My mom was very sweet and picked out a "Father-to-Be" card for me on Father's Day. It has a picture of Winnie-the-Pooh lying on the grass and looking up at the stars. Not sure what that has to do with being a father but never you mind. The good part is what it says under the picture: "Having a baby to love is the happiest of things."
"Having a baby to love." That really clicked with me. The card is still on my desk and I look at it every day. I get caught up in the work of the planning and how expensive everything is. I worry about getting babysitters and how my social life will change. I'm already freaked out about having a teenage girl.
But it'll all fade away when the baby is born. The problems and worries will be for another day. When I'm holding my daughter for the first time I will be experiencing "the happiest of things," and that's the whole point right there.
Thank you, Mom, and the great philosopher Pooh.
(You hear people talk about parental epiphanies, moments when people start to feel like a father or mother. Most come when they feel the baby for the first time, or when the child first grabs their finger. Leave it to me to have mine with a Wal-Mart greeting card featuring a pantless bear.)
I Feel The Earth Move Under My Fingers
When the woman first feels the baby inside her, it's all for her. The baby's still too small for anyone on the outside to feel her. Your wife could say, "Wow! It felt like she just did a triple summersault with a twist!" and you would just have to take her word for it.
Lorisa, bless her heart, has tried to share the experience. She waves me over whenever she feels something. She holds my hand on her tummy in just the right place. She's even had me try and sneak up on the baby, in case my manly presence causes her to keep still. But it's just too early. I wait patiently each time, but I'm not feeling anything yet. You know what they say: A watched belly never trembles. It's OK. I know my time will come.
My time has come.
I finally felt the baby move. It took a few weeks, but it was the most incredible earth-shattering moment of my life.
OK, I lied.
I was actually a little disappointed. To be honest, if Lorisa hadn't pointed out that the baby had moved, I would've thought it was her stomach growling. I was expecting a poke of some sort and it was only a little belly wiggle.
I've obviously underestimated the thickness of the uterine wall and overestimated the strength of a one-and-a-half-pound being. I think I'm going to back off a bit and give her some time to bulk up and do baby Tae-Bo or something.
However, I was also able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. After the underwhelming movement experience I decided to stick my ear down there and see what was going on. Sure enough, there was a simple but steady rhythmic beat. I double checked and it was completely different than Lorisa's. Mom's went buh-dum…buh-dum…buh-dum…and Baby's went bum..bum..bum..bum.
Now THAT shattered some earth.