What to expect when she’s expecting

My plan was ambitious, but also simple.  Once a week, blog about becoming a Dad.  I gave myself no limitations in terms of length or style.  A blog entry of “nothing really happened this week, but did you guys see New Girl on Tuesday?”  would suffice.  Yet here we are, several months since my last post, with this being the first on my impending fatherhood.

My laziness and inability to set achievable goals for this site aside, why haven’t I had much to say?  Because, for the most part, everything about pregnancy from this side of the equation is almost impossibly gradual.

Aside from a handful of big events, there’s really nothing earth-shattering to deal with during the first and second trimesters. The exceptions are obvious ones, too. The day I found out and when we told everyone else. Alissa telling me wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t cry. Neither did she. We smiled, embraced, and then couldn’t stop smiling or embracing. Simple as that.

Telling everyone else? That was a bit more complicated.  I probably cracked first.  I told a coworker I felt I could trust within a few days (though it may have been hours).  Then another.  And another.  Alissa couldn’t keep it in that long, either.  Eventually, we decided on the right time to tell our families.  Two (exceedingly rare) events were upcoming where every single member of our direct families would be together in the same place at the same time.  That settled it; my family came first at a birthday party for my Mom, and hers came a little over two weeks later at a Christmas gathering.  I’m not sure I’ll forget my Mom’s stunned reaction to the ultrasound picture, or my Father’s grin that stayed in place the whole night.  Or my nephew’s impossibly bright smile when he read the news to the family.  And I missed a few reactions along the way.  By Christmas Eve, it was public knowledge.

Announcements were really the only dramatic part for me.  Really, as a Dad, there’s not much going on.  I probably should have seen that coming.  As I was reminded in Church this week, I don’t actually give birth.  I expect to do a bit of coaching.  I’ve been encouraging.  I’ve given massages, made special dinners, and been sympathetic to a host of ailments (taking blame accordingly), but nothing physical is happening to me.  I didn’t endure months of nausea, discomfort, and erratic sleep schedules.  My body’s come out relatively unscathed, really.  And emotional changes have even been incredibly slow.  I don’t get weepy when I hear “Cat’s in the Cradle”, but I’m pretty sure it’s inevitable.  I’m noticing an increase in sensitivity to various Dad-centric stories, but that’s really been all so far.

In some ways, it’s a lot like being a fiancé.  It’s mostly waiting and planning.  Planning has played a large role, but it’s a temporary season in life.  Perhaps even more than being a fiancé, since there’s a pretty standard window for pregnancies.  I can’t put off the birth because this relative can’t make it in May or that reception hall only has an opening in October.  Maybe that makes it feel even more like a transition.  All in all, the months between October and July of 2012 and 2013 have felt pretty far beyond my control.  But in the best way possible.  So I wait, anticipating nothing to be the same ever again after June 25th, 2013.


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