Fatherhood is imminent

Wow, the last time I posted anything about our upcoming baby, it was an ultrasound done at about 3 months. I had been hoping to provide more updates about how the baby and my wife Megan were coming along, but I got caught up on other things, including focusing on getting our house and the baby’s room ready.

Well, the big moment is imminent. We’re a few days away from Megan getting induced (unless we can jumpstart labor on our own) and a few days away from meeting our baby girl. (At least that’s what the crew at the birthing center has been telling us.)

So this in all likelihood is the last time I’ll be writing something as a guy, i.e. not a dad. It’s kind of a weird feeling.

I know parenthood is something that happens to so many people, so the event really isn’t that unique, but because it hasn’t happened to me yet, I still can’t wrap my head around this notion. I just have to wait to our baby to arrive, and see what happens from there.

In no way do I expect it to be that easy, of course. I understand that labor will be quite the experience, and even more so for Megan. I’m as ready as I think I can be to help her get through it. One hand will be doing whatever is possible to help her (hold her hand, rub her back/neck/shoulders, feed her ice chips, get crushed by her, etc.) and the other will be holding a camera, ready to capture Baby Lee’s arrival.

I’ve read several books and articles on the dad’s role in pregnancy and fatherhood. I’ve gone with Megan to the childbirth class and read through the corresponding materials. And when it’s time to go to the birthing center, I’m planning on bringing only reading material that’s related to the task at hand.

I’m actually quite relieved to feel pretty comfortable talking about all this. It wasn’t that long ago that I had a big a-ha moment of the enormity of the situation while staring at different baby strollers. As in, “Oh my god, I’m looking at baby strollers because soon I’ll have a baby to put in one of these!”

The last time I realized I had such a big moment of realization was when I was at a hardware store in Seattle looking at the best tools for the yard of the house we just bought. (“Oh my god, I own a house!”)

Now it’s all coming together. I realized how far I’ve come along when I was talking about how proud I was of our updated bathroom and its low-flow, five-star flushing power toilet to a new co-worker who had just graduated college. I don’t know if the recent-college-graduate me would have been able to relate to all that stuff the impending-father me just spewed out. The younger me would have thought all that was, well, dorky.

But the current me kind of gets it now. And to think there’s so much more to come once that baby arrives. How am I going to feel the first time she looks up at me? And smiles? And poops? I know I’m going to be changing her diaper many, many, MANY times, but is it because I have to as part of my fatherly duties, or because I want to because I will absolutely adore her and don’t want her to feel the least bit uncomfortable?

And then there’s the whole thing of having to be a parent, to not just take care of her, but to actually RAISE her, to keep her out of trouble, to make sure she becomes a good person who, in roughly 18 years, will be able to fully take care of herself?

This is when I start wondering if I’ll become more like my dad. Not in any bad way, mind you. He’s a good man, and I think I turned out well because of how he and my mom raised me. But rather, is it that generational thing where you want to be your own person but come to find out you do have some similarities to the ones who raised you, because duh, you came from them? Where when you say something, you catch yourself and think, “Whoa, that sounded a lot like how my dad would have said it”? That’s happened to me a few times now, and where I once freaked out and thought, “No no no, that’s just weird and wrong,” I think I’m more indifferent now when I catch myself doing that. I wonder if I’ll continue moving down that line of thinking, to the point that when I find myself acting more like my dad, it’ll be a relief?

And then there are the things that I’ll have even less control over, and this part really scares me.

I worry about what kind of world my daughter and her potential siblings will be growing up in. The economy’s in the tank. Our money situation is OK, but anything can happen. Our country and this world are being run by people who for the most part don’t care about making life good for us all collectively, but rather about keeping themselves and their cohorts in power. In poker terms, I don’t like thinking about the hand Baby Lee and the next generation could be dealt.

But what can I do? I guess trying to answer that question is what’s driven me to read and prepare as much as I can to be a good dad. And when my daughter arrives, I’ll take care of her, and Megan, as well as I can, for as long as I can, however I can. (Heh, if Megan and I do a good job, then way down the road, she’ll want to take care of us!)

But first things first. I just need to concentrate on the fact that soon, I’ll officially be a dad. And Megan will be a mom.

And the two of us will become the three of us.

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~ by davidllee on February 19, 2010.

5 Responses to “Fatherhood is imminent”

  1. i stumbled upon your blog from my dashboard through tag surfer. and i’m glad i did! i know, i became a parent a year ago AND that’s the best thing that has yet ever happened to me and my husband. Congrats!

  2. AND I’LL BE A GRANDMA! THIS MAKES ME VERY PROUD OF YOU, AS ALWAYS. LOVE YOU! Grandma Mary

  3. that made me cry a little bit. 🙂

  4. David, I was just reading this, it’s very touching and well stated, I hope Megan and you all the luck with Baby Lee when she get’s here.

    I’ll have to make a trip up to Iowa to meet Miss Baby Lee 🙂

    All our good wishes to you both, and Grandma Mary 🙂

    Love

    Candie Potter-Emery

  5. […] really couldn’t have gotten my post about the anxiety of fatherhood out there any later. Just like my baby girl’s time inside my wife, yesterday’s post was […]

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