Happy Mother’s Day: Thank You For Giving Me the Greatest Gift Imaginable
Roughly three and a half years ago, I came home to the most exciting news I had ever received in my life. My wife and I were having a baby.
On this mother’s day, we are excitedly awaiting the arrival of our second child and I can’t help but feel blessed. We already cherish the gift of our little dude, soaking in the little rambunctious ball of energy he is. Any day now, we will soon get to welcome our first daughter. I am sure she will be as sassy as the rest of them. Lord help me.
This is the first time I am opening up about this in a more public manner. But when I first found out that I was having a daughter, I was fairly disappointed. I thought for sure it was a boy. I always envisioned myself with boys.
Parents cling on to the cliches of “I just want a healthy baby.” Of course, that is all parents want. That is all I want above all else.
In reality, many have preferences on gender before the reveal. I was no exception to that rule. It was selfish and short-sighted on my part.
Once I had a day or two to come to terms with the idea of having a girl, it grew on me like it does for others with expectations that are not upheld. The idea is silly in and of itself because you obviously have no control on the outcome, yet you can still have feelings of disappointment.
That was short lived. I am absolutely over the moon to be a boy dad and a girl dad.
When I write about parenting or post on social media about my wife being a mother or my children in general, I constantly think of the couples who long to be parents. Some are not able to have children. Some have experienced the loss of a child or pregnancies. My wife and I had our own struggles which I have talked about generically in my past posts. That is why I do my best to make mention of loss.
I think of those people because I don’t want it to seem like I am gloating.
Of course I love being a dad. Of course I try my best to cherish every moment because I have already seen my first grow like a weed in the blink of an eye.
Every time I write about it, I want people to know it is not from a place of gloating because I have been in a situation of not knowing how to protect the woman I love from her biggest fear, not having children.
I had a conversation not too long ago with a friend about that. When we vow to protect the woman we love, there are some things you can’t protect them from. That is a hard reality to cope with for men with families. We view ourselves as protectors, at least we should.
One of my favorite shows is Friends. One of the scenes that always gets the tears flowing is when Chandler pleads with Erica to pick them as parents. In pleading, he says Monica is already a mother, without a baby. It absolutely kills me because that is exactly how I felt with each month passing and no positive result. I couldn’t protect her.
Mother’s Day means a little bit more to me because of that pain and struggle. Despite all the questions thanks to coronavirus, Mother’s Day 2020 is already a little extra special.
Now, some of those new dad feelings I had for my son are creeping back into my head. It’s a damn good feeling.
One of those feelings is the biggest sense of pride for the woman who gave me the gift of being called dad.
I remember hopping into bed one night during her first pregnancy. She was sound asleep and I just looked at her in a way I hadn’t before, as silly as that sounds. It was just a different view because I knew she was carrying my child.
The amount of sacrifice these women go through in order for us to be called dad is remarkable.
The most obvious is the weight gain that comes with pregnancy. In our house, it is not really a forbidden subject though.
I constantly joke with her every time she grabs a snack. That is one of the beauties of being with the same person your entire life. The insecurities of past relationships don’t exist. So when poke at her weight, she knows I am joking and that I still look at her through the rose colored lenses I always have. No matter what changes come to be, that never fades.
In fact, it intensifies.
One of the biggest physical hurdles she had to be overcome after our first was weigh loss.
Many women complain about weight gain. For her, it was quite the opposite. Out of respect, I will not give the vivid descriptive details that I could. It was difficult for her to keep the weight on.
Exclusive pumping took a major toll on her body. This rock star was pumping throughout the day and night looking fatigued as all hell. The sleep deprivation of a newborn for us was already rough. Now, add pumping to that. But damn it, she did.
Additionally, there were other issues that arose from birth that I won’t dive into.
The best moment of my life by far was watching the amazing girl I fell in love with a long time ago give birth to my little dude. I have heard stories of guys who can’t stomach the birthing process, but I watched in awe every single second that I could, while trying to maintain eyes on my wife to let her know I was there.
Even though I was doing nothing. I am not sure saying “you got this” and “you’re almost there” is really classified under doing anything. But I guess moral support means something, maybe.
I can’t wait for a new experience with hopefully the same result, a happy healthy baby. Now, I anxiously await the coming days.
No matter what comes of our daughter, I know the woman I owe it all to for making it happen. Here’s to the woman who made our dreams comes true. Happy Mother’s Day. You earned it.