A male's perspective on giving birth
We didn't know the gender prior to the birth so when Lukas shimmied his way out the nurse held him up to me and asked, "Dad, what is it?" I gushed, "It's a boy!" But then became very self-conscious about my ability to identify the gender of a five-second year-old. You would think it would be exceptionally obvious, but I confirmed my observation with the nurse. "It is a boy right?" With a grin ear to ear she said, "Yes, dad. It's a boy."
Now I should add, that fifteenhour period wasn't exactly kicks and giggles. It was quite painful for Sarah. The tricky thing about a firstborn (among other things) is that we had no way of knowing if this was just a preseason exhibition game, or the real thing. Once we got to the hospital, we were informed that it was "go time."
What I learned
I enjoy expressing my feelings/thoughts/emotions with words. In fact, before Lukas was born I thought a lot about what I would write once he came. Because I assumed seeing him would be the most amazing and miraculous moment of my life, I figured that his birth would unlock all these great mysteries. I'm not sure why but I think I figured that somehow I would just know why the Leaning Tower of Pisa leans, how the Trinity works, what makes nachos so good or why Derrick Rose has worse knees than me. In short, I thought life would instantly make sense and I would be blessed with the divine ability to creatively express the meaning and purpose of like in 160 characters or less. I think I figured I would write a blog post that would authoritatively explain why having a son or daughter is so incredibly awesome.
What I really learned
But what I actually learned is that everyone is right. Folks have already explained it perfectly. There is just nothing in this world like it. I've never been more scared, happy, anxious, fearful, optimistic or excited in my life. I've never loved something as much or wanted to protect and care for something more. He's helped me realize how selfish I am and how AMAZING my wife is--I truly believe I could not have done what she did. I've also never been so tired in my life, said the word "swaddle" as many times or seen this much pee (Lukas is basically a fire hydrant). But. What's fascinating to me is the universality of these thoughts/emotions/feelings? How is it that a majority of parents feel exactly the same way? Why do most people absolutely adore babies and complete strangers now hold the door for us and smile when we walk through?
Maybe that's the great mystery. Not why there are all these shared experiences, but THAT there are shared experiences. It seems it'd be pretty challenging to argue against some sort of overarching "framework" that humanity operates within. And this isn't just applicable to babies. Why does everyone get excited for a new year, like ice cream, or think that "Sweetest Day" is an absolute joke. There must be something that connects the dots.
I used to joke with Sarah that I would totally be willing to be a stay at home dad that blogs about his experiences. Now that Lukas is here...I'm starting to think that would be a great career choice for me. So diapers.com, Gerber, Chicco, Graco, let me know if you're in the business of sponsorships.