On February 26th, 2009, my wife gave birth to our first son, Graem Scott Nilsen. He was a 8lb. 12oz., 22 inch long wonder and is already bringing all sorts of joy to our lives.
Two days later as we await discharge from the hospital, I have to admit this experience was nothing like I expected. Despite all the videos and classes that we spent time with, there’s just a lot that is left out:
- They tell you labor will be long, but they don’t tell you that mom may be pushing for hours. All in all, I think my wife spent 4 and a half hours pushing (over two sessions) before the little guy made his debut.
- If you go to a group OB practice, even if you’ve met everyone in the practice, don’t expect them to be the only ones involved in the birthing process.
- One of the most nerve-wrecking feelings is waiting for they baby to cry for the first time. It probably wasn’t any more than 30 seconds, but it felt like hours. I had tears of joy when I finally heard it.
- You don’t realize that you’re going to spend most of your time with one nurse, but then suddenly have over a dozen people in the room when the time comes. They leave almost as quickly.
- No matter how much a birth is planned, you have to make a lot of quick decisions that may not always coincide with your original thoughts. However, the most important thing is that momma and baby both turn out healthy.
And now that all that is behind us, I’m excited for all the things that will, and already have begun to, come from being a dad:
- Being able to sooth the cries of a newborn.
- Being able to see the curiosity in the eyes and funny expressions that only a baby can have.
- Reading to my son to get his education off on the right foot.
- At least being able to watch, if not coach, my son playing sports.
- Making my son play an instrument, even if he doesn’t like it (like I didn’t like playing the French Horn), so he can at least come to appreciate the effort and dedication that it does take to succeed at the arts. Even rock stars have spent countless hours perfecting their trade (not sure I can say the same for pop stars though).
- Taking my son to science museums, so he can begin to see the wonders that surround us in the world.
- Taking my son to church, so he learns that there is more to the world than science can ever hope to prove.
- Disciplining my son, as hard as it may be on me, to make sure he learns that he is not the one in charge and learns to respect his parents. I know he’ll appreciate it someday.
- Seeing my son become his own man, because he is and needs to know that he is free to chose his own way in life.
There are so many more I could list, but this is starting to get a bit long. I’m just so happy and excited to finally be a father, and I can only hope to be as good a one as my dad was for me!