Shouldn’t I Feel Something By Now?
What is that feeling I’m suppose to be feeling the moment I meet my child” Overwhelming love, right?
I am sure that you have heard it already from nearly every woman that you know:
- “You have never known love like the love you will feel the first time you see your child!”
- “When you see your baby for the first time, you will know what ‘love at first site’ truly is!”
- “You will be overwhelmed with a feeling of pure love the moment you see your child for the first time!”
Guys, and this is just between me and the guys, right?
Don’t judge yourself if you don’t!
When I saw Daniel for the first time, he was in an incubator and had just been wheeled out of an operating room, in which, Lynn was still in the middle of surgery.
The two members of the NICU team who were with him said, “Are you the Dad?” I nodded, yes. “Come with us!” and down the hall we went, quickly.
What Was I Thinking?
Thinking back, I would describe my thoughts and emotions, as I made eye contact with my son for the first time, more along these lines:
- Holy crap, I am responsible for this human being!
- What if I screw this up?
- What’s going on with Lynn?
- He is so feakin’ small!
- Hey, go slower over those bumps!!!
- Who am I supposed to call?
- He must know who I am, ‘cause he has not broken eye contact with me.
- I hope that I can be every bit of the role model my father was and more!
- He’s so small!
- I have to protect him!
- Do these people realize I have no clue what I am doing?
- Holy crap … that’s my baby!!!
- I wish Lynn was here to share this moment with me.
- I’m going to be 70 at his high school graduation!
- It’s okay, 70 is the new 50!!!
- He is so darn cute!
- I’m going to be the oldest little league coach ever!
- He looks healthy. I hope he is healthy!
- We forgot to arrange for his umbilical cord to be harvested!
- What else am I supposed to do?
What’s Up in the NICU
We have arrived at the NICU; everything is a blur.
- Oh my God! Does he really need three nurses (and two student nurses)?
- The things I teach him now, will impact his life forever.
- He is only at 32 weeks, what will be the long-term impact of this early delivery?
- I need to take care of him.
- Should I stay with him or should I be with Lynn?
- Lynn will kill me if I leave him!
- Oh crap, I am finally going to have to change a diaper.
- The journey has begun.
I seriously thought about all of those things and more in the first 10 minutes after seeing my son for the first time; and then I thought:
- Wasn’t I supposed to feel an overwhelming feeling of love by now?
Here is a Piece of Earth Shattering Information
Men are different than women. There I said it … it’s true. We are hardwired differently.
In most cases a woman’s response to seeing her baby for the first time is love and nurture. They are overwhelmed with a tremendous feeling of love.
Men however, react as a hunter gatherer; “I must protect and provide for my family!” (Insert grunt here!)
Am I Doing This Wrong Already?
I seriously thought it was me. Why don’t I feel differently? I thought I would see unicorns and rainbows, or something!
Should I be doing a happy dance? Maybe an end zone celebration? There is no one to high five.
Am I already doing it wrong?
Then I started to think about it, while several nurses pulled and poked at him; It was only woman who said that I would have this “overwhelming feeling of love.”
Checking in with Dads
Over the next few days I started to check in with my friends who were fathers. Mostly, I was right on track.
The only difference I noticed, was the way men reacted when they had a daughter. The reaction to a female child was more along the lines of: “OMG, I am so in love with this little girl!!! I better get a gun!”
We as men learn from our society (and centuries of evolution) to mentor our sons and dote on our daughters.
Of course, times have changed and I suppose we should treat them the same, but we are who we are when our babies are born.
Love! That Feeling I’m Suppose to be Feeling
You will feel what you feel and that is just fine. Be patient.
You will know a greater love than you have ever known before. You will just do it in your own time.
By Bill Robertson