rehearsals

February 27, 2007

This last week  there’s been a few opportunities to practise for the big day, as A and myself have attended some pre-natal classes, and also picked up some tips for labour. Although, given the nature of the woman’s ordeal, this could sound ridiculous, I wasn’t aware of quite how much the responsible male was meant to do.

Breathing, contractions, foot massages, warm bath, pacing up and down, reassurance, rubbing a small foam ball over the stomach and back…it’s all part of the game plan. The ‘calming influence’ is probably one of the more amusing (and, coincidentally, vital) roles I need to play, since everyday recently when A has had a one-off contraction, my reaction has been to bolt up with huge eyes and exclaim,”Is this it??!”

But of course, my role is the Supporting Actor to the stars of the show, and, when it really is ‘game on’, I’m looking forward to tossing my metaphorically well-worn script on the ground and bringing it home. And, as in most things, there’s plenty to be thankful for. Someone told me last week that there’s a tribe in the Brazilian interior where the man sits next to the woman during labour as she squeezes his penis in proportion to the amount of pain she is feeling at any one time.

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be ready

February 20, 2007

Well, in about a week’s time the baby would not be classified as ‘premature’ if born. So although going full term puts the birth in mid-March, in theory, if she’s good and ready, my expectancy might enter a new phase somewhat sooner…

And, unlike a trip to the cinema, or a dinner date, I can’t pencil this one in. It’ll just

happen.

Without (much) warning, the point that will forever separate ‘before’ and ‘after’ will arrive.

I feel like I should have some kind of detailed game plan written down, beyond the basics (e.g. call the doctor and go to the hospital rather promptly).  Some kind of motivational, chest-thumping, deep-breathing mantra to repeat aloud as I step into fatherhood.

But I think I’ll just go with the flow. One minute, I’ll be sitting around, working, perhaps reading a book, eating a bit of dinner…and the next. It’s game on.

unconditional

February 16, 2007

As the date of the birth approaches, people ask me if I’m feeling scared.

And to be truthful, I’m not afraid about things such as the baby’s physical health, will everything be perfect…

The thing that gives me pangs is for my daughter to know she is safe

and loved

unconditionally.

This I want more than anything else.

the future is almost here

February 13, 2007

One month to go. Before

life

changes

forever.

Holding my little girl and looking in her eyes. I imagine it everyday.

Caring for her fragile body, protecting her, providing the best conditions for her development. I fearfully anticipate it everyday.

Seeing this life blossom, grow, and become the woman she was meant to be. I joyfully forsee it everyday.

For some reason, I think I will always be expectant.

back again

February 6, 2007

Apologies for the delay in posting – last week was incredibly busy. The clock continues to count down, though since there’s another 5 or 6 weeks to go, I probably shouldn’t reference the countdown every post.

This last weekend A held her baby shower, or, as they call it here, ‘the tea of the baby’. This is not a tradition practised in Britain, though I think it’s common in the US. Fine by me, since many items on the ‘need to buy’ list were gleefully ticked off. That said, having a baby seems to be ludicrously expensive. We went into a popular store here to purchase a few more ‘essentials’ and it’s amazing just what you can buy. Of course, it’s no use asking the on-commission staff whether they think that a particular gizmo is required. Most packaging proclaims the necessity of ownership of the item for one’s baby’s health, colour awareness, and chances of getting into a good university (probably). As I reach for some alarming denominations of notes, I normally stifle observations such as ‘I remember being perfectly happy exploring the inside of a cardboard box’.

That said, I definitely enjoyed buying one of these kangaroo style pouches with which to carry the baby on your front, leaving both hands free for whatever other task you’re vainly trying to accomplish at the same time. It makes me feel like some kind of 21st century man to imagine strutting around, baby going before me whevever we wander,  attracting approving glances from women and looks of pity from men.