The secret fears of fatherhood

by Matt Mecham on October 15, 2007

in Dad Stuff, Uncategorized

With twenty weeks, the half way point, in sight I find my thoughts filled with how we’ll adjust to life with a newborn.

I’ve had almost twenty weeks to think about this but it becomes more and more real each day. Indenti-kit images of a grinning gurgling baby staring up at me are being replaced with the impending reality. While we’re out shopping I take a sly glance at baby clothes and try to imagine them in the context of our lives; filled with our grinning gurgling baby and then spinning in the washing machine. It still seems amazing that we’re going to have a baby. This simple truth still makes an emotional impact when considered.

I have secret fears. I won’t even get into the fear of feeling nothing when our newborn is presented to us in the delivery room, that’s just a ridiculous thought, isn’t it? It’s obvious to anyone that a newborn is a lot of work especially as we’ll be training on the job. Nights broken with the piercing cries of a newborn and mountains of dirty nappies. Chores of love, but chores nonetheless. Unconditional love is strong, but will I feel the same when I look down and her face is twisted from an hours screaming?

Overly dramatic philosophy aside, it feels good to be at twenty weeks. Once we’ve had our anomaly scan we’re going to start our shopping. Although that in itself is a huge and daunting task. There’s a lot of buy and prepare in readiness for a new life. I’m really looking forward to it.

First, we need to clear out our ‘spare’ room and get it painted and carpeted so we can move the office, and then make the office a nursery. Anyone good with a paintbrush?

We’re going to have a baby. We’re really going to have a baby.

{ 5 comments }

1 MarkP October 15, 2007 at 5:27 pm

Its very emotional, I simply couldn’t put into words whats its like to hold, and see your baby for the time. It is simply indescribable, well for me it is but it is a VERY VERY happy time. :D

The only bits of advice I will offer at this point is don’t buy any expensive gadgets, as none of them seem to work IMO!

o_O and make sure you pack some food and drink in Debbie’s labour bag!

I can sort of work a paint brush ;)

2 dtb October 15, 2007 at 5:49 pm

Thanks Mark – I honestly cannot wait for that day.

And feel free to come round to help us decorate!

3 MikeJ October 16, 2007 at 5:08 pm

As a father of 3 and my wife working on our 4th (27 weeks along) I can tell you from my experience that i was numb when they handed my children after “the birth”. The hours of screaming from her (and me :-D ) seemed like sensory overload. It wasnt that i didnt feel anything, it was that my body and mind were already overwhelmed with the experience of birth which in itself was like no other experience on the planet. After I settled for a few minutes and picked up my son(s) all those fears kinda went right out the window and a feeling of joy and wantingness to care for took over. Its called Paternal Instinct :-D

The best advise i can give is, just let life happen. Kids are very resiliant and have personalities of thier own from day 1, they learn and grow from thier parents and you will be amazed when you see how much like you they are and how diffrent they can be. Im 33 and never thought i would be a father and now i could not imagine my life without my children. I wish you and your wife all the best.

4 dtb October 24, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Thanks Mike, that’s very helpful. I run through many scenarios but I am aware that nothing can truly prepare you. I really can’t wait, though.

Mark, thanks as always. Your comments and emails are very helpful. I’ll have to buy you a drink soon.

5 MarkP October 28, 2007 at 5:37 pm

Matt: Is that a promise? and as always you are very welcome!

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