I suppose I should go ahead and introduce myself, explain what I’m doing here, and let you know that I am in no way qualified to give any parenting tips. I’m a 32 year-old Wisconsin native. I’ve lived in the state my whole life except for a 3 year stint in Omaha, Nebraska. My daughter was born 3 weeks ago (she’s perfect obviously), and my goal is to relay my experiences as a first time, new father. I’m sure my experiences won’t be that different from any other first timer, but I enjoy writing things on these here Internets, so that’s what I’m going to do.
Now onto the part where I use the title of a Tom Petty song to relate my experience so far.
At 10:30 p.m. on December 16th, my wife’s water broke, and the process of my daughter’s birth began. And what a process it was. Let me tell you, television lies to you about childbirth. Heading to the hospital, I was expecting to be holding a baby in an hour or so. The birth process as I knew it was 1) water breaks, 2) wife pushes three or four times, screams a lot while you hold her hand, and out flies a baby. The actual process was 18.5 hours long, and involved me holding my wife’s leg while she pushed. The doctor shows up after about 3 hours of pushing and basically catches the baby. It is scary as hell. That night in the hospital was the longest night of my life (and certainly worse for my wife obviously). This was my first experience waiting for my daughter to do something.
The parenting experience is overwhelming at times (especially the moment she came, when I was crying so hard I couldn’t form words for about five minutes), and amazing at others. But what has struck me so far has been the waiting. My entire day has basically been waiting for stuff to happen. Waiting for her to want to eat, waiting for her to stop crying, waiting for her to wake up to eat, waiting for her to fall asleep, and perhaps most important, waiting for her to finish pooping before changing her diaper.
My daughter has been as good as I have any business deserving. One thing is absolutely clear though, things are going to happen, and they’re going to happen when she is damn well ready for them to happen. My world has turned into her world where I merely exist.