It is December when I’m writing this column, but you’re likely reading it either on or around January 6th. This date is actually two days after the due date for the arrival of our baby-to-be, which means if Baby Spicer is anything like his or her parents then he/she is starting to think about getting ready to arrive into this world (we’re masters of being fashionably late). There are times that the due date still feels so far away and the thought of finally holding my child remains nothing more than a distant dream.
The baby may still be hidden away in my wife’s beautiful belly (my wife will be reading this column) and I’m still several weeks away from rocking my child to sleep, but that doesn’t mean I don’t already feel like a father. I may have to wait for my big moment of cradling my wonderful baby in my arms for the first time, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had some rather monumental events that have signified I am really am going to be a dad.
Hearing the heartbeat
Up until this point, all I had was some plastic stick showing me the color blue, which seems like a fun Kindergarten activity rather than a way to officially declare me a future daddy. But once I heard that heartbeat, the room started to get really dusty and a few particles swept into my eyes (a bystander would claim I cried a little).
The first ultrasound
You can paint a stick blue, a doctor could probably convince me a series of farts was my child’s heartbeat, and there is a chance my wife may have hid a secret stash of Skittles she was frequently visiting to expand the belly, so this really was the moment it all became very real. On that screen I saw an actual being moving around in my wife’s belly and a technician was pointing out actual parts of the body. This was the first super strong “I’m going to be a daddy” moment. It was a spiritual moment where I was filled with emotions that I never felt before and I was suddenly overwhelmed with a strong love for this little image on the screen (even if some of the later photos made me believe it could possibly be an owl that was in Emily’s belly). It would seem that medical institutions don’t dust very often because I again got some stuff in my eye during this profound moment.
Prenatal classes & parenting books
I’ve read books on the Middle Ages and taken classes on Medieval European History, but they never made me suddenly feel like I was ready to throw on some armour and storm a castle. I’ve owned many book and attended many classes, but they haven’t caused me to feel any special way before. It changed this time around. A book about birth partners and a class about labour aren’t things that excite me on a day to day basis. I knew I had the book and was attending these classes for a reason; it was because I needed this knowledge to be ready for when Emily was going to deliver the baby. Our baby.
Buying furniture, clothes, & accessories
Maybe we could be buying the world’s most expensive doll accessories or going to new extremes in pampering our pets, but that would have meant we were now possessed by the latest characters from some crazy new TLC show. These were big purchases, and they likely meant I was officially saying good bye to buying things I didn’t really need (oh poor iPad, we would have gotten along so well). We have never been a reckless spending couple, and my wife has made it a habit only to buy things if we really need/want it. Yet we were spending lots of time getting “baby stuff.” When this started becoming the Saturday afternoon ritual, the reality of my future became very clear.
The biggest “I’m becoming a Daddy” moment
I like to read and talk to my wife’s belly. Sometimes it feels odd talking to something that doesn’t have a mouth that will respond back to me. But I like carrying on the conversations because it sometimes leads to one of the most magical and powerful moments that make me realize what I’m becoming. I’ll be talking to my baby-to-be and have my hand over my wife’s belly, and suddenly I feel a strong little push against my hand. Now, some people call this the baby kicking. I prefer to call it something else. High fives. I like to imagine that it is my future little one laying down a high five and saying, “I love you, daddy and I can’t wait to meet you.”
I love you too, baby and I can’t wait to meet you either.