They say when you become a parent you grow up really quickly the second your child is born. You see things from a different perspective. The intense love you feel for another little person. The realisation that you are the one who created them. You are the one responsible for them. The overwhelming need to protect them from anything bad in the world. In whole a massive outpouring of emotions, most of which you wont be prepared for. At least this is what people tell me.
I think this "growing up" as such and bonding happens at the birth a lot more for the dads than the mums. In the sense that I have felt a bond with her since I found out I was pregnant. It intensified once I could feel her movements. And obviously it will increase tenfold once I finally get to meet her in person. I think for most dads though they feel as though they are bystanders for the pregnancy. They helped to start it, but until the end they are not really 100% experiencing the process (they only get to deal with it vicariously through us). We as women get to experience everything directly. We grow bigger, we feel sick, our tastes change, our senses intensify, we feel the movements (from the inside) and in the end we are the ones who have to get the baby out (if only we could somehow share that experience). In some ways I think its harder for men to connect with the baby as emotionally as we do from the very beginning.
Men are very visual and unfortunately you cant see the baby when its inside - except of course at ultrasounds. T said that it didn't really start feeling real for him until our 12 week ultrasound when he could see her on the screen and she looked like a baby (of course we didn't know she was a she yet). He got more excited when he could feel her moving from the outside, but was somewhat jealous that it took a lot longer for him to feel her from the outside after I could feel her from the inside. He also said he wishes he could experience what it feels like from the inside - at least once for curiosity's sake. After I explained about having feet in your ribs and elbows poking out your side he decided once would be enough instead of feeling it constantly like I do.
I have noticed in the past few weeks that T has starting "growing up" a lot more. Hes always been excited to be a dad, but I think he is really relishing the responsibility of it all now that I'm on maternity leave. He likes being responsible for me and its starting to really dawn on him that he is going to be responsible for another little person really soon. A light bulb has been switched on. We recently got our pram and he took great pride in putting it together and showing me how it works. He was so proud of himself once he finished (and he only put one part on backwards - who needs instructions anyway). This coming from a man who left most of the baby shopping to me because he had no idea and now he is showing me how a pram works.
|So proud of himself|
I have to say it has been really amazing watching him slowly transform from my fiance to my baby daddy. There is this ever so subtle shift happening. Hes started helping around the house more. He makes sure I'm not overdoing it. He pays more attention to my belly and stops and rubs it randomly. I love that hes making a conscious effort to connect with her more. I love that hes getting excited and that he cant help but smile ridiculously at my belly whenever I am in the room.
It seriously does make a man more attractive once you start to see them as the father of your child. Not that we needed any help in being attracted to each other, but now its like another layer of attraction. I know its just going to go to another level once we meet her next month (eek its so close). I cant wait for that moment when we first meet her. When everything changes. When we become a family. When he becomes a dad and I will finally be a mum.