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They tell you how to do it in school, and around our age, it’s starting to “just happen” to all of our spontaneous combustion or something. There was a little part of me, though, that didn’t think it was going to work at all. It did. On the first try (I hope you know what I’m talking about by this point).

Not to discourage anyone, or pretend like “it ain’t no thing.” We understand that not everyone can have children and our seemingly effortless conception is nothing short of a gift from God.

That said, we’re at 22 weeks. Here are the stages that I, as the father-to-be, have gone through:

1) Disbelief

I knew it was going to work eventually, but there was always a little fear that one of us may have had fertility problems we just didn’t know about yet. Hopefully that fear is normal, but I knew that even if neither of us did, statistics seem to show that 3-4ish months is a normal amount of time for those trying to conceive. I just thought I had more time!

Oh yeah, and the first pregnancy test was negative, so who am I sposed to believe?

2) Excitement

There’s really nothing more exciting than finding out you’ll have another human dependent on you. (Or is it the opposite? I forget.) I’ve envisioned everything from the pregnancy photoshoot to the actual birth. I’ve daydreamed about taking my son camping for the first time. And, I even pictured talking to my daughter about boys, which was especially strange since none of these boys have even been born yet.

My made up scene also went a million different ways.

3) Fear

Ok, there’s a baby inside my wife. Now what? Ask the internet stuff of course. Deborah is young and healthy, but between 15% and 20% of all pregnancies result in miscarriage! To be fair, many of those women never find out they’re pregnant, but that statistic still scared the crap out of me. What do we do if the baby isn’t healthy? Healthy or unhealthy, everything about our lifestyle is about to change.

4) Pride

No big deal or anything but I knocked her up. Not only is she the hottest piece around, but I get a mini-me outta the deal.

5) Pregnancy Symptoms

Deborah’s pregnancy has been remarkably symptom free. She never threw up, never even really got sick. Her cravings did change a bit, but not that drastically.

My symptoms, on the other had, have been in full swing. I keep getting bad stomach aches, but I also can’t stop eating. I’ve never loved Reese’s Puffs more than now. Also, for some reason, I can’t seem to get my face to my normal color (it’s permanently redder than before). As if my sympathy weight weren’t enough, Deborah has been buying me clothes that really show off the new dad-bod.

6) Fear Again

This is the same fear I felt when we decided to get pregnant, but like, 10-fold. I can barely take care of myself. How am I expected to take care of another human being? Where’s all of that money going to come from? Where are we supposed to live? Do we start traveling again? That would certainly be cheaper…Mexico is nice.

7) Prepared

Of course not as in “actually prepared!” As I’ve been told countless times, I don’t think there’s anything that can fully prepare someone for a child. Are we financially secure? No. Have we done everything we ever wanted to do before having a child? Of course not, but I also never quite know what’s on that list.

When Deborah and I first decided to have a child, we knew we weren’t totally prepared, and at first we decided to postpone it “a few years.” However, as our minds played with “four years,” “three years,” then “two years,” we came face to face with an important question: are we ever actually going to be ready? Short answer: probably not. At the risk of sounding like an arrogant arsehole who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I think a child will always bring challenges you don’t expect, and life goes by a lot faster than you think. Do we have everything figured out? No. But, are Deborah and I ready to unconditionally love our beautiful baby girl? We already do.

Did you feel prepared for parenthood? Why or why not? Do you have any tips for us newbies?

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