We just had a big BERFday in our house!!
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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!
(P.S. It was really fun to click “Add to Dictionary” for Mazen!)