It’s been 9 long months since we found out on January 1st that we were going to be blessed with our sixth child.  A son that another family has already named Matthew.  He is due on October 3rd of this year.  At 6′, 170 lbs, Matt will be our biggest kid, but perhaps more significantly, the only one  to arrive promptly on his due date.

Since I am one of the first of my group to add a member to their family via marriage, many of my friends are watching me in earnest. Ever since Emilie got engaged, I have been besieged with friends telling me that they hope I will get some “on-the-job-training” at the Art of Wedding Planning so that I can assist them when their time arrives. While I don’t have any desire to be an actual Wedding Planner, per se, I am intrigued by the concept of becoming a “Wedding Midwife.” I’m picturing myself in a purely supportive role – standing by with experience, wisdom, sage advice and an endless amount of empathy.

Here is my step-by-step overview on how to bring a new member into your family. As with all gestational periods, it can be less daunting if you break it down into manageable sections:

The first trimester:
A flurry of activity! You will conceptualize the entire event during this time. A ring is purchased and a date is circled prominently on the calendar. Immediately following the excitement of conception, and before you can even catch your breath, the development process begins. You start to give shape to seemingly minor details that, while barely visible to the naked eye at this stage, are extremely important down the road.  A venue, caterer, florist, cake and DJ are selected. THE DRESS must be chosen with the utmost care and attention, sparing no expense.  And, don’t forget to buy something flattering for your Bride to wear as well- you’ll want her to look pretty that day too.

The second trimester:
The second trimester is a bit calmer, as the major components for success are all in place. This period of time can and should be spent primarily on Growth Management. Lamentably and per the usual, we didn’t do this very well – our wedding is off-the-charts enormous. This won’t be the first time we brought a kid into our family with an appalling lack of commitment to the curtailment of excess. Don’t panic if this happens to you. Maintain your focus and after you bring this whole thing to fruition, you can rein yourself in, exercise some self-discipline and, hopefully, get things back to the way they were before you were expecting.

The third trimester:
At the beginning of the third trimester, it will occur to you that you are finally getting close. This is the time to check and double-check that everything is “good to go.” Sleep will start to elude you while you lay in bed imagining the approaching day in your mind. Along with joyful anticipation, vulnerability, fear and anxiety become your closest companions, as you start to visualize every single thing that can possibly go wrong that day. Towards the end of your last trimester, exhausted and spent from waiting and fretting, you’ll just want to get it over with, no matter how it turns out.

Your Big Day:
When the long-awaited day finally does arrive, you’ll be surrounded by well-wishers, supportive friends and family. Sure, you’ll be nervous, but you’ve prepared for this day for 9 months.   Plus, there’s a really nice man who will hook you up to an IV and give you drugs to ease your way through the experience…

Scratch that last part, it’s just a bartender with a glass of champagne. I’ll probably say, “I do” and take two.