Getting Ready for the Baby!

Sweets

Caitlin and her parents admire the sweets at Buzz!

I apologize if this post seems off topic. I just couldn’t bring myself to blog about social media this weekend (book be damned). Baby due was the obvious topic. Besides this is a personal blog, and it follows my whims.

The time is drawing near when our first child will come. Caitlin just passed the eight month mark last week, and we’ve had two sets of parental visits. Heck, there’s a crib and a car seat in our possession now.

I know many people have walked this path before me (billions right now). For us, parenthood has come late. Caitlin will be 40 in December, and I am 38. As the Dad, it’s really starting to become real for me now. It’s stunning to me to see a crib in my home.

Two years ago, this didn’t even seem possible. I questioned whether I would ever be a father. So for me, this is twice as sweet.

I can sense the baby inside of her (sonogram and pregnancy pics here). In fact, I think it can tell when I am near and hears my voice. The feet or hands can visibly be seen poking out her belly. And when I lay my ear on her belly I can hear the baby move sometimes.

We don’t know the sex, but the names have been set: Soleil Maya if it’s a girl, Zachary Thomas if it’s a boy. I can’t wait to meet him/her. Our birth plan has me receiving the baby and handing it to Caitlin.

I know for a while, the baby won’t be able to do much, but from what I hear it will be amazing. Watching the baby grow strong enough to raise its head, crawl, then walk, and then talk. Wow.

Getting ready and what it might be like are all I really think about these days. Even when I think about the book, it’s about getting it done in time for the baby.

So it is to be this expecting father. What were your memories when you were this close to the birth/arrival of your first child?

8 Replies to “Getting Ready for the Baby!”

  1. Oh Geoff, what a wonderful, touching post. How great it is to go into this with such gratitude and to be so conscious about what an extraordinary thing it is to be a parent. I do a lot of cool things all the time, but NOTHING can touch what being a parent has meant to me. We are truly at opposite ends of the spectrum. I have a year until my 2nd and 3rd children (twins) go off to college and I become an empty nester. As a single mom for most of the past 20 years of parenthood I am very enthusiastic about what is to come. But, I remain as enthusiastic as ever about what it means to be a parent.

    Sometime I’ll send you words of wisdom…my kids are pretty cool, and I’d like to think I had some part in that…tho I believe pretty strongly that they are born pretty much with a personality and our job is to NOT screw that up :)

    Can’t wait to hear your thoughts once the baby is born. Nothing can touch it!

  2. Geoff,

    My “baby” is 17 and choosing colleges. It goes by in a blink, my friend, so savor the moments and decide right now that you’ll find a way to balance your time so that you are a constant.

    To answer your question — for some reason, I knew that the first thing I wanted to do was kiss my new baby’s forehead. I have no idea where the idea came from but in my head and heart, it seemed so tender and so dad-like. It became very symbolic for me…a way of officially welcoming my new child into the world and into my world.

    When I held my baby daughter for the first time, I did exactly as I had envisioned. I very softly pressed my lips to her tiny forehead and silently thanked God for giving me the opportunity to be her dad.

    It all sounds a bit melodramatic in the re-telling, but even tonight some 17 years later, as I kiss her forehead when I say good night, In my head, I whisper “thank you” because she truly is the greatest gift I have ever received.

    You will adore being a dad. Soak it all in.

    Drew

  3. My kids are just 3 and 6 so I remember waiting for my first to arrive very well. I know the feeling of having everything set up and sitting in the baby’s room thinking of all the wonderful moments we’d have in there together. My girls are the most important thing in the world to me and you will treasure being a Dad more than anything else you do. But I do want to offer another perspective just so you’re not caught off guard in the event that your experience is like mine and that of many of my friends.

    Adjusting to life with a new baby can be hard, especially if you’re used to living as an independent couple that comes and goes as you please. They don’t typically sleep for more than a few hours at stretch at first, so neither will you. Many things that “should” be natural or easy can be a little bit of a challenge at 2am or when you’re sleep deprived, like breastfeeding, swaddling, and setting up the baby swing. A simple trip to a park or a friend’s house requires packing up supplies that in your non-parenting days would have meant you were going away for the weekend. There is no jumping the car for anything, you need the bottles, diapers, wipes, extra clothes, toys, car seat, stroller, etc. Making plans requires a new level of coordination because there is a third person in the mix now. You will both need to be home to take care of the baby and want to be home more for family time.

    I’m *really* not trying to harsh the new baby mellow. Having kids is AWESOME. I wouldn’t have had a second (and she did not come easy) if it weren’t. There’s not a single thing about parenting you’re imagining that isn’t true. It IS wonderful. There are just a few things about the beginning, the adjustment period, that can be a little rough. If you have that experience, just know that it has happened to a lot of people and you’re in good company. And it will pass and life will be wonderful :-)

    Best wishes to you and your family.
    Laura

  4. Geoff:

    My first is now almost 13 weeks. It’s been the longest and the shortest 13 weeks of my life. Longest because it feels like she’s been a part of our life for so much longer than 13 weeks and I can’t imagine my life without her. Shortest because I’m not back at work and my 12 weeks at home with her just flew by. Every day some new aspect of her personality comes through, and it’s amazing to watch.

    Just know that during the first few weeks, you will be worn out. You will be frustrated when she/he cries and cries and cries and won’t stop and you don’t know what to do. All of which is totally normal.

    From someone just recently where you are now, it’s a great ride. Enjoy every second. (And savor your sleep while you can!)

  5. Wow! What an open, honest post Geoff! Although it doesn’t surprise me – you showed me the ultrasound when we met at sobcon. I thought (in admiration), wow, way to share in the excitement! Not many dudes have an ultrasound of their unborn baby in their back-pockets. I am looking forward to reading how this sweet experience continues for you. Congratulations!

  6. This post has brought tears to my eyes. I too never thought I would be a parent but lo and behold, I had a gift in a daughter. I can remember being so eager to meet the baby, wondering what they looked like, who were they?

    Elizabeth’s Dad loved Lizbet from the beginning and has been a good father all these years, even if the marriage failed. He pegged her personality in 4 weeks (how did he know?!?) but he got it, she is *just* like him, just the feminine version. The first three months for me, really the first two years, were exhausting from all the hormonal things related to birth, the after experience and nursing.

    I am grateful for every moment and have never stopped considering my daughter a gift in my life. She is 19 now and growing fast with her own life. I still cherish every second we spend together.

    Welcome to the gift of parenting, being intimately a part of another person’s life that changes you both into better people for the time spent together.

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