39 weeks 5 days...
Hey, it’s Tony again. Soon to be Papa.
The waiting game continues, and I have to concede a few things. Number one, hands down, women are the stronger of our race. After being around battle-seasoned Marines quite a bit of my lifetime, then being around a pregnant woman, I know that the pregnant woman is definitely the one you have to worry about ripping your arm clean from its socket and calmly handing it to you. There’s just no nonsense around them. Surely if pregnant women ran the world, certainly several Peace Accords would be signed in short order.
Secondly, I had no idea how this “4th and Goal” moment would affect me, or affect us as a couple waiting for this baby. Neither one of us is 5 feet away from their phone at any given time. When Megan texts either one of us, we both go into Defense Condition One (DefCon One). Mike quickly follows up with “it’s okay”, but it takes several minutes for the adrenaline to drain out of my heart valves. Also, Megan can send us a simple text about how much she likes toast. Both of us will spend the better part of 10 minutes deconstructing the text, both realizing that it’s something about the baby coming within the next hour. I’m also embarrassed to admit I might be developing sympathetic responses to Megan. That’s not who I am. But I’m getting these tummy cramps, and my lower back is tighter than a Grand Piano. I’m JUST NOT THAT GUY. But then I am, and I’m laying on the couch wondering if I need a heating pad…. OMG, I think my feet are swelling.
I watched Mike repack the baby’s clothes last night. After 30 minutes, I got scared. I think if I opened that bag, much less rearranged it, they would be trolling the bottom of the river for my body. It was like watching a brain surgeon carefully measure and space their surgical instruments again, and again, and again. A better example may be a nervous soldier field stripping their combat weapon, carefully laying out and sorting each functional component, and cleaning each part of their rifle again and again waiting for the conflict to start. Of course, yeah, the “waiting for war” theme again.
Having grown up in a generation of “immediate satisfaction”, where they have clock timers for customer service calls and fast food drive-up windows, this patience and waiting game is bone crushing. Like a firefighter waiting for the bell to ring, you stand there watching the bell, night and day, darkness and light, knowing its going to ring, but you don’t know when exactly. The level of vigilance is sometimes exhausting, if we allow it to get to us.
After months of hard work and preparation, I’m looking forward to having my husband, Megan, and our new baby in the hotel suite, and simply letting go of that stress. I know the game changes, that it is still there, but at least I will know a better part of the time where my family and loved ones are. We can concentrate on each other, the joy of the moments, and order room service. I am SOOOOOOO ready for the cooing, the crying, the diapers. I am waiting for Zoey’s face to emerge, falling in love with her, possibly forgetting about the past months, and suddenly feeling time stop altogether. A baby born, a new family begun, a father’s love unleashed. 39 weeks 5 days