The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

Category: Baby News (Page 2 of 2)

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 5 weeks

I smile when I hear people tell me about how much my life is going to change with a baby on the way.

Not because I do not believe them,  I have no doubt at all that things are going to be turned asunder for us. but because our life has already changed in more ways that I can even count.  Naty’s life changes go without saying, those are and will remain obvious to anyone that comes around right now and to anyone that visits after the baby comes along.  But there are so many things that have changed in both our lives that are not readily visible to the outside, but any parent will recognize once we start talking about them.

As I had mentioned in a prior article, there are things that just are not that important any more.  Things that at one time needed me to give them my main focus, have fallen to the wayside.  If I were to go into details, this article would become long and very boring, but suffice it to say that I am laughing at the changes I have gone through just since I found out.

I am sure that anyone that experiences fatherhood for the first or fifth time goes through these same things… these feelings or changes of feelings.  Their minds start going into that “Nurturing” mode, where they start thinking about the welfare of the family over their personal needs.  They start thinking about how they can make life good for the child at the expense of the little things that they used to like to do.

That is where I am now.  Where both of us are now, and this is where we should be.  This child is going to be the center of our universe for a long time.  Suddenly there is nothing else in our lives quite as important as this little mass that is growing in my wife right now.

As always… I would love to hear any stories or comments that you might have and would like to share with me.

Merry Christmas and Happy Channukah!

Thank you for reading.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 6 weeks

Throughout this journey, we have been plagued by fear.  It has been, as a poet might say, our constant companion.

Not fear of having the new addition in our lives, but the fears that come with a baby in the making in general.  Things that go beyond the control of mankind, things that, you might say, are left in the hands of G-d.

There are not many that would tell you that having a child over the age of forty, especially for the woman, is not fraught with potentials for risk.  Add to that the fact that my wife has had a few other health issues in her life, and you are doubling the potential risk.  So it is safe to say that we are taking every day with baby-steps.

We have had numerous ultrasounds and various other tests to make sure that there is nothing wrong with this little bugger, but still… there is always that fear that something might be wrong.  Something the doctors missed.

It is important for me to say that should any of the tests found anything wrong, we would not have terminated the pregnancy.  The only exception to that would have been two known genetic abnormalities that are almost always fatal to the newborn… in which case we would have seriously considered that, not for our sake, but so that the baby would not suffer.  Anything else is something we could work through.

As each test came back with no problems, we would breathe a sigh of relief, but then would start worrying about the next step, or the next tests, or some other little problem that would come to might.

Then there is the input from others that causes worry.  No… I do not think they do it intentionally, but when people start telling you to look out for certain signs or watch out for this or that, then you cannot help but start to feel that pressure return.  That worry or fear that maybe something you are doing is wrong.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think that having a child would be such a roller-coaster ride.  I mean this from both the emotional as well as the spiritual aspects.  There is so much that I am having to reevaluate in my life.  Suddenly there are things that used to be important that now deserve little more than a cursory glance.  Decisions that I make now, I am not only making for myself or Naty, but for the baby as well.

But a have to admit something to you all.

I am loving every minute of it and I would not trade these feelings for anything in the world.  The fears, worry, excitement… all of it.  It is all a build up for something great.

This is going to be a great ride. Or as my favorite author, Hunter S Thompson, might say: “Buy the ticket, take the ride!”

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 7 weeks

Something that I am looking forward to, with the coming of our child, are the conversations.   Granted, at first those conversations are going to be mostly grunts, squeals and crying, with occasional laughing and “Baby Talk”.  But before you know it, and I am sure most parents reading this will agree, they will start talking.

I remember some of the conversations I had, as a very young child, with my Mother and Father.  Most of that was silly, when I look at it from my adult state of mind, but at the time it was earth-shatteringly important.  I really HAD to know why there were stitches in a baseball and football.  I really HAD to know why my Dad’s hair was gray.  Things like that.

