Having a wife who is 38 weeks pregnant means your baby will be here any minute now. And when I say any minute, I mean any minute! I could be watching baseball tonight and the baby could decide to come. Next week I could be coaching my step-daughter’s soccer game and the baby could decide to come. When I’m about to start the next paragraph, the baby could decide to come. I think you’re starting to get the idea.
That is one thing one of the books mention, the feelings of sheer panic every time your phone rings once you’re close to your baby’s due date. It feels like I haven’t blinked all week. Why nobody thought to mention this when writing all those “So you’re going to be a Dad” books is beyond me. So now I’m telling you. Be prepared for an unparalleled level of anxiousness! The best description I can provide is, it’s like sitting on a bomb of happiness and you can’t see the timer; you know it’s going to go off soon but you have no idea when.
Over the first 8 months of my wife’s pregnancy, I was filled with thoughts like “Oh, still plenty of time to go”, “I’m sure we’ll be prepared soon enough” and “I’ll get to that tomorrow” Well guess what? Tomorrow has arrived!
Being so close to the baby’s due date, the gravity of the situation is starting to hit me. I’m still as excited as ever, maybe even more so now, but since this will be my first baby. I’m starting to grasp the fact that I don’t even know, just how little I know about babies.
I’ve read all the books; I’ve talked to other parents and tried to get as much advice as possible. It seems like the more I read and more questions I ask, the more I realize how much I don’t know. That can be a scary feeling for someone having a new baby for the first time. Especially when you’ll be the one staying home with the baby for the first 35 weeks like I will be.
The good news is, I think as far as things the baby needs, we are actually quite prepared. The baby’s room is all ready, the car seat is installed, we have all the clothes, diapers, toys, and whatever else you can think of. Our baby “go bags” are also packed. My wife’s go bag has clothes for her and the baby, diapers, slippers, a bathrobe, as well as many other useful things. My baby go bag contains chips, crackers, 8 cans of RedBull, Nutella, deck of cards, phone charger, and a couple pairs of shorts and t-shirts. I went with a bit of a different strategy as you can see.
Ultimately, I guess it really doesn’t matter if I’m ready or not, this baby is going to arrive shortly. I feel like once she’s here instinct will take over. Millions of people before me have done this and millions of people after me will do this. My anxiousness will turn into joy; my fear will turn into love.
So some day very soon, my phone will ring, and we will be on our way to the hospital for probably the most terrifying and exciting day of my life. I will be doing whatever I can to help and support my wife, drinking can after can of RedBull, bite after bite of liquorice until this baby decides she ready to arrive.
Until then, I’ll continue to sit on the bomb of happiness waiting for the inevitable KABOOM of happiness, love, and excitement.
[Editor’s note: Ryan did not have to wait long. His daughter, Charlotte, was born less than 24 hours after he sent me this blog post. To read more about the birth, check out Ryan’s blog.]
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.