At some point in the next three to four weeks, I will be giving birth to mine and my husband’s first child. As the big day approaches, and while I waddle around in public, I get the inevitable question: "Are you nervous?" The truth is, not a single bit. And why should I be? I am completely educated and prepared, and I trust that my body knows just what to do. After all, this baby kept on growing inside me with very little effort on my part. I believe that it also will handle most of what needs to happen in order for her to move on out. I said, most.
I guess it’s normal to be nervous. All we hear about is the pain and agony surrounding childbirth. People enjoy warning you about sleepless nights, tons of laundry and the massive poops you’ll deal with once the baby is here. I block it all out. I’ve waited for this my whole life, and after a pregnancy loss last year, I couldn’t be more grateful to be large, in charge and pretty darn sleep-deprived. You can’t bring this momma-to-be down.
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In short, I cannot wait until I experience those first few signs letting me know that labor is beginning. I look forward to the entire process, not just to the amazing part when I meet my little girl. Then once she’s in my arms and a part of our world, I am eager to tackle all that first-time motherhood throws my way.
On the opposite side of the spectrum lies my dear husband. I think he’s quite nervous. Nervous about how I will act during labor, worried about whether or not all will go well and anxious about strapping his daughter in that car seat and taking her home.
I don’t think this is a unique situation. Moms tend to have it more together, as they have been well aware of the changes taking place since the moment that blue cross appeared on their home pregnancy test. At some point later on, it becomes real for dads.
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My husband’s switch turned on recently. With a bassinet in place, a birth center bag packed and diapers in our home, her impending arrival is hard to ignore. I’m not surprised that he’s anxious, considering what kind of dog parent he is. His anxiety doesn’t bother or offend me. I am aware that it’s totally normal. Most of all, I know that he knows that I have everything under control.
So while this first-time mom will go with the flow and trust her instincts, my co-pilot and first time dad just might be running to the phone each time the baby sniffles. And that’s OK. I’d like to think that our different parenting styles will balance each other out, at least for the first few months of our daughter’s life. Get back to me when it comes time to lay down some discipline.