When I watch the interactions between kids, especially the very young ones, and their parents, there is just something fascinating about watching them ask questions and learn about their world.  They are born with a innate NEED to understand the world around them.  As Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson says in one of his interviews, “Children are born scientists.”

He goes on in that interview to say that we need to encourage that and help them explore their world the way a scientist would.  This is something that I am hoping that my wife and I can accomplish in our upbringing of this kid.  We have both committed to one another that we will give this child every ounce of our effort to make sure that they learn as much as they can and to make it fun in the process.

I know… Kids are all different and there is no guarantee that anything we plan will survive the arrival of the baby.  It seems that everyone is quick to point this out to us, as if they assume that we are not already aware of this ourselves.  But the truth be known, we are.  But we are also aware that if we do not plan ahead for some things, then we will not be ready for those times when the child does start asking questions.

I think that I was blessed that I grew up in a house where I had a parent that offered me every opportunity to learn.  There was never a time I can recall asking my mother a question and her telling me that I did not need to know the answer or that I should not worry about it.  I do recall a couple times when she said something like, “I will explain it when you are a little older.” but that was about as restricted as she got with me.

There are some things kids do not need to know about at too early an age.  I will not go into that here, because it might turn this into a political argument, but I am sure that you all understand what some of these things are.  Suffice it to say that children should be allowed to remain children and not have to worry about some things until later in life.

There IS a magic to being a child, but we lose touch with that as we grow older and become more jaded with life and the problems around us.  I hope to try and teach our child that they can grow, but still hold onto that magic as they age.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 8 Weeks

Decisions…

The process of preparing for the arrival of a child is something new to us.  We walk through the stores, look at the goods that are being offered and just get lost.  There are so many things out there that we need or want, but are not sure which way to go.

Luckily there seems to be no end to books, magazines and friends that seem more than willing to suggest these things to you.  Everything from diapers to doctors are suggested by those around us and in the magazines that we have picked up.  At time, however, this seems to only make life a little more confusing for us, though.

We both know that everyone has the very best intentions when they suggest this diaper or that doctor, or some other device or service that is designed to make having or caring for your new baby.  So we really do not mind, we are flattered that so many people out there are willing to take the time to offer advice.  But even with the advice, we start to get a little overwhelmed at times.  Sometimes too much information can be just as bad as too little… and as the old sales saying goes, “If you give a person too many choices, they will choose not to choose.”

I am amazed, though, at the sheer volume of merchandise there is out there for babies and their new families.  Everything from ultrasound units for the home, if you are wealthy enough to afford one, to music to play for the child while they are still in the womb.  You name it, it seems to be out there, waiting for someone to buy it.

We have decided to keep spending at a minimum.  There are a lot of tricks out there to save money if you just look around a little.  The biggest savings that my wife and I have found has been buying much of our stuff at either yard sales or at second hand stores.  There really are some fantastic deals and prices, if you just look around.

Everything that we have picked up so far has been in near perfect or new shape, and with almost no signs of use.  Which makes sense when you think of how long a child actually uses this stuff.  It is about the only time in a kid’s life when they are liable to outgrow something before they wear it out.   A fact that is very friendly on our pocket books and one that I am very aware will change as time goes on and our child grows older.

As I am sure I have said before, though, I am excited about the upcoming addition to the household and am sure that these worries will all take second place to the enjoyment to be had with the child… at least until they reach their teens.  Then I might need to look for a tranquilizer gun.

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 9 Weeks

“Dad”

I have thought about this a lot over the years. Most of the time, though, it has been from the point of view of a child that never really KNEW his father that well, except as the guy that would occasionally show up for the errant birthday or take me off for the obligatory weekend visitation.

That is not to say that my father did not love me, I am sure he did. But when it came to communications, there really was not that much there between us. We would talk, but it was, most of the time, because I do not think either one of us liked the sound of silence.

