Our youngest, Kinzy, is what we call the Express Baby. She was the surprise. She was the one who just decided to make herself known when she was ready.
Story is, my wife, without getting into all of the physical woman stuff and also because I value my life so if I divulge more than would be appropriate for the internet world this could very well be my last writing (CSI, take note of this!), did not realise she was pregnant until around 18 weeks. Aside from all of the stuff that didn’t happen that is suppose to and all of the other tell-tale signs, she didn’t know (I swear on whatever book I need to). She said she was sitting at her office one day and said she felt these bubble things and swore it was gas. To hear my wife tell it, is much more vivid – but again, internet world.
She comes home and says “Ya know, maybe you should just pop through and get a pregnancy test just for the laugh of it”. I, of course, go into full panic mode. We decided on 1 kid. We figured it just wasn’t happening for us anymore (aside from the fact that my wife wasn’t exactly getting any younger – Again, I quote the ‘mature skin’ cream she bought – not me).
I do think that the drive to the pharmacy was probably the longest drive of my life. All I kept thinking was how expensive it was for kids, how was our oldest going to handle this and how was I ever going to have a life again if we had 2?
Well, she walks out of the bathroom looking like a sheet of white. She just sat down and we just dropped our jaws on the floor and said “What do we do now?”. Seriously, what on this earth are we suppose to do now?
She stands up “I knew it! I knew it! And I know I’m a couple months along and we haven’t prepared for anything and haven’t a thing (from the first week we were pregnant with Saffiya we began buying pampers and formula each and every week and our home quickly began to look like ToysRus – we even had aisles! But, we also gave much of that away a couple of years after Saffi). But now, at this moment, this is what SHE was thinking of? Hey, I was having a moment here. There is going to be another ‘it’. I’m the one that is going to be with 2 ‘its’. How are we going to handle that? What about schooling and nursery and how do you handle 2 kids in the car at the same time? And here SHE is starting about not being prepared for anything and we haven’t started getting ‘stuff’?
Now, you must understand my wife. She is completely compulsive when it comes to organization, lists, everything in its place – and most of all, preparation. Everything is a lot of preparation! I realized a long time ago, that marrying an American was the highlight because we were never never never out of anything in the house, everything was labeled, organised and in its proper place. She knew what we needed to do tomorrow, next week, year and 10 years from now – she colour codes everything (see image) AND she had an app for just about everything.
Well, now any romantic evening for us is shot (and probably for the next while). She calls her doctor to get a booking for the weekend.
That weekend, we go in, looking like we haven’t slept (because we haven’t) and the poor child isn’t even born yet. Our oldest is clearly confused as to what is going on as she trails in behind us testing out every available hanging gadget she can get her hands on. We get in with another doctor because her other one was booked and this little old Egyptian lady walks in after the little confirmation test they did, and says “Mabrook Habibty” (Arabic for Congrats sweetie). She asks how far along she is and we don’t know.
As she starts to do the ultrasound, my wife says, “I think maybe 2 months”. The doctor starts laughing, “Habibty, you are 19 weeks! You didn’t know you were pregnant?” She is laughing hysterically. My wife starts to cry “Momma, why are you crying?” and I just about fell over. This was not happening. I had to sit down. Saffiya is asking what is on the screen and the doctor starts talking to her in Arabic and explaining. Saffi’s eyes become as big as a cup and her smile became the only thing that stopped my wife’s tears. The doctor then stops and says “Do you want to know what you are having?”
In the Arab world, there is a great deal of mixed customs and ideas about what gender is preferred. I’m Arabic and even with pressure from my family and friends “You need a boy. You need to carry on the family name”, I enjoyed having a daughter. I always saw women as strong. My mother and my sisters were all strong and independent women and I respected that very much. And I saw how our oldest was growing up to be such an amazing creature that I thought it would be nice for her to have a sister, too. But, again, I never thought it was in the plan.
“You are having a girl!” My wife started laughing and telling Saffiya she would have a little sister (she is now beside herself). I felt like I had just about everything in the world right then.
The doctor again asked how she didn’t know she was pregnant and we went through the whole story.
The next few days were a blur so they could schedule a different scan to accurately know how far along she was. And this time, the doctor says she is now 21 weeks. Are you joking? 1 week ago we weren’t pregnant. 4 days ago we were 19 weeks and now we are 21 weeks?! My wife now has refused to see the doctor anymore because she thinks the next time she goes in, they will say the baby is happening.
Everything was thrown out the window for planning. The lists started, the coffee runs stopped, the packs of pampers started piling up (we were now on double time). And, all the while, the little one, just kept cooking along, not bothering anyone just as she had the first 5 months.
The conversations with bosses, family, friends, Saffiya just took to the fast track. The books on ‘being a big sister’ were being read every single day. Wife pulls out the “What to expect when you’re expecting” and just opened it halfway through the book and then ends up tossing it “I give up – expecting is not part of this now”.
We were happy, scared, thrilled, worried, stressed, shocked and watching Saffiya talk endlessly to everyone she saw about her little sister coming soon.
Kinzy (which is Arabic for Treasure) was what I really wanted to call her. My wife informs me that there is no way we are going to name our daughter after something that sounded like a Powder Puff Girl. “How do you expect her to put a ‘fafi’ name like Kinzy on a name plate on a company when she owns it?!?! She needs a strong name!” But, I was determined. I was putting my Arabic foot down on this. My wife, put her swollen, water retention foot on top of it. I knew I was stuck.
She did agree that she would look to something that would incorporate Kinzy. That would work as a compromise but there was no way. So, she starts on Google, buys a name book, consults the stars (or whatever she as doing at that hormonal point). She found “Mackenzie”. And there we went.
Did the lists work? Yes, as usual, she was right on this. Did we get organised? Yes, very quickly. Were we ready? Not at all. Did I figure out how to handle 2 kids in a car? No. I am still working on that (but I do have a ready supply of just about everything ever needed in a vehicle in the event of a baby/toddler meltdown, projectile vomiting, headache, fever or Armegeddon). Did we figure out schools? Yes, thanks to a pretty great system in Dubai that actually ‘wants’ to work with parents instead of just tossing their hands up and throwing you on a non-existing waiting list to watch you squirm.
I have 2 beautiful, healthy girls. Did I want a boy? No. I wasn’t looking for either one with the 2nd. But she found us. I have, however, come to rely heavily on my wife’s lists. She’s even got it to auto-remind on MY phone (isn’t that just so great of her?!?!). And, it just seems that no matter how prepared you think you are, life is going to throw some very interesting curves your way just to keep you on your toes. And somehow, things just seem to work. They work differently, but they work.
We all have our lives planned out when we are young. Everything down to the moment. Even if we don’t know where we are going, we know we are going and we point ourselves in the direction. We should never feel like that curve that gets thrown our way is anything other than a new opportunity. I say that now because I’m not fainting looking at an ultrasound machine and because there is no way another baby is happening. But, I can say that it taught me a valuable lesson – the curves are thrown at a daily basis and I’m catching them. The moment you don’t, things start dropping.
Now if I can just find a way to get rid of those damn apps on my wife’s phone!