Parents in the making
Ryan (non binary trans) and David (cis) are a happy queer couple and Ryan is a couple of months pregnant. In an intimate correspondence they share their thoughts and feelings with each other, and with us.
“What you hear now is their heartbeat, it’s going fast, about 166 beats per minute.” Feeling a little ill at ease I looked at the ultrasound screen and heard the sound of a heartbeat. I looked at you and you were glowing. “This is their heartbeat and your baby is doing well,” said the gynaecologist reassuringly.
At that moment my heart also jumped a little. We had come back from our holiday two days earlier. We knew the whole time: that first ultrasound is waiting for us. Subconsciously it was a little nerve-racking. We had already told way too many people that Ryan was pregnant. But in the back of our mind we knew it would only become real once we’d see our baby on the first ultrasound.
Nobody had told me that it was going to be this difficult to keep early pregnancy secret. No one had told me that only once you hear that baby’s heartbeat, a father is born within you. Maybe people did tell me, but I just wasn’t listening.
For me as an adopted child it’s strange to realise that my sweet mum and dad didn’t go through this experience. They became parents when I was already someone’s child. Now that I’m becoming a father, it seems strange… This moment in my life, the weeks, days, months in which everything within me becomes more and more of a dad are making me nostalgic. I’m turned inwards; the outside world doesn’t really matter right now. In my head I’m playing with memories and the future.
Together with you in our house, the ultrasound room, the dreams, thoughts and Ravi, we keep the outside world at a distance. Ryan, with you I live inside our own bubble, everyday a little more, only to turn outwards again when duty calls.
How was that first ultrasound for you? Did you become a baba at that moment too? And are the past and the future also going through your mind?
That first ultrasound was so special. I was tired and nauseous throughout the entire holiday. My body was showing me very clearly that I was pregnant, but there was nothing to see yet. It didn’t feel real yet because of that. The moment that I saw Ravi, that little one of a few centimeters, appear on the screen, everything changed.
That first ultrasound could have taken hours if it were up to me. It was a moment in which I again realised I am baba. Actually I became baba from the moment that positive pregnancy test lay on the table. Because from that moment onwards the nausea started and it has only gotten worse. At the most unexpected moments I find myself hanging above the toilet and I realise my body is busy making a magic project. But what it really means to be baba, and hold that little one in our arms one day, that still feels very far away. With every ultrasound where Ravi is dancing on the screen I feel closer to being baba. Afterwards when I walk out of the hospital I can’t wait until the next time.
I understand that you feel nostalgic, but I’m not really concerned with the past or the future; I’m very much living in the now. My body is already changing a lot. If I could I would lie on the couch or in my bed all day and only think about you and Ravi. Safe in our beautiful home where the baby room is waiting to be decorated. I sometimes walk into it just to look at all those beautiful baby clothes and baby stuff that we have already gathered.
Once in a while I do find myself thinking about the future. Dreaming about our family and how this will change our lives forever. I always come back quickly to the present to look at my growing belly in the mirror. It might also be that it’s a little too confrontational to look back at the past. How it must have been for my parents that they were expecting a baby girl and I didn’t turn out to be one. The present and future are more comfortable times to hang out in.