panic about babies

Sarah and I started to try to conceive, and after a test in mid-August found that she’s pregnant!

So I’m very excited. And very, very nervous.

We’ve been married almost 4 years, and I’ve resisted the idea of being a parent for a long time, mostly through anxiety of all of the massive challenges of parenting, and plunging into the great unknown. We’ve both wanted to be financially prepared, and fairly well grounded in our work. While I’m still working from home contracting, we’re about as stable as we can be, and being in our late 20’s we thought it was a good time to start trying.

So I was technically mentally prepared when we started trying, but I’m discovering that no one is truly ready, perhaps especially for fathers. I’m trying my best to learn as much as I can before now and the due date (will likely be mid-April)…the hard part is parenting books are a sure-fire way to raise my blood pressure, but thankfully Sarah bought several (including the one above) that are a terrific combination of hilarious and informative.

The biggest thing is, I’m feeling all the feels. All. The. Feels.

Without being able to tell many people about it…

We’ve told our parents (though not first, our bosses were the first to know to give them as much of a heads-up as possible, followed by the Cheese Poet…because Sarah is on a sudden unpasteurized cheese hiatus), and am very glad to be able to share our joy/excitement/nervousness with them, but we’re also looking forward to being able to tell everyone else. We’ll aim to tell everyone by around the week 12-14 mark, but it’ll be tough to wait until October!

The strange thing is feeling so much, but not being able to even really place what the feelings are. I’m really looking forward to being able to share our news, and to talk to others about it, and ask for thoughts, experiences and advice. Some of the things rolling around seem to be:

  • Accepting that I’m entering a new stage of life, and to really face that I’m getting older, moving from being a young man only responsible ultimately for myself to a father jointly responsible for our child. I’ve heard that a man often doesn’t truly become a father until he holds his child, and all parents feel they won’t know what to do…but I often feel like I’m in over my head, I can only trust that when the time comes we’ll manage.
  • A new appreciation of all my parents did for me. I know this will only grow as we take care of our new child and see how much hard work and dedication it takes…
  • Concern for Sarah’s health, and for the baby. Concerned knowing that it’s not safe yet to assume the baby can be carried to term as Sarah is only about 7-8 weeks pregnant right now, so feeling like it isn’t really real, and yet incredibly real at the same time. Waiting with trepidation for when the baby is further along and more fully developed.
  • Strange sense that life is getting both smaller and bigger. I know that in the short term our life will shrink as we focus on caring for our new baby, but also have the sense that this new adventure will help expand my perspective and hopefully see the world through fresh eyes.
  • Being aware that we’re bringing a new person into the world, without knowing what they will be like at all. Sarah keeps reminding me that they’ll love us as their parents, and we’ll raise them sharing our interests with them, but it’s okay if they don’t share them, they’ll develop their own.
  • The sense that all of this is impossibly big, I don’t even know where to begin or what to think. I’ve been very preoccupied, and haven’t known what to write about. It feels strange as I write this to know that I won’t publish this for another month, but am glad to at least get these thoughts out in some way, and look forward to sharing them as well as writing more once we’ve been able to announce that we’re expecting.
  • Feeling a weird kind of stasis, in that our world has changed though everything around us goes on much like it has before, heightened by the fact we can’t yet tell many people that our life has changed.
  • I’m sure every parent goes through this, but I feel that since we knew Sarah is pregnant I have been following the news particularly closely, and as I watch things like the looming threat of military action/invasion of Syria, I wonder about the world we’re bringing a child into. I’ve often thought of resource shortages, overcrowding, mass starvation in a world of 7+ billion people and wondered about the morality of bringing another person into the world, but my hope is that our child may be someone that contributes greatly to the world, even as I still try to find what it is I can do with my life to make my existence worthwhile and meaningful.
  • All of this forces me to face and examine my life in a way I haven’t before. I feel as if my life, my priorities and goals are in a new light, in a good way. In many ways, I’ve lived contributing in ways I am glad of but without any long plans or aspirations, I hope that this may be prioritize and shape my life with new vision and direction, and make the best use of the time I have left.
  • I fear that I will be less physically/mental available for the next while, and hope to make the most of the fall and winter to spend time with friends and family. We’re entering an especially busy time as community associations and City Council start in earnest again, and we move into the Budget 2014 and Municipal Election 2014 year. Though I may not be physically available as much after the spring next year, I am hoping that I can continue to follow everything happening, and keep in touch with everyone involved, and to keep writing through the process.

I am trying my best to see this as a new adventure, and look forward to being able to share it with everyone!

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