It’s Christmas Eve… which also means it is the eve of Jamie’s due date. Christmas hasn’t felt as magical this year as it has in the past. Instead of shopping for gifts, we have shopped for baby clothes, diapers, a stroller and a crib. Although we minimally decorated our house for the holidays, we mostly focused our efforts towards preparing our home and decorating the nursery. The anticipation that typically precedes Christmas has been replaced with the excitement of waiting for our little one to decide they are ready to join the world.
So now we have made it to Christmas Eve, the eve of our official due date. It is finally here. And like a child waiting to open gifts and discover all that will unfold, we too wait with anticipation.
In just a few short days, our lives are going to change forever. The weight of that truth causes a rush of feelings and emotions to fall over me. In my attempt to truly savor and remember our life before we have our child, I thought I would write out a few of them.
Ready The diapers are stocked. The family of stuffed animals is waiting. I even have a daddy diaper bag. I ‘m ready to get this show on the road. Ready to meet our baby. Ready to face this learning curve and the challenges of being a parent as we experience what life with a newborn is going to be like. I’m just ready to start this next season of life.
Curious We don’t even know if we are having a boy or a girl! I’m so curious if we’ll have a son or a daughter. What will their personality be like? Who will he or she look like? What will their hair texture be? Blue, green or brown eyes? I’m so curious it’s killing me to have to wait!
Awe With every kick to Jamie’s belly and every visible roll, I am in awe of the creation growing within her body. That is a little human actually inside of her. My mind can’t grasp this surreal truth. I am also in awe of the strength and grace with which my wife has carried our child.
Scared I’m kind of scared. Scared of the unknown. Scared to see the pain my wife will inevitably feel. Scared to journey into fatherhood. What if our baby doesn’t like me? What if I’m not a good dad? What if something happens to our child? If I let it, my mind can run wild with scenarios that induce fear. I hear this is normal?
Intimidation I can picture going to the hospital… seeing our baby for the first time… introducing our new love to our family… texting photos to our close friends… leaving the hospital and driving home for the first time…. But then what? Do we walk into our house and just put the baby in the crib? I’m kind of intimidated. Birth class didn’t really prepare me for life after the birth. I swaddled a doll and put a diaper on a stuffed animal. I’m kind of intimidated about taking care of a newborn. Clipping little fingernails? What if I cut off the tip of the finger by mistake? This little life is going to be looking to us for everything… completely dependent. I once had to get a license to serve food at a restaurant. Shouldn’t they require a license for parenting? Should they really let us leave the hospital with a baby? I feel intimidated.
Sadness Is it ok to be this honest? I feel a bit of sadness knowing that everything is about to change, and nothing will ever be the same again. I have loved this season of our marriage and that it has just been Jamie and me. I love just getting in the car and going somewhere whenever we feel like it. I love not having a schedule. I love always being together. There are things about this season I am going to miss… simple things like going to the gym together and giving a little wave and smile across the room. I know we will still have date nights, vacations and other moments without our kids, but I also know life will never be the same and I’m sad to say goodbye to this very special season of life I have thoroughly loved. I am clinging to and cherishing these last few special days of ‘just us’. Please don’t read this as I’m sad to have a baby, because that is not the case.
Happiness Ok, so maybe this makes me have a split personality, but I simultaneously feel happiness. It is an indescribably kind of joy and I couldn’t be happier to become a dad. I feel happiness at the thought of welcoming this new season of life. I feel happiness every time I get to hear that strong heart beat. I feel happiness when I see all the stuffed animals in the crib just waiting to meet their new friend. I feel happiness picturing neighborhood walks with the stroller, making new parent friends and just the thought of watching our baby develop a personality.
Thankful I’m thankful that Jamie is my wife and mother of my child. I’m thankful she has had such a healthy pregnancy. This growing belly hasn’t slowed her down at all! Just this morning she was on the elliptical machine for forty five minutes. I’m thankful for her incredible energy. I’m thankful for our amazing doctor who puts us at ease and finding a fantastic doula we feel so comfortable with. I’m thankful for all of the love our baby has already been shown and the generosity of our families, friends and clients who have shared in our excitement. I’m thankful that our business has not suffered, and our year is filled with amazing clients who didn’t let our pregnancy and growing family stop them from hiring us to create an incredible event for them. Most of all I’m just thankful for the blessing of this new little life and the all responsibilities that will accompany it.
Peace My heart is full of peace. There is no perfect time to start a family. We could have waited until we had grown our business further, saved more money, had a bigger house or… you name it. The list would have kept growing though, and I could have easily always thought of why the timing was not right. We decided this time last year that this is what we both wanted. Life isn’t perfect. We still have dreams that have yet to come to fruition. I wish our savings account was bigger. I wish we had moved to a quieter street. None of this matters though. I have complete and utter peace that this was the moment God intended for us to become parents. We were created for such a time as this. My heart feels the deep sense of peace that surpasses all understanding, and all is well with my soul.
Love My heart is full with an immense amount of love. Love for my wife who carries our child within her. Love for our unborn child, whom I can’t wait to hold in my arms. Love for our God, who has created all of the above. My cup runs over.
I hope that wherever you find yourself this holiday season, that you too have something to be excited about… something joyful to anticipate… something to hope for. From our growing family to yours, we wish you the merriest of Christmases, and a happy New Year.
photography: Matthew Land Studios