I often think about how great fatherhood has been. I come home to see my son smiling after a nap. I get to feed him and give him baths. These are all things that give him a kick. Thankfully, he has been sleeping through the night, growing quickly, and remaining healthy.
I sometimes think that my wife, Rose, and I are lucky to have such an excellent baby. Then, I realize that, on the rare day that I am home all day, he does cry a little. He also requires more attention than the diaper changes or tummy time that I offer on my down time. My wife has a full-time job when she is with him and she has been exceeding expectations in this role.
One reason that my wife has done so well is because she is organized like nobody else that I have ever met in my life. She is the opposite of me in this regard, and thank God. My son and I owe much of our good times to my wife’s planning from the beginning of her pregnancy; this is where her journey started and she went full-throttle.
She read books on pregnancy, books on motherhood, and even books on fatherhood. She figured that I would need a hand at some point. She made sure that she did everything according to the piles of books that she was reading.
She also set up all of the appointments and classes and tours and showers and trips to Baby’s R Us and everything else that expecting parents can do before the baby arrives!
Then it was time to birth my son. I was there. I offered encouragement. I took video of our time waiting for my son’s arrival. Ultimately, I was of no help. My wife had to do it by herself. And she was tough.
When it was decided that she was going to get an epidural (she held out for a few hours in the hopes of keeping things moving along), she was told that the doctor that was on call was the best — quickest anesthesiologist on staff — and that she would not feel a thing.
If this was true, I would hate to see the worst. I would hate to even deal with No. 2. The doctor was pleasant but only a turtle would call him fast. He was having trouble getting the dagger-sized needle in between her vertebrae. After 30 minutes of my wife sitting in a curled up position (with a large baby in her belly) and one slap on my hand (it had slipped onto a no-touch sterile zone on her back), he was finally in. She handled that session with zero complaining.
She was numbed and ready for delivery except for one thing; she was not numb at all. After we were separated, for what was supposed to be an elevator ride and a 5 minute set up, she could literally feel everything that was happening to her. The doctor performed tests to see if the epidural was working. It was not. After a couple of tests to see if she was just anxious or actually experiencing the pinches and pulls, it turned out that the original 30 minutes was not enough and she would have to sit though another 45-minute “daggering” before they would begin the procedure.
She had to go through this second round of numbing without me while I waited down the hall, not knowing what was taking so long.
When I finally got to see her, she did not complain either. She was so consumed with meeting our son that she was not going to let anything dampen her mood.
Finally, the baby came. I could tell that she was in pain but she did not really let on because she wanted to hold her son and talk to him as much as she possibly could.
I was so proud of my wife on April 24th of this year. She is not what you would describe as a large woman and she delivered a 9 pound baby like a champ. It was a very impressive day and I will see her differently for the rest of our lives together. She has always amazed me but this experience took it to another level.
Since the birth, she continues to step up her game. No two baby books offer the same advice. My wife has found a way to navigate through this maze of conflicting information and land at a place where my son sleeps through the night (starting at about 9 weeks old) and is a very happy baby.
There is usually only one day of the week that I get to be in the company of my family for a full 24 hours. It is on these days that I get to see my wife in action. She gets to enjoy having me change dirty diapers and clean baby bottles for an afternoon, but I am always impressed with how she is able to change the daily routine according to his wake-up time and keep him content throughout the day.
She is able to determine when he should eat, sleep, and play. The days progress seamlessly and I thank God that it is not in my hands to keep this boy in check because if something off-schedule happens (i.e. he wakes up early), I am thrown off. She handles this with ease.
I give her all of the credit for him being such a good baby. She feeds him just enough so that he is not hungry, she sets his schedule so that he is well-rested, and she lets him cry just enough so that he is not overly dependent.
I admit that I was not sure of what lay ahead of me when I became a father, but my wife has made the transition much easier. There are obviously hiccups every now and then but I must admit, I am having a great time. I believe that is all possible due to my wife’s commitment to our son and her unwavering diligence in raising him.