This post is just going to be some random thoughts, feelings and experiences from my perspective of being a soon-to-be father. Not much in the way of practical information or advice, here. Enjoy.
It is so funny how once you start getting closer to that due date, you start feeling like, “What the hell? Is that baby ever coming out”? I can only imagine how Theresa feels, who is actually caring her around. I will hear her stomach growl and I’m like, “Do you think that was a contraction? Should we go to the hospital?” I think that, as a guy, you just start to have this “when will it happen” feeling because you are so excited and there is just this whole unknown thing about when it will happen. Some people go early, some go late. So there is really like a one month window where it could happen at anytime. I’ve been told by some guys that their wife was just driving them crazy complaining all the time so that might be another reason for others. 🙂
The number one question people keep asking me is “are you getting nervous”? The funny thing is, I’m not really nervous at all. I am extremely excited and I certainly hope everything goes as perfectly as it can but I’m not really nervous. I mean, everyone tells you that having kids is the greatest thing that will ever happen to you so why would I be nervous about that? I know my life is getting ready to change in ways I can’t imagine but that doesn’t mean that stressing about it will help.
One of the questions/thoughts I have had is, will I love her like a crazy person like all other parents love their kids? I always hear people talk about loving their kids so much more than anything else in the world and that it is just this whole other level of love. I already love her, but I’m also pretty crazy about Theresa. It seems hard to imagine loving someone else the way I hear parents talk about their kids. Do people get these crazy feelings of love for their child the instant they are born, as they grow up, does it get stronger over time, is it the greatest when they are infants, etc? I know this is an unimportant question to have but one can’t help the thoughts that pop into one’s brain.
One of the really fun things that has been happening lately is that I’m starting to feel super motivated to become a better person. I want to be the best possible father that I can be and in order to do that I need to do some growing. And I’m not interested in growing at the typical snail’s pace that I’ve been moving at, either. This baby is going to be changing and developing everyday so I feel like I better be too. I want Brooke (baby’s name in case that hasn’t been said) to know that she can do anything with hard work, discipline and a vision. I believe that the more I can improve as a person, the higher it will help set her ceiling for personal development. Ever notice how when both parents are doctors, the kids don’t typically end up flipping burgers? Anyway, some fun and aggressive goals will be getting posted about soon.
I suppose one piece of advice that I would give to all the first time dad’s-to-be out there is to attend a birthing class. I know, I know it sounds super lame but Theresa signed us up for one and I ended up enjoying it. I read The Mayo Clinic book on pregnancy and it was great but I thought it was really nice doing the in-person class. Our class was hosted at the hospital that we are going to deliver at so we got to tour around the hospital, figure out where to park, what the rooms are like, etc. It was also nice to be able to ask a person who has been involved with delivering babies for 30 years some direct questions and not only get some science but some anecdotal advice too. I just feel like we are significantly better prepared and will be less stressed when the day comes. I might still be freaking out, but I feel like I will be less freaked out.
There is just so much to think about and to plan for and I acknowledge that I don’t even know the half of it. Normally, I like to have as detailed of a plan as possible for how things are going to go, but for this occasion, I’m going into it being very flexible. I don’t want to set any expectations for labor or the first few weeks of having her. I simply want to be present and in the moment.