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Acknowledging Mortality with a Baby

My wife’s roughly five weeks away from delivering our first child (again, a girl, it’s our first, that’s the lowdown). Overall it’s been a pretty normal pregnancy; nothing really exciting–which frankly is a good thing. As she’s getting bigger (naturally), she’s officially to the point where she wants the baby to come out already. Her friend told her that she should count down to full term (37 weeks) rather than the full 40, and that’s helped greatly with her mood.

But enough about her.

Let’s talk about me–and this huge weight coming down on me called mortality. Never in my life has the finiteness of life felt so real and heavy… until now. It’s hard to describe. It’s not a “Fear that I’ll be a bad father” or an “I don’t want to have a baby” thing; far from it. It’s just that I’ve never really had to truly take into consideration another human being’s life to this extent–and this is not a dig on my wife, she’d get along fine without me if something were to happen to me.

But I’ve created life (with help). And that’s no small task nor no small responsibility.

The decisions I make mean more now. Where I take my career means more; carries more weight. How I treat my health matters more. How I talk, act, think… it’s cliche, but it truly is a different ballgame.

My dad said it best last week: “Well, son, welcome officially to being an adult.”

And it’s true. It seems like during the 4+ years I’ve been married, my wife and I have been playing “House” all this time. Almost like all this time, we’ve been living in a cloud of delusion that although we work hard, life is pretty easy overall. And that’s going to change.

Maybe that’s why I feel mortality weighing me down. Because if something happens to me, it’s not just my wife I’m leaving behind, but something that much more special: my child.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m really excited about my kid. I’m finally beginning to see myself with the infant, not just the kid. I’m beginning to feel a connection; a sense of belonging to the whole situation.

Am I the only soon-to-be Dad that’s ever felt this way? If you’re a soon-to-be Dad or are a Dad who has been there, let me know.

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