During my baby induced blogging hiatus I thought a lot about the blog, in part because the blog is a bit of a habit and stopping or suspending a habit usually leads me to think about (but only sometimes to reflect on) that habit. One of the things I thought I’d like to do is to write regularly about parenting. I’ve gotten more comfortable over time talking about my personal life and so on here but remain a bit hesitant for whatever reason. Anyway, I want write more about being a dad. For now the plan is to sometimes just set a fifteen minute timer (literally if necessary) and free write about parenting.

It’s been two minutes so far. 🙂

My daughter’s birth blew my mind. One aspect of this is a shift that had occurred in my thinking before the birth but which I hadn’t experienced yet (my head was ahead of my gut and my experience, so to speak), through these classes we took with a group of doulas. That shift went from birth as a big scary dangerous medical thing, basically something like a big injury or illness, to birth as something like an athletic feat. The classes took a tone of “birth is really hard, and really amazing, and all of you pregnant women are going to do this awesome thing.” And that’s exactly what happened. My wife was in labor for forty something hours. She started labor at 4am on a saturday, after having only been asleep for two hours. She didn’t sleep again in any real way for the next 50 hours. This was a feat of endurance simply in being awake so long. The labor was hard for its length. It was also a feat of endurance in that my wife was in a lot of pain. She did the whole thing with no painkillers. (Our doula said after the baby was born that she’d only seen one other person have pitocin without painkillers. As an upside she was really alert and awake for like the entire day after she was born.)

It was also a feat in another sense, not athletic or anything, but just the … I don’t know, the amazing “holy crap, a baby!” kind of thing.

The labor was long and hard and stressful, like if it was a movie it’d have been thunder and lighting and black and white high-contrast. Then the baby was born and it was like all of a sudden the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine came down. The adrenaline rush was huge, and the … I don’t know, the rush of good feelings in general. From “oh this is hard” to “oh everything is so amazing!” in like no time at all.

It was almost no time at all, too. The labor was really long but my wife was in the pushing stage for only a matter of minutes. I remembered it being like 15 minutes. Our doula’s notes say it was like 4 minutes. Watching the baby be born was incredible. From no baby to baby. … !

[My 15 minutes are up and I really have to get to other stuff, but one of the things that I want to remember to write about another time is how all of this has changed our perception/experience of time.]