May 28, 2005

Birthing Class, Part I

Beth and I woke up bright and early to head to our first morning of birthing class. As I suspected, this was primarily an opportunity for me to nod and look interested. Not that I wasn't interested...there just wasn't all that much discussed that I didn't already know. But we did get a tour of the hospital where, in a little over two months, our daughter will be born.

The side-effect of this morning's little session, combined with a TiVoed episode of some TLC baby show that I happened to catch last night, is sheer panic. If I don't think about it too hard, I'm alright. Otherwise, my brain get stuck in this endless fear loop: holy fuck I'm going to be a father and something massive is going to come out of my wife and she expects me to have my shit together whereas I'm just worried about avoiding fainting and somehow not, over the course of the next 18 years, fucking the kid up.

I fully realize there are two emotional extremes here - sheer panic on one end of the spectrum and complete denial on the other. I'm sure I'll find the happy medium. Eventually.

Posted by Chris at May 28, 2005 03:30 PM

You're completely on track. And normal (maybe for the first time ever? jk!) And you're too intelligent to let either of those extremes take over. Parenthood is kind of pendulum-like, but not as predictable. Scary, yes, but in a good way. You were made for it, Daddy :-)

Posted by: Juju's Mom at May 28, 2005 03:53 PM

:-D I think you'll handle the birth better than you think. It's different when it's someone you love pushing out a watermelon, as opposed to someone on the TV. As far as not fucking the kid up--HA GOOD LUCK. My oldest is 4 1/2, and so far so good--but the first years are the easy part, I make no promises as to what kind of adults my kids will be.

Posted by: Ginny at May 28, 2005 03:54 PM

I've already planned my defense for when a 20-something year old Munchkin goes to his psychologist to blame everything on me. I figure I'll go with what worked for Hugh Grant. Fess up and accept the blame. And then go whine to my OWN psychologist.

Posted by: Queen of Ass at May 28, 2005 04:03 PM

i'd go for complete denial, if i were you. no sense in getting all worried before necessary. :)

Posted by: jodi at May 28, 2005 04:04 PM

I can't imagine NOT being nervous about becoming a parent. You'll be okay though.

Posted by: Spring at May 28, 2005 04:18 PM

You will do great, you're a very proactive dad-to-be. It's normal to feel panicky about, well, everything. :)

Posted by: A.K. at May 28, 2005 04:46 PM

For the first few weeks after my daughter was born (10 years ago, eek!), I kept asking myself "Okay, when are they going to take her back?"

Then you get used to it, and then you wonder how you managed to live without your kid(s).

Oh, and a lot of parenting is based on improvisation. I think you'll be great at it.

Posted by: Alison at May 28, 2005 04:56 PM

You'll both be great! The fact that you even are concerned about it means you'll be far better parents than like, 80% of the population. See? You are already ahead of the game.

Posted by: donna at May 28, 2005 04:57 PM

To be fair screwing the kid up is fun. You just try to make sure none of the big ones are permanant

Posted by: Chuck at May 28, 2005 05:14 PM

Not a doubt in my mind that before too long you and Beth will be showing the rest of us amateurs how it's done. I'm so excited for you both!

Posted by: lu at May 28, 2005 07:42 PM

I'll say it before, I'll say it again:

You are already a fantastic father. And if you're still worried, ask Beth if you're a good husband.

So there.

Posted by: alektra at May 28, 2005 08:52 PM

The old bit about you can't choose your family is true- you didn't choose your parents and the Beanette didn't choose hers- and aren't things turning out nicely so far?

Posted by: vicki at May 28, 2005 09:31 PM

After 9 months I've finally realized parenting is like training a drunken monkey - except the monkey is really, really cute.

And the birthing classes are useless. When Beth is pushing that kid out, whatever you learned will be the last thing on your mind.;)

Posted by: Stacey at May 28, 2005 09:43 PM

LOL - you sound like my husband. Only here he's had to endure way more than 1 class. Pre-Natal classes are 1 night/week for 2 hours for 8 straight weeks, + we have a 2 hour breastfeeding class + a 2 hour hospital tour. Though we've learned alot more than pain management: bathing, feeding, burping, changing, post-natal mommy care, umbilical cord care, etc... With all this information Cosmo Boy is feeling much overwhelmed.

Posted by: Marie at May 29, 2005 07:36 AM

Here are some words of comfort:
No matter how hard you try or what you do, always remember this, it will have been WRONG when they hit teenager years and you will be the STUPIDEST PARENTS EVER! As long as you're ok with that, the rest is easy lol!!! All parents screw up their kids, we just try not to screw them up like our parents screwed us up. So rest easy, you are in the company of major screwups all over the world :-)

Posted by: Nina at May 29, 2005 07:47 AM

Hang in there. And? breathe.
your 'freaking' is very normal, as I am sure you know already. And I agree with Allison completely, I remember looking at my hubby, who was lying on the opposite side of our bed, staring at our new little girl nestled between us. We were both thinking "can you believe they let us take her HOME?"

Welcome to parenthood, Chris.

Posted by: Cristin at May 29, 2005 10:24 AM

You know, the best part about this is, panic or not YOU HAVE NO CHOICE ANYMORE!!!! MWA HAHAHAHAHAHA, Lima Bean is coming whether you are ready or not.

You'll do fine.

Posted by: jen at May 29, 2005 10:54 AM