Friday, May 6, 2011

In Which I Finally Understand

I realize I mentioned this last week, but due to a stomach bug that has left the Badass Geek household in a state of gastrointestinal distress, I'm going to post the piece I wrote about becoming a father that was originally published on DadsGood. I still can't figure out how I managed to quantify the emotions I had when Baby Badass was born, but somehow I did. 

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I’m a father.

I’m still getting used to saying that. Over the course of my life I’ve called myself many things. Musician, writer, photographer, fanboy, husband and human being. But father? Never that. At least, not until recently.

My wife put up with my misgivings about having a baby for a number of years. It took a lot of soul-searching and self-analysis to find a way to tell her why I wasn’t ready to have a child in a way she would understand and accept. I was afraid of losing my independence and self-sufficiency. I was afraid of losing control of my life as I knew it and losing the relationship with my wife. I liked things the way they were, and as the saying goes, having a baby changes everything.

She begrudgingly accepted my reasoning, but I could still hear her biological clock ticking away with maternal desire. Time passed by as it always does, and as our marriage developed I found myself realizing the only thing missing in our marriage was a child. We set about to make that happen, and were fortunate enough to become pregnant after just a couple of tries.

The pregnancy was a whirlwind of hormones and emotions. I have a feeling the term “emotional roller coaster” was coined by the responsible male half of the pregnancy equation. We made it through those 10 long months, and wound up in an operating room to have a c-section after 48 hours of labor with no real progression.

Sitting there in the OR next to my wife, decked out in disposable scrubs, I couldn’t help but feel like the hourglass of my pre-fatherhood life was dwindling down to the last few grains of sand. I looked into my wife’s eyes, trying to grasp the reality of what was about to happen.

The doctor asked for a scalpel. For a few moments, it was just my wife and I in the room. The noise of the equipment and the murmur of the doctors and nurses around us faded away to the background. There was an excited gasp, and then my daughter cried out for the first time.

I closed my eyes and squeezed my wife’s shoulders, unable to stop the tears because I finally understood.

When you become a father it’s not about what you lose. It’s how everything you have changes. All my fears disappeared the instant I heard her cry, because I knew from that moment forward I was responsible for this child. Worry changes into determination. Fear morphs into love. Apprehension into perseverance. Self-doubt gives way to instinct.

After the doctors cleaned my daughter, I got up from my seat next to my wife and went to see her. They handed her to me and I carried her over to my wife, holding her up so she could see her daughter while still on the operating table. I felt the world change around me. As it turns out, I’m not so adverse to change as I thought.

I’m a father. I think I can get used to saying that.


      

     


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Have a good weekend, everyone. 

15 Comments:

Melanie's Randomness said...

Ohhh CONGRATULATIONS!!! Awwww she is soooo adorable!!! Look at the lil toes!! So cute that you now have a lil one! Feel better too!!

The Tame One said...

She is BEAUTIFUL and you made me tear!

kristina said...

As I read it on the link you provided previously, I didn't read it again now to avoid crying again...

Cute little toes, beautiful smile - she is so amazing, isn't she?! ;)

zepdragon said...

Congratulations, she is beautiful indeed. I wish your family the best :)

N-i-c-o-l-e said...

She is just too beautiful. I also read this on your original link and had to avoid reading it again because I too would start tearing up. So happy to see the new pics of Baby Badass!!!

Chibi said...

Awesome post, Mike. She'll treasure this later. :) And she's sure a beauty!

TechnoBabe said...

This is one of the best posts you have written.
Great pics of the beautiful daughter.
Happy Mothers Day to your wife.

Girl At Rock Show said...

The picture of her toes is my favorite!

Sandy said...

Beautifully done, both your daughter and the post. You brought tears.

Chuck said...

What a cute kid! You are now in the best time of your life...bask in it and enjoy.

martine said...

She is definitely an extremely cute baby, enjoy:-) I like the way you are honest enough to admit your thinking and I agree that it is important to feel like you are ready to be a parent.
I just reviewed a book called 'The birth machine' and it is freakily like your description over on your Badass Baby blog about your wife's experience of labour. I do hope she is recovering well from the experience.
thanks for sharing
martine

Writer Ninja said...

Damn, was that beautiful. Such a great piece, and as always, Baby Badass is beautiful.

Badass Geek said...

Melanie's Randomness: Thank you!

The Tame One: Mission accomplished.

Kristina: She really is.

Zepdragon: Thanks!

N-i-c-o-l-e: She loves the camera.

Chibi: Just like her mother.

TechnoBabe: Thank you very much.

Girl At Rock Show: Mine, too!

Sandy: It brought tears when I read it to The Boss, the day after Baby Badass was born.

Chuck: I am. Believe me.

Martine: The Boss is doing very well. Almost healed completely.

Writer Ninja: Thanks, dude!

Kaylen said...

Congrats! So super cute.
And it's true--your entire perception of life changes and you no longer just look at things through your eyes. You are now trapped forever inside the eyes of this little girl. One of the things I am always shocked about is how my heart hurts when I see my sons heart hurt. It's so easy for my entire soul to be crushed, simply by seeing my son extremely sad over something and know that I can't make it better.

Your daughter is beautiful!! Best wishes to your family.

Affordable Insurance said...

She is so adorable! Love her pink little toes!

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