For the man that has no fear, I am afraid.
The last time that my wife was pregnant, I was ignorant. I was blissful. It was magical because I didn’t know what was coming. I could sit back and think that I would soon have a smaller version of me that would like sports and grits. I didn’t know if I was to have a boy or a girl but both were ok as I was going to be superdad. I never doubted that. I always thought I would be a good father. I am borderline psychotic with my level of confidence.
For example, I am almost 100% sure that this blog will one day go viral, I will reap millions of fans who cannot get enough of me and I will retire to Montana, far away from everyone. Like my cat, love me love me, just don’t touch me.
But that confidence needs to be held in check. It needs to be humbled. It needs to be corralled like a lion tamer in a 3 ring circus. I need to be reminded that at times I am not superdad and am nothing more than an extra on the movie set that is my wife’s pregnancy.
But that’s ok, because I am also sure I could be a fantastic extra on movie sets and retire to Montana.
I know that I am a bit player in this thing but that isn’t what scares the hell out of me. The first time around, I wasn’t scared at all. It was great. But now I KNOW. Now I KNOW everything that is coming. I realized that I was confident and cocky because I was an idiot. God help me, I just didn’t know.
Read any pregnancy book and they will tell you that a baby is ready to come on out at 40 weeks. I didn’t pay much attention to this the first time I heard it because I just assumed in 9 months we would have one half of the Wonder Twins. About 5 months into it, I was getting pretty beat down. I was tired. I was overworked and overlooked. Then it dawned on me: 40 weeks are not 9 months. Do the math. Yup, 40 divided by 4 weeks in a month, carry a one: bingo—10 months. Doctors in general are filthy, filthy liars. 10 months is a hell of a lot longer than 9 months when there is just no way you can give another backrub or hear the term Mucus Plug. When we went to the doctor this last time to get the sonogram of my new minion, I stole that little Pregnancy Wheel that gives you the exact due date. We are good to go on 10/7 and I’m holding that lying bastard to it. I check it everyday, just to make sure.
Also, do you realize how many times you have to go to the doctor? Seriously, the first 10 times are pretty cool, then it’s sapping your wallet. Everytime I hand over my credit card I think to myself, Why? Why is he telling me the same thing over and over? What’s the point. Come on man, mix it up a little. “Mr. Hossman, I just discovered that your new child has x-ray vision and is playing Motzart in the womb. You must be very proud.” If you are going to lie to me about 9 months, let’s go all the way. I’ll believe you. Who doesn’t want to believe that their unborn child is a genius with superhero powers! That lie is worth the 30 dollar copay man, come on, help me out here.
Then there are the health concerns of the wife and the child. My wife had gestational diabetes the first time around. We were barraged with books and concerns about having a 15 pound kid and that his could make them not breath. How much sleep do you think I got after that? We did a special diet and Little Hoss came out 8 pounds on the dot, so there wasn’t much need to worry. But do you have any idea how much I obsessed over this? I hired a nutritionist for Christsakes!
Who knows what Syatica pain is? I sure as hell didn’t and am pretty sure that I didn’t even spell that right. Why don’t they just call it “intense back pain that you can never stop and will be constantly blamed for”. Don’t butter me up, tell me like it is. What that meant was that there was a good 2 hour conversation letting me know what that is and ended up with me giving roughly 4 months of back rubs. What can I say, I’m not giving birth, gotta suck it up and do it. I hate Syatica, can’t stand it. I hate it so bad I don’t even care to look it up and spell it right.
Now welcome to actual child birth. This is the part where you are constantly shoved out of the way, blamed and charged for anything and everything. This is also when you start to get dumber. I don’t know why, but it happens. The day before, you are smart guy, the day of, and you don’t have any clue what is going but you are sure this is going to cost you a lot of money.
The epidural guy comes in and sticks what looks like a rafter’s oar in your wife’s spine. You hear her yell. All you want to do is give him the flying elbow from the top rope but nope, you are quietly cornered aside in the rocking chair. Heres your chance to be that extra in a movie stud, make the most of it. This is also when they tell you that this is not covered in your insurance, please produce your wallet. Jackass.
Finally comes the Umpa-Lumpa suit. This was made for a 5’2”, 120LB midget. I couldn’t even sit down in mine, it would rip. They stick you in a dark, cold room, then out of no where, after you have been waiting 15 minutes, NOW is the time to go, come on, don’t be late, move it dad. Yes, yes, I can’t wait to see my wife cut open, please, let’s hurry. And as they are cutting my wife up they were talking about the Ft. Worth stock yards. Listen, I want my doctors quoting Einstein, not cow size. Can we have professionalism?
Then they send you home. Insanity. Pure and simple. And then, because you didn’t know this either, there are certain complications that happen after pregnancy. Like Gallstones. Seriously, I’m not making this up. This happens to a lot of women. So let me get this straight doc, you just cut my wife open, now you want to go back in and do it again. And you want me to take care of this newborn by myself. Seriously? Is there a camera? Where is Ashton Kucher, I know he’s around her.
So your wife is eventually back with you with more staples and is feeling kinda blue. The baby doesn’t let anyone sleep and I can’t breastfeed so that just makes it worse. I have never wanted a set of hooters in a non sexual way as bad before. So the wife gets up and carries a baby, even though you ask her not to and to wake you up because you sleep like a Yeti through a train station. And then it happens, she pops a stitch. Which means another trip to the doctor and more poking and prodding. No one will say it, but we all think it, You are a terrible father.
How can I be superdad? Superdad knows what to do. Superdad always has the answer. I’ve got nothing. I got less answers that Jessica Simpson on Jeopardy.
But then the confidence starts to build again. Hey, look at that, the kiddo doesn’t cry when I hold her. And that’s when you realize that you are confident superdad not because you think so, but because they think so. They both look at you like you can fix anything, and even if you can’t, they still think you can. It’s the smallest things, you kill a bug, and you are superdad. You take the kiddo by yourself and give the wife a break and you are superdad. You do a crazy dance just to get that one smile out of the little peanut, and you are superdad. Sure, you look like an idiot talking baby talk but you don’t feel like one anymore.
But that 10 month thing still isn’t cool.