While I talk about my family and friends on this blog all the time, I recently realized that I rarely hand the mic over to them, so to speak. Yes, there was this hilariously adorable Valentine’s Day post that Mitch wrote earlier this year. But that’s about it. So today, I’m giving Mitch the stage.
Because he’s a math teacher, a lot of people might assume that Mitch’s talents lie in that field. But he’s a ridiculously creative person, too. He’s amazingly good at making videos (One Second Every Day and Ireland are personal faves), inventing new products (he has TWO companies: Couch Clamp and Freezer Meter), graphic design (he’s a Photoshop and Illustrator master), and interior design (he’s the magic behind all of our home renovations). He’s also a great writer. :)
Anyway, the idea is that he’s going to write a column for Kelly in the City every once in a while. We both predict that running the blog and juggling freelance work with a newborn will be a challenge, so he’s stepping in to help. He’s even currently helping to organize a month’s worth of content so I can take “maternity leave.” The sweetest, right?
Love you, Mitch. And thank you. Take it away!
Hey, guys! It’s Mitch. It’s hard to believe that we’re having a baby in a month! Kelly asked me to relate this month’s column to Father’s Day, but I’m not technically a dad yet, and feel a little unqualified to do that. So I wrote this instead:
The Big News:
I knew Kelly was pregnant a few hours before she told me. She was having a rough morning, which was a common occurrence given our situation last year. We were waiting on a a phone call from the fertility specialist, and, as much as we didn’t want to, were assuming the worst.
On mornings like that one, being helpful was impossible. On one hand, I was the only person in a position to comfort Kelly, yet on the other, I was completely useless as there’s comfort for news like we were probably getting. Usually, I’d try to run interference as much as possible and offer as many cheerful distractions as I could find before heading off to work, but still: my efforts were usually in vain.
Kelly and I texted throughout the morning, but nothing was cheering her up. Until, out of nowhere, Kelly changed her tune.
“It is so nice outside!” she said. “Let’s go out tonight and do something fun.”
It was then that I knew we were having a baby, and life changed forever.
That morning until now has been, for lack of a better word, a sprint. Today, there’s a big hole in my house where the nursery will be. Stroller, crib and car seat boxes are piled up all over the place, and I can see Kelly’s belly dance around through her clothes. In many ways, that morning seems like it was just a few weeks ago. But in others, it seems so long ago, as so much has occurred since then.
I’ll try my best to summarize some of the happenings below:
The Big Year:
- Our first big baby decision was to keep our eyes closed during the sonogram and leave the baby’s sex a mystery. Perhaps a mistake. I assumed we could “take a peek” when we came to our senses, and that we’d have lots of sonograms throughout the pregnancy. But no! While we had a lot in the beginning, we’ve had zero since the big anatomy one. Our next (and final) one will occur in two weeks. Right now, the only person in the world who knows what Baby Larkin will be is the sonogram technician. Even our doctor is in the dark!
- We were hoping that “not finding out” would add an extra bit of excitement to the experience, but instead we are left with this confusing mix of emotions. The baby’s sex is basically all we talk about. What do you think? Boy or girl? Boy. No, Girl. Definitely boy. But what about those four bowls of fruit consumed the other night? Fruit = Girl, right?
- I can’t wait to be a dad. I’ve been a teacher for 10 years and an uncle for seven, and I’m ready! But I’m not sure any of those experiences prepared me for life as a pregnant lady’s husband. ;)
- I read the baby books, but feel that some of them are lacking. In my opinion, the title of Chapter 1 in each book should be titled “Don’t Tell Your Wife What To Do.” I actually got scolded by a gang of pregnant women at the doctors’ office for talking about healthy recipes. My only advice that Kelly adheres to is “take a nap every day.” Ah, well.
- Couvade Syndrome is real, people! I have a decent excuse for gaining 15 pounds and experiencing mood swings, okay? Pregnant Partners unite!
- Breaking News: Kelly just called me in tears because she smashed her fresh bowl of mac ‘n cheese all over the kitchen. Oh, and I found her keys in the freezer and the milk in the cabinet. Pregnancy brain?
- The number one side effect of pregnancy seems to be delirious self-consciousness. This effect is multiplied when your wife is a fashion blogger who has her picture taken a hundred times a day. Lucky for her, she is more beautiful than ever. ;)
- The number two side effect of pregnancy appears to be an innate desire to renovate every room in your home–and purchase as much furniture and decorative throw pillows as possible–to get ready for Baby. My life is consumed by late-night trips to Home Depot, endless visits to tile outlets in the suburbs, and delicately stacking cardboard boxes in the alley like a house of cards.
- With any luck, our house will be ready for this little guy (or gal) on the Big Day. And hopefully, we’ll be ready, too.
The Big Day:
At some point in the next month, Kelly is going to go into labor. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. We should be “packing the bag,” “practicing the route” and “planning our delivery,” people tell us. And we are doing those things. But in reality, we all know we will “freak the hell out,” “Uber to the hospital” and “hope for the best” when it actually happens.
We’ve received plenty of “advice” and heard a lot of gruesome stories about what the Big Day might be like. None of it is appropriate for this website. Maybe the best piece of advice for the Big Day that we’ve received came from my brother, John, an amazing father of three. He said not to stress. “The craziest part, after all, is that you eventually arrive home with a baby.”
But if all goes as planned, I’ll be a father by the end of July. I think that day may be the best day of my life. I just can’t wait to meet my son or daughter.
Looking Forward To It:
I can’t wait to watch our little one grow throughout his or her first year. I dream of that year, and how my son or daughter will experience monumental moments of growth every day. Each day will be an adventure. Suddenly, Baby will be sitting up, crawling and then saying my name. The thought is beyond surreal, and I can’t wait for all of it.
I’m truly blessed to have four of the best father figures to guide me as I take the plunge into fatherhood. My dad, grandfather, brother and father-in-law perfectly exemplify the kind of father I want to be. Each brings his own style of patience, intelligence, playfulness, excitement, love and happiness to his family every day. And each lives his life as an example. Without a doubt, our kid hit the family jackpot.
…So let’s just have this freaking baby already!
Happy (almost) Father’s Day, everyone!