A great friend of mine who, incidentally, is expecting his first child called this “a cool, neglected blog”. He’s right. Well I’m back, and just in time it seems. In the last few days and weeks, no less than a half dozen of our friends have announced births, pregnancies, or planning. (I’d never heard the term “we’re pulling the goalie” in reference to family planning. I thought that was awesome!) With back to back birth announcements in the early part of this week, I felt relieved and immensely happy for the newly expanded families. The texts, messages, and FB posts all show beautiful babies and tired but radiant mommas. After the first few hours of delivery, you start to hear details of prolonged labors and unexpected procedures. But all’s well that ends well, right?
If you haven’t already created a birth plan, the options will be dizzying during the hours (or days) of labor and delivery.
- Do you want to cut the umbilical cord?
- Do you want to bank cord blood?
- Do you want to change the first diaper?
- Do you want to help with the first bath?
- Do you want to keep the foreskin? Like even after circumcision?
- Do you want a nursing coach? (“No thanks, I’m good. But feel free to ask the baby!”)
- Are you prepared for the awkward moment when the county asks you to sign a paper certifying that you’re the father, and how this certificate is binding even if you find out “other information” in the future?!?!?! Again, this stuff can be dizzying.
What I wish I kept from the birth of my children is how I really didn’t care about any of that. I mean I functioned well enough cutting umbilical cords, changing diapers and bathing (myself and baby). But I wish that I kept the focus I had on my wife and child during the long hours of labor and delivery. I wish I kept the complete lack of concern for the concerned relatives or friends wanting constant updates. I didn’t care about work or what was going on in the world. I didn’t even care about unexpected or unplanned events during labor and delivery. As the father, you just want it to be over and see your wife safe and your child screaming.
This seems unrealistic, I know. You have to care about the outside world, work, the extended family, and even yourself. I even feel you should be a little selfish, but the real world beckons. Heck, I took a break from this blog because I was trying to work again. Super lame. But every once in awhile, I have to be reminded of what my priorities are: Family First. I wrote about prioritizing and practicing with less awhile back. Remember those moments during labor and delivery, when baby and momma were the only thing that mattered in the world. If you keep one thing from the birth of your child, keep that.
I’ll write more about this and how to keep your eye on the ball in next week’s post: Time Management and the Real Reason Your Kid Can’t Tie His Shoelaces or Microwave a Bowl of Oatmeal.
Daddy Ninjas – What are some of your favorite or least favorite memories of Labor and Delivery?
And a big congratulations to D&E and baby A and E&B and baby O!