Let’s just say life happened and leave it at that? 🙂
Quick recap of July till now:
– August: Moved into our very own house! Adorable little 3 bedroom 1940’s cottage. Corner lot. Fenced in yard for the dog. Firepit. Basement for Ryan’s mancave. Extra room(s) for Emily’s sewing (of which I haven’t done a bit since probably June).
-September: Yay! We’re pregnant! Due first week in June. Happy Birthday to us. (both of our birthdays are in Sept)
-October: Stuff at work gets complicated for a little bit… much better now!
-November/December/January: Dominated by holidays… and we find out we’re having a baby girl!!!
Whew. I’m exhausted thinking about all that. I feel even more overwhelmed thinking about how a year ago we were going into debt, living in an expensive apartment in the city, and were looking for the open door to whatever was next in this great adventure. And now here we are. Wow.
The Pregnancy Adventure
The day before my birthday I took one more pregnancy test. The faintest line… but it was a line! There is a child inside of me. I am, now and forever, a mother.
It took a few weeks to sink in, and during that time I had my first few panic attacks. My body was doing crazy things. I felt everything. Usually I just needed to fart, but I was too scared to move lest I hurt the baby. Now the universe was laughing. “Just let it out.” So, while I cried, I laughed at myself and practiced the meditative act of letting go… even if it just meant letting myself fart right now.
I know, I know… TMI.
For the first few weeks, that stuff, and a miserable cold, were the only things bothering me. I was hopeful that I would avoid the dreaded morning sickness. WRONG. I slammed into that wall at about week 8. It gradually got worse and worse until I landed in the ER twice for dehydration. I gave in and took the medicine from the doctors. I’m still on it at week 24.
This experience completely defeated me and sent me spiraling into misery. “If I can’t even handle a little morning sickness, how on earth am I going to survive labor?” This also symbolized my complete and utter inability to keep my own anxiety at bay. I sat in the nursery, cried, and rubbed my stomach saying “You are loved. You are wanted. I’m sorry Mommy is a silly basket case. It’s going to be ok.”
And I have been given so much joy in the gift of my daughter. Hearing her heartbeat, seeing her on the ultrasound, feeling her kick me in the bladder for the hundredth time… she is my gift of joy.
What can I say? My wife wanted a birthday present and I “delivered”. In all honesty though, becoming a father has already given me the greatest joy of my life… and she’s not even “here” yet! I have learned more about myself as Man than I have in my entire life before. I’ve heard that women start to feel like mothers when they get pregnant, and men start to feel like fathers the first time they hold their child. In my experience this is definitely not true–while it took a couple months to “sink in”, I definitely feel like a father already. I’m concerned for her safety, already planning what to do when she starts to like boys, but most importantly my little girl has already started to make me a better man.
I’m not saying I’m the “perfect” husband (yet), and I still indulge myself with more recreational time than is probably necessary (I have to get it while I can, right?). I will say, however, that something inside of me is no longer content with just existing. Wash the dishes, snow blow, get up early to let my wife sleep in…sure! I don’t always take joy in these things, and admittedly put them off as long as I can justify it–but there’s something stirring deeper in me that finds these jobs more fulfilling when I do them. That’s all I can really express about that, but I’m sure my wife has wondered if I’m “feeling ok” when I do things with a bit more initiative.
Other than that little bundle of joy, and the continual growth she encourages in me, there’s not much more to say. As much as I’ve learned about being a father, and as much as I think I know about being a parent, I’m sure I’ll be kept on my toes every day of my life from now on. I probably wont get a good night sleep for a while, will always worry about money, eye every boy her age with suspicion, and have to try as hard as I can not to be overprotective–but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My little girl has reaffirmed my belief that we should live every day of our lives for someone other than ourselves, and I have been blessed to be able to do that for two women now. When I have other people to focus on, it makes my needs seem much more trivial. When I have infinite graces to be thankful for, the worry, self-doubt, lack of control in life, and everything else really just takes a back seat. This life with my wife, and now the life growing inside of her, are the best graces I’ve been granted so far, and I can’t wait to see the fruit they bear!