March 21, 2011
First child: Birth thoughts

Brittany and I decided to wait until our child was born to discover its gender. In the hours leading up to the birth, I purposely put off thinking about ‘what if it’s a girl?’, and ‘what if it’s a boy?’.
I wanted to put these thoughts off until the moment I actually found out—to see what I would think at that moment. Call it a psychological experiment. Would hundreds of thoughts race through my mind instantly? Images of her in a pink dress, her first date? Teaching him how to throw a ball, or watching him play with a toy truck? I couldn’t wait.

Surprise, it didn’t work out how I planned. As I helplessly watched Brittany struggle with the pain I heard the doctor and nurses encouraging her, demanding more of her. I forgot completely about the gender. When the baby finally came out I was flat overwhelmed with emotion. I turned into laughing crying mess. I congratulated Brittany and told her she did a great job then unexpectedly heard “it’s a boy!”.

I had completely forgotten it could be a boy or a girl. My whole focus was on our child.

No barrage of images, just joy.

Now, the day after, as things have calmed, I find myself thinking about what Wyatt might do with his life. What goals will he have? Will he find happiness? I have to force myself to think about the things I thought would come natural—my life as it would be impacted by his. Instead I think of his life, and all that’s possible for him. He has a clean slate and a billion opportunities before him.

To an admittedly selfish person like me, this is coming as a pleasant surprise. Did my thought process just flip from me to him?

I had noticed this change with Brittany, and even with our dogĀ Barren. But this is to a new degree. My concerns are secondary, at best.

I like it.