On November 5th 2012, my wife gave birth to our first child. During the pregnancy I decided that I would write about the experience. Every week since I have documented all of the events that took place throughout this time, along with my thoughts on them. Now that I can confirm that our baby is happy and healthy, I will share those thoughts with you.
Week 5 – Acceptance and Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster
After getting used to the initial news, things fall back into some sort of order. We’re at the point where we are getting ready to tell our families, and despite Jess getting dizzy and having stomach issues, things are mostly normal. However on March 14th, Jess asks me to pick up a couple of baby books. The usual “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” that everyone has to get, and another “The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy.” The moment I put these books in my hands, it immediately became one of the most uncomfortable feelings I had ever had.
Up until that point there was no way for anyone else to know I had a child on the way. I had not told anyone and was not planning on it for another week. All of a sudden I had proof in my hands to everyone around me what was going on in my life. I suddenly got nervous that I’d see someone I knew and that they would know. Then the word would be out and I’d have let the cat out of the bag. I remember specifically thinking I’d rather be caught with porn than these baby books (guys look at porn, no big deal). Even condoms (yeah, so I have sex, what of it?). I’d even rather be caught with tampons (whatever, we both know they aren’t mine). But those books were the first real sign to me that this is real, and everyone is going to know about it.
A couple of other things that are real. 1) I’m turning 30 this year (as is Jess), and 2) We’re going to need to move into a house before this baby turns one since the apartment we are living in just does not have the room for two and a half people. Very suddenly 2012 has turned into a pretty big year for me. My 20’s are ending, I’m starting to look for a house that we not only like but can afford, and (if you haven’t forgotten by now) I’m going to be a father. If the Mets somehow make the playoffs I think I’ll just drop dead out of emotional overload.
Just the next day I started to really experience the mood swings a woman goes through with pregnancy. Jess had been having a hard time with nausea and what would turn into a cold, so naturally she wasn’t in the best of moods. While I was at work she kept telling me how lucky I was to be out of the house, since she was feeling specifically cranky. When I get home she is just a mess. Blanket over her because she is freezing, but I have to get her ice chips in a cup because her face is on fire. She then tells me about how freaked out she is about not only giving birth to this baby, but how we’re going to take care of it. All of this complaining leads me to make a comment about when she might start “glowing” as I hear everyone say pregnant women do. This may be one of the worst timed things I’ve ever said. Her eyes drove lasers right through my face. If she had not been so weak I may not be alive to tell this story.
However just minutes later as I tell her I am done folding the pile of her clothes that she was ready to throw on the floor in anger before I got home, she got incredibly emotional and told me she loved me. She totally realizes she can’t control her emotions and can’t do anything about it. At this point I realize that for the last week I’ve been going food shopping, making dinner, doing the dishes, washing and folding the laundry, and cleaning up after her. How can she be worried about us taking care of a child? I’ve been practicing parenthood for the last week. Such is pregnancy. Such is married life.
Before the night is over I am sent on my first late night pregnancy run. Not for fast food, not for ice cream, but for Tylenol. She was feeling so awful that she needing some kind of medicine, and it turns out that Excedrin, NyQuil, and anything else we had was off limits for anyone with child. After a google search it seems that Tylenol is one of the few types of medicine she actually can have, which is of course the only type of medicine we don’t have. So off I go to Walgreens. I pick up a box but before I leave I see Tylenol: Cold/Multi-Symptom medicine. Faster than you can ask me for a favor (I know exactly how fast I can be asked now) I am looking up whether or not you can use this while pregnant. That’s twice in about 20 minutes I’ve searched that. I have a feeling there should be an app for that. After getting the okay from my friends at Google I get back home to my wonderful, now sleeping wife, who forgot why I left in the first place. Such is pregnancy. Such is married life.