Everything That Could Go Wrong

After our tour of the hospital on Saturday afternoon, I was feeling on top of the world, confident that I was ready for the challenges of fatherhood. Forty-eight hours later, listening to a presentation on the basics of newborn care on Monday evening, I wasn’t feeling nearly as prepared. Most of the things our instructor went over seemed like things I could handle, but every once in a while we approached a subject that made me feel queasy and afraid. The discussion of SIDS was particularly hard on me. Instead of focusing on all the joy a newbown can bring, I began to focus on everything that could go wrong.

Now, I know that attitude doesn’t sound all that unfamiliar to those of you who know me well. But the truth is that I’ve had a much more positive outlook on life these last few weeks, even despite all of the financial issues we’re currently facing as a family. Emotionally, I haven’t felt healthier in a long, long while. But, I still have my moments.

In the car on the way home, I was able to calm myself by rationalizing that these fears were more the result of the strain of a long day than a significant relapse. I listened to the radio, distracted myself from the anxiety, and by the time I pulled into my parking space I was feeling better. Stephanie and I ate our exceptionally late dinner, watched some TV, and went to bed.

There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a newborn. But the truth is that, more often than not, it all works out just fine. After all, we’re all here, we’re all alive. And our parents, and their parents before them, didn’t worry about half the shit we’re trained to worry about today.