Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Second Trimester

It sounds weird, but over the past two trimesters, our baby has become more real to us.

It’s not that I didn’t believe it when Diana told me that she was pregnant. For some reason it just didn’t sink in.

Then I heard the heartbeat and I felt like a dad for the first time. After that there was the sonogram pictures where I could see our babies head, hands and feet. Then we found out that “it” was actually a "he" and he began to “kick.”

All of these things are mind-blowing and emotionally unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. There’s nothing like feeling your son kick, or do whatever kind of motion that he’s doing when you touch your wife’s abdomen. I know that he probably doesn't know it's me when I’m near but I can’t help but think that he’s saying hi.

The second trimester in some ways is easier. Some symptoms weren’t as bad as during the first trimester and our families and close friends know about the baby so they share in our joy.  Also there’s the excitement about preparing for the baby. In other ways it’s a lot harder. Other symptoms are more difficult, the stress of preparing for the baby rises and I feel like Diana needs more help from me on a daily basis.

No, I’m not saying that Diana isn’t doing anything around the house or that I’m waiting on her, but she’s more tired and therefore needs to be more selective about what she does with her energy.  Some of that means that I’m doing more dishes and dogs walks than usual. That’s okay, she is carrying our little boy around all day long.

Now I’ve always felt protective of Diana but these feelings have reached a new level these past couple months. I trust Diana and she’s doing an amazing job of taking care of herself and our boy but I still worry. At this point a bad fall could have devastating consequences and at any moment something can go wrong without any warning and we could be on our a way to the emergency room.

The shift in my life this whole last trimester is centered on the fact that everything I do has significant consequences. Before Diana got pregnant, if I lost my job, it would effect myself and Diana. Now there’s a baby coming. With everything I do, I feel like I have to be more careful so I don’t put the baby in a bad situation.

This feeling of responsibility is almost petrifying, but I can’t take a pause. The baby is coming and he’s going to need me to have my life together. There’s so much swirling in my head right now, and every minute seems to matter, because each passing minute is one minute closer to holding my little man in my arms.

I jokingly tell people that this whole being a dad thing is terrifying, and it is. I’m not afraid that I’ll drop him or not know what to do. What’s scary is that there is much unknown and so much that could go wrong. The worst scenario is unthinkable and I’m worried that my luck will run out. Nothing in my life has tested my faith more than watching Diana experience pregnancy.

Then there’s the moments when we are sitting on the couch and Buffy’s head is in Diana’s lap. Then Diana will take my hand and bring it over to feel our little boy moving around. All that other stuff, all that pressure, all the worries and all the fear, just disappear and everything feels right because we’re a family.

I’m beginning to think this is what parenthood is going to be like: constant struggling, unexpected problems and an endless list of things to do. And then sprinkled throughout that are moments of love and joy.

That doesn’t seem so bad.

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