My life’s a bit of a blur right now. For those of you who follow me on Twitter and Facebook, you know that my wife–being about 39 weeks pregnant–has been having some blood pressure issues and been placed on modified bed rest. For those of you who know my wife, this doesn’t exactly mesh well with her always-on-the-move-with-ambition personality. We’ve had two hospital visits for testing already where if any test went south, the doctors would induce.
Up and down, up and down the emotions go. Is it going to happen this time? Are we going to make it to when the baby wants to come on her own? Who knows?
And the uncertainty is what makes it so tough. (And, as Tom Petty says, waiting is the hardest part.)
Anyway, with endless waiting in the hospital and lots of late nights lately, I’ve had a lot of time to think. And I think the thinking breaks down into two categories of questions: Fears and Musings. Here we go:
- FEAR: What if complications arise and (God forbid, seriously) my wife doesn’t make it? Would I be able to handle raising my daughter on my own? I know people do this every day for one reason or another, but seriously, an infant? I can’t breastfeed. I barely if ever babysat growing up. I’m the youngest of three boys. I don’t think I’ve ever actually changed a diaper without supervision.
- MUSING: I’m supposed to be the smart one right now–why is my brain turning to mush? I can’t keep anything straight in my head. I used to be much sharper. In fact, just writing this post is taking tons of concentration when I’m better writing in stream of consciousness. I’m told this is normal for the men in the equation, but seriously, I’m supposed to be the smart one. Together, my wife and I make a great team–if that team made one functional brain between the two of them.
- FEAR: What if I see my daughter and don’t want to go back to work to prevent using daycare? Not that this is likely (or feasible given budgets), but I seriously considered being a stay-at-home dad. Even crunched the numbers to see if it was possible. Given our bills, it’s not, and that’s probably a good thing because I should continue working. And I enjoy my job, so that’s not the issue. But daycare is something I’m not terribly comfortable with, and the pangs of separation will be tough for me (once she’s born, of course).
- MUSING: What is it about the whole just-about-to-have-a-baby thing that makes me spout off that my wife is pregnant to everyone I talk to? Is that normal? I know it’s my first kid and all. And I’m not ashamed or anything. But still, seems odd. I’m outgoing, but not effusive about seemingly selfish interests.
- FEAR: Will I be able to keep my wife’s best interests in mind should the need arise to choose what’s better for the baby or better for my wife? I asked my wife the other day what role she wants me to play in the hospital. She told me that she will be focused on what’s best for the baby, and that it’s my responsibility to look out for what’s best for her. Wow, that’s a tough situation. Will I be able to make those decisions should the need arise? I hope I’ll be able to.
- MUSING: Let’s face it–the husband (or father of child) isn’t a necessary component in child birth; the way men are treated prove it. We’re an accessory and a walking honey-do list. For those of you who are just getting into pregnancy or are nearing my stage of it, get used to it. All questions will be directed either to your wife or about your wife when directed to you. Your emotions, wants, and needs are completely secondary.
And you know what? It should be that way. She’s carrying the baby. She can easily do this without you. So go along for the ride. Don’t put yourself in a position where she’ll WANT to do it without you. That’s just not cool.
Note: My wife has been EXCELLENT about asking me how I’m doing. She knows she’s not the only one in this whole kit and kaboodle. I’m just saying don’t expect anyone outside of your wife (and possibly your parents) that will even think to ask you how you’re doing. It’ll be “Hey, how’s it going with your wife?” And that’s about it.
Dads and soon-to-be Dads, have you felt these ways? Do you know what I’m talking about?
In any event, my wife has an appointment this morning. We could learn whether or not she’ll be induced. We could learn it’s just a holding pattern unless something changes drastically until the baby is ready to come out herself.
Stay tuned. There will be pictures. I can guarantee that much.