My baby has arrived early September 2019, a bit ahead of schedule, taking us by surprise. On one night, we jumped out of our bed and rushed to the hospital only to learn the new chapter of our life is about to start.
“I wish someone had told me” - I remember my partner going through books and internet pages after we found we were expecting a baby. Some of them were painting “a real picture” of pregnancy, childbirth, and having a baby - often focusing on the painful and stressful part. We got scared. We felt like most voices we heard were telling us how hard it is all going to be and how little we can prepare for what’s coming.
I’m not going to do that. This blog is my account of our journey, and so far, I enjoy it like anything else before. There are things I wish someone had told me, and there are things we figured out by ourselves. I will put things that helped us to prepare or overcome stress here with hope you’ll find them valuable.
I’m not going to tell you that pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood is a walk in the park. Neither I’ll claim, this blog will give you some universal “real” picture. Experiences like these are coming from our journeys, and each one is unique.
As a dad, I found our pregnancy enjoyable and rewarding. There were times when we were anxious, clueless, or dreaded with any thought related to baby and preparations we needed to undertake. Things weren’t going according to plan, and we got our fair share of stress and pain.
On the spectrum of possible birth scenarios, ours went smooth. Don’t get me wrong. There was middle in the night wake up call, crazy (but safe) drive to the hospital. That was followed by uncertainty what’s going to happen next; anxiety if everything is ok with my wife and our baby; and eventually blood, screams and weird medical equipment in the birth room.
In retrospect - and for a person who didn’t have to push a small watermelon out of their own body - I realise how many things could go wrong, but they didn’t. And if there was pain, blood or stress, we did the best we could and stayed together, supporting each other.
Of course, one could paint the same journey in darker colours, but we decided not to. I chose my version of the “real” story is the one that is worth reliving over again.
The first of the things that nobody had told me was that I have a hidden vault of love dedicated to this tiny person. A vault that cracked open with the sight of his first breath drew in this world. A moment full of emotions so unexplainable that has to be experienced individually. I don’t even know if there is a way to convey this kind of feelings without being there. I wasn’t aware of their magnitude.
When I’d committed to being there with my partner and experience from the pregnancy and birth everything a dad or a partner can, I didn’t know what to expect really. I’ve done it mostly because I was curious and I realised I wouldn’t get a second shot to become a dad. I decided to be as close as I can to my partner and our baby - from the time he was growing in her safe belly, through coming to this world, and during his first months with us.
If there is one thing I want to tell you right now - regardless of where your journey is going to take you, it’s a once in the lifetime experience, make the most of it. The moment of my baby boy took his first bubbly, choky breath left me speechless. It was when I truly realised the difference between having a child and becoming a dad. I finally understood that having a child is an external, biological, or legal state while becoming a dad is an internal and personal transformation. At that moment, I was tired and sleep-deprived, but all I wanted is for time to stop so I can be in that moment forever.
If you have a possibility and still wondering what to do, be there for them, and yourself. Spend all the time you can with your partner and the baby and relish those magical moments of becoming a dad.