For a somewhat semi-formal introduction, I am Zach, Emily’s husband…and for a brief moment or two I will be hijacking her blog to throw in a male’s perspective on the subject of child rearing and well,…..drinking. So ladies, hand over the computer or iPad to your man. Men, pour yourself an Old Fashion and enjoy!
This all started about 4 months into my deployment to Afghanistan where my wife and I agreed that we wanted something more out of life, something greater than our own self worth…a child. Through Skype and Facebook messages here and there (when the internet decided to work) we started picking names and sure as shit, as an omen, the first name we picked was the one we stuck with. We could not find a better name for the remainder of my deployment…no matter how hard we tried. Mason it was!
Fast forward 6 months and BOOM! Reality hits! I am now home, and the wife has a bun in the oven. I hit all the baby books I can find. If you ask me anything about how to fix and/or operate an Army helicopter, weapons, cars or woodworking I can help….screaming, peeing, pooping things that cannot communicate but decide to throw up all over your favorite shirt…not my forte. Men, hit the books. Learn what stages of pregnancy your wife is in and what she is expected to go through, trust me it will help ten fold. Also, being a man, learn to deal with being on the outside. I went to almost every baby appointment with my wife and the majority of the conversation and questions were directed to my wife, and little, if any, toward myself. Granted, I am not the one carrying a human in my gut, however, I still have a vested interest in my son and wife. Books like: The New Dads Survival Guide, by Scott Mactavish, Dude, You’re Gonna Be a Dad: by John Pheiffer, and What to Expect When Your Wife Is Expecting: by Thomas Hill will help one gain a better insight to the emotions and physical changes your loved on will be going through in the following months. Arming myself with all of the learned knowledge I have gained through the books, I begin to actively engage myself in the pregnancy. I talk to the baby at night through my wife’s bulging yet beautiful belly 😉 (Lets be brutally honost people….It’s not thaaaat beautiful, but it helps connect). I help pick out infant clothes and register for random gifts from friends and family for the baby shower. Now guys, I don’t know about you but I truly did not connect with all of this so I decided to do something that I knew would…I built a crib. That’s right, I built a damn crib. Have I ever built anything out of wood before?…HELL NO! But I am real big into tradition and family heirlooms and felt that this was the only way I could contribute to the connection of my child, of which I could not feel kick or move or hiccup (the baby never moved when I put my hand on her belly). The wife had reservations when I said I wanted to build a crib, and I don’t blame her, but being her awesome self and understanding that I needed this, she agreed, She also allowed me to have a large say into how the nursery was made. I think this was the nesting thing coming out from within…. Pictures of my project to follow:
Now fella’s make sure you drink plenty of cool beer on those hot days building this stuff in the garage and think about how much your hard work will be admired by others. (Disclaimer: don’t drink and operate power tools…bad things will most likely happen).
As the pregnancy progresses you, as a man, will begin to make midnight runs for random and odd food choices made by your wife. You will also be buying things that you will learn to hate. Let me tell you about a hellish product that Boppie makes called the Boppie “body pillow”. We own a queen size bed and we bought one of these due to her being uncomfortable at night. This thing takes up the complete space between you and her, so although she feels she is sleeping on her side…she isn’t. She is balls deep on your side and hogging all the sheets making everything on your side hot. But that’s OK because she has a little human alien thing growing in her and if that stupid body pillow helps her sleep at night, well, so be it. Trust me, you do not want to complain about how uncomfortable this stupid pillow makes things for you at night or how it effects your sleep….learn which battles are worth fighting. (This one is not it gents!)
Well life surely has change including no more heavy drinking, no more late nights, and no more going where you please without a thorough plan based upon when the baby last ate, slept, and for lack of better words….pooped his brains out!