Monday, October 18, 2010

How to Wash the Baby

This evening, Steve and I attended a baby class at one of the local hospitals. The room we arrived at was filled with couples of all sorts, an occasional single woman (whose husband couldn't make it) and us, the gay orthodox pair. The room had thin tables across the breadth of it, with plastic infant dolls at every place. On of the first things that the nurses talked about was how to take care of mommy. They of course turned to us before they started and said this part wouldn't interest us much. The next section of the class, they showed us a movie (sponsored by Huggies) about how to bathe your baby. Just about at this point, Steve and I looked at each other and starting laughing uncontrollably. We don't know anything!!!

The class was actually somewhat helpful, if only in making the birth that much more real. There we were, me and Steve, and our own (plastic) baby. The funniest moment was at the end of the evening. We were cutting out a little early, turning down the opportunity to watch a movie about car seats, we and a few other people. Joining us on our way to the parking lot was a somewhat fashionable couple who were having twins, and a very portly crew cut haired man in jeans and flannel whose wife had just begun labor that evening so he came alone. As we said goodbye we all got into our cars, and like in a scripted movie, the fashionable people got into their fancy SUV, the portly plaid man got into his enormous red pick up truck, and we, the gay into our white politically correct Prius. You couldn't have written it.


So we are getting very close to lift off. We've been shopping, we have our tickets, our passports, our lodging (almost). Our friend Tamar took us shopping at Target last week and we bought the necessaries--onesies, swaddlers, socks, hats, bottles, pacifiers, diapers. During the Target spree, we ran into the entire spectrum of the Cincinnati orthodox community, a few of whom were confused. And this was at 10pm on a school night. I haven't really told you about us and the orthodox community here. I let an article that Steve wrote and that came out in the Jewish Week, give you a peak. It's not really about the community per se, but that's its jumping point. It's a good read:

One thing about Cincinnati that's been great, besides the Poupko/Fisher/Smith clan, is that everyone (outside of the few in the ortho community) has been offering to give us stuff that they aren't using--cribs, changing tables, clothes. By far the largest contributor has been Tamar Smith, but there are big kudos due many people. So thank you.

Today I decided to wash all the baby stuff so it's ready, and I had a mini freakout holding the little clothes up and thinking, "soon they'll be an actual creature to fit these." It's all surreal. I'm also not sleeping well at night. I keep waiting for the phone to ring, and waking up every couple of hours. High anxiety.

The kitchen renovation is almost done. Yippee! And it looks great. Very excited about that. It should be complete by next week.

One thing for anyone else doing this, make sure that when you apply for your visas, you just say your applying for a tourist visa, and don't say anything about the baby process. I made the mistake of putting on our applications that we were going to complete a surrogate birth and pick up a baby, and the outsourcing company that handles the visas, said in that case I would have to apply for a medical visa, and go through a much lengthier process. I eventually just got them to send back our passports and I reapplied, not mentioning the baby.