A Few Hours More…

I don’t know how you truly prepare for the arrival of your first child. In fact, I’m not certain you even can prepare. Sure, we’ve got the room ready, and the car seat installed, but those things are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. How can you ever honestly be prepared for an event so fundamentally life-altering? You hear that life will never be the same, that you only think you’ve known love before now. You hear a lot of things. And, at your core, you know these things are true. But being told that you will love this new little person like no one else in the world… well that can only prepare you so much. Holding the baby in your arms… well, that’s a different story.

It’s not so much that I worry about breaking the baby now. It’s more like I worry about the baby breaking me. I’ve felt a true peeling away of my shell these last months. When Beth the Bassist comments, “You look so good (and happy) in those pictures”, she’s on to something. I really have felt better and happier than I have in years. But I think that’s because I’ve allowed myself to become more emotionally vulnerable, to experience whatever life throws at me without cringing about how awful it might be. It’s always been the anticipation of pain that’s hurt me, more than the actual pain.

What I’m trying to get at, in a really roundabout way, is that I feel as if the baby’s arrival, something I assume will be a truly profound moment in my life, will affect me far more potently than it would have, had I remained safely behind the walls I’d built for myself. I’m afraid, in short, that I’m going to cry like I’ve never cried before, that the simple sight of my daughter is going to render me into a pile of useless, blubbering jelly. I suppose that’s not a bad thing to be for a few minutes, but I’m kind of wondering whether I’ll ever come out of it.

In a few hours, maybe more, we’ll find out. The induction is scheduled for this morning. By nightfall, or by tomorrow morning at the latest, we’ll see how truly scary a newborn baby is. And how truly wonderful.

Will she break me? Yeah, probably. But, given time, she just might help me put myself back together again, too.