Sunday, May 17, 2015

Do we forget about Dad??

When it comes to pregnancy, let's be honest - mom gets all the attention.

When it comes to high risk twin pregnancy with inpatient hospitalization, mom gets even more attention, but not as much as the unborn babies.

No where along the lines, does dad get much attention. I will say, that since my boys were born last week (proud mommy moment, please hold while I gloat...), every one often asks about how dad is doing. BUT with two new babies and a mom who just had major surgery, dad still is at the bottom of the totem pole.

This is common and honestly just the way things are. There isn't going to be some huge revelation that changes it. Men are not going to magically start being able to carry children inside their bodies for 9 months, or breast feed, or experience postpartum hormones, or any of that. So these guys are going to remain at the end of the line when it comes to attention.

This being said, I would like to just take a moment and share my experience as a mom-to-be and now a mom of two - looking at dad.

Dad is the guy who hugged me when I cried when we found out I was pregnant, he did all the research on our very scary situation. Dad filtered the info for me, and only gave me what he knew I could handle. He was the guy that demanded I take a nap when I was sick as a dog in my first trimester. He got me the random food I desired, he took care of dishes, he took care of the house, he shoveled all the snow (and we all know there was a lot) after a 12 hour work day of trudging through that snow. He drove me to every doctor appointment (sometimes twice a week, but always once - 40 miles away), listened intently and made me follow orders. He sacrificed his friends, family and job to be sure myself and the babies were best taken care of. Dad was the one who assured me everything was going to be okay when I lost my job, he was denied FMLA and I panicked about having insurance coverage. Upon me entering my 2 month inpatient hospital stay, Dad was the one who held me while I cried my eyes out in fear. He was the one who traveled to see me every spare second he had. He brought me anything and everything I could want. He spent hours playing games with me to occupy the time. He slept the nights he could stay with me in an uncomfortable chair, so I wouldn't be alone. He skipped meals so he could get to me sooner, and he missed events with family and friends. Dad turned my hospital room into a present haven the day of my birthday and drove back and forth multiple times on Easter. He put up with every weird OCD ritual I created and never once mocked me. Dad reminded me that everything would be okay, on the days I thought I would lose my mind. He marked the days off the count down calendar, asked the nurses every question he could think of and made sure he was there for ultrasounds on days he could get off. Oh wait - on that note, let's back up... in the beginning - he didn't take days off (I later begged and forced him to take one). He did all this while working 6 days a week. Dad, never missed a single day of coming to see me. If he was there for a few hours for 15, he was there every day. Dad showed up in the  middle of his work day, straight from his mail route, a frazzled mess the day we thought we might have to deliver early. He was there the morning of delivery holding my had through 5 ferocious IV attempts, held me thru "the shakes" - which were completely uncontrollable and smiled with me as we watched our babies whisked off to the NICU. He has seen more of me than I have ever seen during that surgery and recovery and I am sure it wasn't pretty. Dad waited with me the long 7 hours we had to wait before we were able to meet our sons, because he couldn't imagine meeting them with out me there. He proudly wheeled me around that hospital the first few days after the surgery, and he hugged me through every hormonal and emotional tear that rolled down my face in those first few days that followed -- and there were many! He did all this and much, much more. I would be here for years if I were to note it all.

I share all of this, not to flaunt the amazing partner I have in this life, but to recognize dads everywhere.
I have never seen someone try so hard, or love so much. His priority, number one, has been me since the day this journey began. I have watched him push himself aside and go with out so I can have. I've watched the calm, centered and stable man I know lose his mind when it comes to the safety and security of myself and our boys.
I've listened to him sing to our sons - from where he thinks I can't hear. I've watched the pride in his eyes at each milestone these boys reach.

Dad is an amazing guy. May we find ways to pay them the credit they deserve when they step up to the plate during a moms pregnancy. I don't think I will ever find a way to repay him for all he has done for me, but I hope these two little faces are a start.