It’s late in the evening and we’re in the hospital while our son slowly makes his way to birth. I’m a sea of emotions, but one of the biggest is the feeling of uselessness: just as I couldn’t carry the baby, I can’t help take on the pain of contractions or the exertion of birth itself. I’m here to help in any way I can, but sometimes there isn’t any way to do that. I’m a supporter, standing by, and doing so in awe.
Everything is about to change. Everyone says that and I can intellectualize it, but it’s not the same as actually experiencing that seismic shift in what it means to be alive. It’s so weird to be on the cusp of the unknown in a profound way. Tomorrow, it all looks different.
I feel so unready. We haven’t finalized a name. We haven’t figured out how really anything will work. But it’s happening, and I’m not sure anyone can really feel ready for this, even if they think they are.
Will I show up well for him? Will I be the person he needs me to be? I hope so. My friend Jessica Want says that you have to parent yourself while you’re parenting a child, and that makes sense to me. There’s so much learning and growing I need to do. I need to be a better person in so many ways so that I can be the person I want to be for him.
I know this: he will be better than me. I’m excited for that. I’m excited to be there to help and support him, and to be the wind at his back as he grows and comes into his own, even while I feel utterly unequipped to do so.
For now, I’ve hooked up the hospital TV to a rotation between the ISS live feed and a live feed from a cat rescue in LA. And we wait, one person in increasing discomfort, one hoping he’s doing everything he can to help, one waiting to reveal himself to the world.