It’s time to dive further into the journey that is becoming a dad with me, your mentor through this exciting and nerve-wracking process. If you missed my first two installments, we have covered the subjects of finding out you are going to be a father and how you can support your pregnant partner. Today, we will cover the final weeks ahead of baby’s arrival.
And before you think I’m just some quack who has limited fatherhood experience, know that I now am a seasoned veteran dad of exactly five weeks. So, just like those parents you meet who give you loads of unsolicited advice that they swear is absolutely the only way to raise a child, know that everything I say is absolutely correct and your experience will in no way differ from mine.
At this point in the journey, you will live your final weeks in a baby-less household, but this is a critical stage where you will gain experience that must last you throughout you career as a father.
Growing up, I always wondered how dads seemed to have some innate ability to be handy with tools. I can now tell you it is a direct result of having to construct enough items to fully furnish the Biltmore Estate ahead of baby’s arrival.
Every piece of furniture, from dressers to cribs to bookshelves, chairs and gliders, will need to be constructed by you.
And when I say “build,” I don’t necessarily mean going into your garage and trying to construct a dresser using lumber from a tree you chopped down yourself. No, that would be too easy. What you need to do instead is order truckloads of cheap, put-it-together-yourself furniture that, under no circumstances, can be put together.
Somewhere within the final months of your partner’s pregnancy, there will likely be the ritualistic ceremony of a baby shower. During this strange event, women will make sacrificial offerings to appease the mighty pregnant one, and fondly recall their time upon the expectant mother throne.
These liturgies to the mom-to-be used to be estrogen exclusive, but many fathers are now expected to join in the observance.
As a modern man, you may choose, or more likely, told, to be alongside your partner as the non-pregnant peons attempt to please her. The idea of being a male at such an event might leave you uneasy, but really, you will be extremely thankful for the generosity of those in attendance. However, you will grow tired of acting as if you just hit the winning lottery numbers as your partner shows off some nursing pads she received as if they were a prize heirloom.
And saying there are a lot of gifts to open doesn’t really do it justice.
You know the old C.W. McCall song “Convoy,” in which the singer says the group of screamin’ trucks had reached 1,000 strong? Well, they were likely filled to the brim and headed to a baby shower.
So, now that the furniture has been assembled and the nursery has been filled with a number of baby items higher than the national debt, it’s time to prepare the “hospital bag.”
Your partner will likely fret for weeks over what this bag should contain, but it is extremely important to have it packed and ready to go so that you can forget it at home when she goes into labor.
If you happen to remember the bag, be sure it contains plenty of sedatives. You will need to ingest many of them, because on the next installment we will cover the birthing process and how to distinguish a newborn from an alien life form.