self-help book, no 'step' program, and no psychiatrist could have done the sort of mental makeover that Ava has done to me over these past few months.

Let's take money for example. The stuff burns a hole in my pocket. I've learned that the hard way. In the not too distant past, I could tear through my bank account balance easily with purchases that were nothing more than simple 'wants' of mine. Now? All I can think about is making sure that my little girl is going to be provided for. I'm already ordering her clothes for NEXT summer so that I know she'll have something fun to wear when we go to the pool or out to play or whatever. This is just so bizarre to me I can't even begin to explain it. I make a little bit of extra money doing work online and just got into the habit of doing market research studies. Today I got paid $30 for doing a half-hour research study on white out pens..yeah I know, if only I could make a career out of those bad boys, right? Now, there's lots of things I could do with that money. I could buy CDs that I want, or put the money towards getting a new cell phone since I loathe mine. But in reality, I can't even think about buying that sort of stuff because in my mind I envision Ava surrounded by toys, food and clothes. And every time I swipe my debit card or hit Purchase online, I imagine one of those items vanishing, causing her lip to start trembling (I'm doomed), and I can't even bring myself to do it. So in the meantime, I'll pirate the CDs I want (cram it FCC) and I'd much sooner rock a Zack Morris cell phone than take something from her..that money is going into the 'Ava Jar'!

Money is just a minor example though. It's really a matter of the complete mindset of wanting to ensure somebody else's well-being ahead of yours. Before Ava, I tried to do this as best I could with Amanda (although I'm sure I wasn't the greatest..but she's going to have to start her own blog if she wants to put that out there) but now I KNOW that I'm 100% capable and intent on ensuring my family's happiness first and foremost. I wouldn't want it any other way. After all, Amanda is a pretty incredible woman, and I can only assume Ava is going to follow in Mommy's could I not want to see smiles on their faces?

I also have to give credit where credit is COMPLETELY due and note how amazing Amanda has been up to this point. It's absolutely crazy that we are about 2/3 of the way through the pregnancy, and it has gone so fast. I attribute so much of that to the fact that she has been a complete badass (yep, I said it) through it all and has shown just how strong of a person she is. Working 30+ hours (on her feet the whole time, not to mention), moving, taking care of two large dogs with anxiety and hyperactivity issues, all while managing to put up with an overcaffeinated, anxiety-stricken fiance..and pregnant? Sounds like quite the load to me, and she has handled it totally in stride. Plus, she looks pretty damn good doing it, if I do say so myself! I have no doubt in my mind that she is going to be an incredible mommy.

So where exactly are we at this point? We are in the middle of week 27, and at our most recent appointment (Tuesday) we found out that Ava's heartbeat and Amanda's tummy measurement were both perfect. We also got a chance to get a quick sonogram peek at Ava to make sure she was moving as much as she needed to be, and she definitely was! We've already decided that she is going to be an ornery one because she likes to play games with Amanda and I. I said the other night that trying to feel her kick is like playing Whack-A-Mole at the arcade (RIP Fun Factory) because once you put your hand where Kick A struck, Kick B is on the other side. And then when you put both hands on, she just stops. Already a little pain in the butt and I love it. I can just envision here in there, floating around and laughing at her idiot dad trying to chase her around..a glimpse into the future, I'm sure!


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