I’ve already shared my thoughts on nesting and preparing the baby’s room. In the last few weeks, I’ve been mentally preparing for the baby’s arrival. Within a few weeks, we’ll have a new person living with us who is entirely dependent on us for everything.
I often compare babies to puppies because my experience up until now has been with bringing home a puppy. I remember the level of excitement with both of our dogs when we got them. I distinctly remember the first night with each of them. It hit me that I would not get a full night’s sleep for 6-8 weeks. I committed to take them out in the middle of the night to avoid any accidents in the house. Let’s face it, peeing and pooping in the house are the hardest part with a dog. Unless you’re terribly unlucky, that ends quickly.
I bring up the comparison with a puppy because I am so excited for my daughter to be born. Since I’ve been able to consistently feel her kick, I’ve been seriously counting down the days. Labor is not going to be easy for my wife and I will do my best to support her throughout. I found a great resource called Supporting Her to prepare myself. I’m also well aware that any “training” will go out the window when the urgency sets in. I’m as ready as I can be for all of that. I’m working on my preparedness for taking the baby home.
I’ve heard a few dads describe the feeling of leaving the hospital and driving home with their new baby. The consensus has been one of being dumbfounded that they now have a baby to take care of. Within a span of a couple of days, they went from just being a couple to being parents. It sounds similar to that feeling when you get home with the new puppy. It usually came with the thought, “What did we do?” Obviously, I know that will subside and I will trust my instincts.
There is this excitement that my daughter will be here so soon and potentially born on my birthday. It’s easy to get lost in the thought of what is to come. I’m working on taking stock of our here and now. Making sure that I am as ready as I can be without trying to overthink and over prepare. You know, like a Boy Scout of sorts.
For the first time since my wife got pregnant, I’m sitting here with a nervous excitement. It’s now real. I understand that it gets real for women almost immediately when they find out they’re pregnant because there are so many changes. I’ve asked other dads about when it got real for them and there are differing answers. For this future dad, it is now real. At 36 weeks and 3 days.
To My Daughter:
We’re so excited to meet you. I’m going to take the best care of you that I can. I’m going to make some mistakes because to err is human. I will remind you of this so you never forget it, I love you. We love you. Having you is already the best decision we ever made. See you soon, little one.