Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Knock knock...

One man's view on life, love, law

It's going to be any day now. We've done the childbirth classes, she's done the breast feeding classes (surprisingly, a lot to learn), and I've scheduled the baby boot camp for new dads. I know it's coming, and I still don't feel prepared. I must be missing something, right? What could it be?

How would I know?

I know that, as I've discussed with my lovely wife, women feel the baby move and are constantly pressured to deal with its reality and its growth on a daily basis. It's easier for men to be in some denial, I think, because it's not as immediate or concrete.

Believe it or not, this baby is somewhat theoretical, even still.

One website puts it as follows, regarding a father's feelings at childbirth:

"Fathers who are present at birth are, more often than mothers, captured by the baby immediately. Whereas women may need minutes, hours, or a few days to feel connected to the baby, fathers often feel the power of this connection at the moment of birth. Unless the mother or baby is in some danger just after birth, the father is likely to find these moments life-changing and exquisite. These feelings are often blended with a sudden awareness of exhaustion.

A father also experiences new feelings about his mate. He may speak of his amazement at her courage, strength, and endurance during labor. He now faces the task of integrating his memory of her in labor with his previous knowledge and feelings about her.

A father may have to work through feelings he experienced while supporting the mother in labor. One of the most common feelings fathers speak about after labor is that of helplessness. Unless he is told, a man may not know how much his presence and emotional support really meant to the laboring woman.

A man may also feel that the labor experience has altered his whole life view. He may have gained a sense of the miraculous and spiritual, of a deeper meaning to life.

Not all fathers, of course, are able to share the birth experience. A lot of fathers who missed their babies' births worry that not having been there will affect their relationships with their babies. Birth is a special moment in the parent-child relationship, but it is only one moment. The years of child rearing provide many other shared moments that are just as important in the development of a relationship between father and child."

True that.


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