There Is No Way to Prepare

OK, there are ways to prepare. I have had the car seat installed by a professional. We’ve interview pediatricians and chosen one and registered with them. By next week the apartment will finally be done with the construction and we’ll have been able to set up the crib and everything else that’s been waiting to be moved in to the new baby’s room. We’ve read some books, had some conversations… But when I think about it there is nothing to really prepare us for what we’re about to go through.

I don’t know when I’ll go into labor. I don’t know how my labor will go. I don’t know if breastfeeding will come easily to us. I don’t know if she’ll be colicky or a sleeper. I don’t know if I’ll feel depressed. I don’t know how treatment will go if I am. I don’t know if I’ll want to be in a cocoon with just my new tiny family or if I will want family stopping by to help. And I really don’t know what the years to come will bring.

Such is the adventure! I have no idea when kind of person this baby will grow into. That’s scary and exciting, but there is really not a lot I can do to prepare. I am just being aware that anything can happen and trying — really trying, though it’s hard — to not have expectations to cling to that I’ll be disappointed if that’s not what happens. If I get the epidural, OK. If the first weeks aren’t exactly fun, OK. If it takes me a while to bond with our child, OK. If my wife only gets a few days at home after the birth thanks to her short unpaid leave needing to start on my due date, not the birth date, OK. (That one is kind of not OK, but there’s little I can do to control it.)

It all has to be OK, because that’s the way it is. This whole pregnancy I have been struggling hard with acceptance. Things already haven’t gone how I wanted or imagined. That was a loss that left me depressed. Every time over the last weeks I try to accept the situation, I just go back to pouting about it being unfair and still wishing it was another way. That doesn’t serve me. I’m just going to keep trying to accept and be open. What else can I do?

It’s probably one of those things that’ll be a life-long effort that I’ll never perfect. Kinda like parenting.

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