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Expectant

  • Tagged The pregnancies
  • Commenters Grandma Amy, Jeremy

We scooted off to Wisconsin for a few days of relaxation before the new life begins. On the drive up, Sarah read to me a journal that Syd kept throughout Adrienne’s pregnancy, a record of his adjustment to his new role as an expectant father. So much of it was a pleasure to hear. Some of the highlights:

  • Syd refers to Sarah as “he” throughout the entire thing. They didn’t know for sure either way, but everyone else was sure of it. For our friends out there who keep hearing they’re having boys… you never know.
  • They nickname her Moundy.
  • They go through the same ritual of adjustment we do: looking at each other and saying things like “There’s a person in there.”
  • The past was weird. Hospital practices just 35 years ago seem bizarre to us now. To keep a perfectly healthy baby in a nursery, away from her mother, for days, only to bring her in for feedings?
  • Even though they had decided to use Lamaze and go natural, he gets fed up with the natural birth dogmatists. “I think I’m going to tell the next person who wants to be glad for us that we’re going to be so natural that I’m going to bite off the umbilical cord. ‘Haven’t you heard? It’s the latest thing!’”

Most of all, for me, the document helped buttress a particular thought that’s been floating through my head in recent weeks. This will seems obvious, but I never, ever thought of it in these terms until just recently: My parents were once in our position. My parents were once married without children, then married and expecting, then expecting and a month from having a baby, just as we are now.

As long as I’ve known them, my parents were parents. That was their main identity. This whole time I’ve prepared to become a dad, my main conception of parenthood has come from them. Me as the trainee and they as the unwitting mentors. Suddenly it occurs to me that at one point, they knew about as much as I do now. They were newbies, having the same thoughts, worries and hopes that Sarah and I do now.

As surreal as this thought is, I’m pretty sure I find it comforting. I haven’t decided yet. It does help me get comfortable with another thought I’ve had: no one in the history of parenthood has started off as an expert. My parents, Sarah’s parents, your parents — they all figured it out as they went along.

2 Comments

Grandma Amy

May 15 / 00:16

Jeremy

May 15 / 10:04
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