That being said, there really was no template for me to use when I thought about myself as a father. No image I could hold up and say, “This is what a dad is!” Unless, of course, you counted the Andy Griffith, Dick Van Dyke and Ward Cleaver images that some of us grew up with. Images that would not stand the test of time even in their own generation.

Instead, as I grew, I learned about being a father through reading, through what my mother told me a father should be, through watching my father’s interaction with my sister.I had sort of built up this “Frankenstein” image and understanding of what a father really could and should be.

It would not be until years later, as an adult, that I would start to really understand what being a father was, when I would adopt people into my life as my mentors and father-figures. People that represented, to me, what a father should be to their children and those around them. People like James Baier (Major, USMC), Jack Bell, Paul Eidmann, Clifford Ayers (My Dad-in-Law) and Russell Petrone. None of them are perfect, far from it, but their hearts are all in the right places, and their kids have all grown up to be good people. Many of their kids are my friends to this day as are they… though two of them have some issues that they need to work out before I kick both their asses (you know who you are.)

The other person that I have to give kudos to for being like a dad to me, oddly enough, is my mother. Barbara E. Wright. She force-fed me the education to be who and what I am today. When I was not in school, she was teaching me manners, principles, ethics, right and wrong, and would occasionally instill the required discipline when I would step out of line. Trust me… there were several times I deserved a good paddling.

It is my hope that the experiences that I have had and the things I have learned from these people, people that have meant so much to me and are a part of my life, even though some of them are no longer with us, can help me by becoming an amalgamation of experience that I can incorporate into my life and help me be a good father.

Someone that I hope, when this child is and adult and I have long since passed, can look at his or her memories of me and say. “I had a great dad!”

Countdown to Fatherhood – T-Minus 10 Weeks

I have decided to start a little series here called, as if you could not already tell, Countdown to Fatherhood.

At the time this will publish, there are about ten weeks remaining before my wife’s due date, so I will take the next ten weeks to talk about my feelings of parenting, what my parents were like and how I will use their, and other people’s parents, influences on me, to raise this child.

Before you start “tut-tuting” me, you need to not assume I am an idiot about this. Too many people have gone out of their way to tell me that nothing I or my wife are doing can prepare us for parenting. That all our preconceptions about what we are planning and what will be, are going to be busted when that baby arrives. Yes… I get it, I understand that.

We are excited, nervous, terrified, thrilled… you name the emotion and we have or will go through it. If you are a parent, then I am sure that you know exactly what I am talking about. But we also understand that we are not prepared for what comes next, so the best we can do it be prepared to do the very best we can do. More than likely the same way new parents have been doing for longer that recorded history can say.

I am reading books, and talking to other parents, but I know that this is all to get the generalities down. That by gleaning all this knowledge, my wife, Naty, and I will be prepared for most things, but not all. We will have many answers, but might still be confused or lost at a point or two along the line. This is nothing, I am certain, that many of you folks out there that are parents, have not also done when that first child came into your lives.

We have also surrounded ourselves with friends and family that are excited and pleased to help out along the way. Many of them are experienced parents themselves, some are not but are still excited about sharing the experience with us. For this we are eternally blessed and thankful. Together they make up our extended family and will be, in addition to the Grand Parents, if only in the name of love, if not that of blood, the aunts, uncles and other family.

The fact that we are expecting at all is a blessing. We were advised that we would probably not be able to have children, so after some effort, we stopped trying and decided to live life. Then when we least expected it, it happened. Maybe that is the way it was meant to be. As a friend of our said, we were given a chance to go out and live our lives, now it is time to have a child to share those lives and experiences with.

Are we ready for this child? Yes and no… but this is a new and exciting chapter in our lives, and over the next ten weeks I will share my fears, joys, thought, questions, concerns and ideas with you. You are more than welcome to join in the conversation and share your thoughts with me as well. Who knows… I might even be able to get my wife to chime in.

As always, thank you.

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