Waiting for The Day

We just had a big BERFday in our house!!

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I hope to write my birth story (I can’t wait to put it in writing!), how breastfeeding is going, what happened to my body and more – all coming in time. For now, here is the first of several posts that Matt has journaled about his reflections and thoughts on becoming a father.

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Liberating relief! Nope, that’s not what I imagined Mazen to be thinking on his birthday. It’s what I felt when Kath told me her water broke! I know that The Due Date is just a number and all– but I had been expectantly waiting for about five weeks for the birth. At 38 weeks I began consciously making scheduling decisions at the bakery that would allow me to essentially disappear at any moment if she went into labor. That meant training several new employees, covering my shifts at the Farmer’s Market, buying ahead on ingredients and supplies, and mentally preparing to drop everything at a phone call.

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Even with my planning the waiting was just grinding on me. There was definite excitement at the idea of “vacation” from work but simultaneously I felt worry that I hadn’t planned far enough ahead. And as each day passed, I felt like I needed to plan two more days to stay on top. After the due date came and passed, I began to have restless sleep where I would think her every move in the night was her water breaking or contractions beginning. Have you ever had the experience of buying a new gadget, or kitchen utensil, or piece of technology that you love and you become completely obsessed with it? Where your first and last thoughts of the day are of the exciting new toy in your life? And even in your sleep, you seem to half-dreaming, half-awake thinking about it? It was like that for me with the thought of labor beginning in the middle of the night. I would wake up completely convinced that earlier in the night she had told me that “today is The Day!”

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I was getting frustrated and cynically began joking that we were just going to be perpetually expecting a baby up into our 60s. When it really was The Day, it was so fun to tell people “I’m going to have a baby and I know it!” Even though it was only the water breaking and no contractions had started, it was like the vaguely defined future spoken by three witches on a heath had been lifted of its fog! Are a lot of people like this where they accumulate worry in the face of indefinites? Really, would you say definite indefinites? It’s like spending less on a piece of used equipment but knowing that you’re going to have some horrible repair in the future. An unavoidable future with a known ending, and the only question is when.

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Every day we deal with the undefined future – you have to make a presentation at work, you decide what to make for dinner, etc. We’re not strangers to instantaneously solving problems. I suppose it all comes down to preparation and expectations. If you can relax your standards of control over the unknowns in life and truly live in the moment, you can approach any problem like today is The Day!

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(P.S. It was really fun to click “Add to Dictionary” for Mazen!)

40 thoughts on “Waiting for The Day”

  1. I hope you get to put out your birth story soon. I’m due with my first (a girl) on Friday and can’t wait to read it.

    Congrats on your handsome man!

  2. How awesome of your work family to bake a loaf and decorate in his honor!

    I love how hands-on you are Matt; I would like to think all Dads in “this day and age” (yes, I sound old) are like this, but something tells me you are a little above and beyond the call of duty.

    It looks like you kind of like your little man :).

    So very sweet!

  3. Matt, it’s no wonder you and Kath are perfect for each other–you are a beautiful writer! Thanks for sharing your touching side of things as a father. 🙂 What a great post! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  4. I am just so happy for you guys! We’re expecting our first in 5 mo. and its been so fun to join in on your excitement!

  5. It must have been a long 9 month wait for it to be your turn to interact with the little man! So nice genus finally here to meet you 🙂

  6. I am so happy for you ! I can’t wait to hear all of it 🙂 ( we mom’s love this stuff…. and love to share out birth stories for the rest of our lives 😉 )
    welcome to the club!!!!

  7. Congratulations on becoming a daddy! Its so nice to hear a guys perspective on pregnancy and birth, looking forward to your other posts! Hope you and Kath are getting lots of rest and cuddle time with your beautiful boy 🙂

  8. I wish the docs would stop giving due dates-really. I guess parents to be want a day to focus on but AS YOU NOW KNOW 🙂 it can drive you nuts. ” sometime between March 1 and 14″ would be so much better. Did the phone calls, emails, texts drive you as nuts as they did me? ” You haven’t had that baby YET? Etc etc etc

  9. I just can’t think of a kitchen gadget even remotely on par with a brand new baby…I love my Kitchenaid stand mixer and all, but…
    Maybe I need to update my gadgets?
    All the same, congratulations and enjoy enjoy enjoy your baby!

  10. I did get the gadget reference, its exactly how I’d put it, but you did so much better. This was very sweet and can’t wait to read more from Matts point of view

  11. Wonderful post, Matt! ….I love reading your thoughts and emotions during one of the most exciting times in your life. — My husband (also Matt) and I just had our own baby boy about two weeks ago and I know that he had the exact same feelings of waiting and anticipation. He was just wanting to be the best dad he could be- even before our boy made his appearance.
    I wish you all nothing but the best, many happy memories, and long periods of sleep during the night!

  12. Congrats Matt!! My husband and I are frequent Kerf readers and we adore Kath’s blog. We are almost 12 years ahead of you in parent-hood as parents of 2 boys, and the best thing we can tell you is to enjoy every day! The fun has just started, and you will love watching him grow. Cheers!

  13. I think that the dads sometimes are more anxious than the moms. It reminds me of how EVERY time I would get up to go to the bathroom at the end of my pregnancy my husband would bolt awake and say; “is it time?” Ay yi yi. Congrats you guys; parenthood is wonderful.

  14. Yes! The wait seemed like a long one. Cliff kept saying, “We’re now in the window.” Glad you were able to take at least a few days off. Loved all the bakery decorations announcing Mazen’s birth. Soon, he’ll be helping you come up with new names for cookies and bread.

  15. Congrats on parenthood though I’m confused did you just compare becoming a father to say an iPad?! I love my iPad but it sure isn’t the same as a baby. For one thing, I won’t be responsible for it for the next 18 to 20 + years.

    1. It’s a creative comparison to help demonstrate a glimpse into his emotions – not a literal level of equal excitement.

  16. That level of unexpected excitement is just indescribable! I love the way you put it and I love you sharing the side of the man in this whole equation. I don’t think fathers are given the chance to share their experience as much. Thank you for sharing your side Matt! Congratulations to your beautiful family! Mazen is absolutely precious!

  17. loved hearing Matt’s perspective! I understand trying to make comparisons to different things… none will be perfect but thats just it, we equate to something somewhat similar, because there really is nothing on par with explaining the anticipation of having of a baby! Matt you are a great writer, and I’m sure you are a terrific dad already. Hope you guys are getting some rest and falling in love with your adorable little guy!

  18. This is a great post. I think it is absolutely normal that your thoughts were so fixated on when the day would be or when the water would break. A baby coming is a big deal and of course something that will change your life forever. So happy for the both of you and the beginning of this new and exciting journey!

  19. Very fun post to read! For those of us who don’t have kids (yet !) it’s hard to understand the emotions involved with having a baby so I really appreciate the comparisons Matt made to things I can relate to. He is also so sweet with Maze – I loved when he shushed in his ear!!

  20. Sorry for the late comment, i have only just got round to reading this… Matt what a lovely post, it’s so interesting to hear things from the dad’s side, it sounds like you have been amazing support before, during and after the birth (not like my husband who tried to get one of our rooms that he was decorating finished whilst i was in labour… i progressed too quickly though and he only glossed half the room!), you are both natural parents, Mazen is a very lucky little boy x

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