Friday, October 23, 2009

When Birth Can't Come Soon Enough

Where to begin? Our daughter, Amari B. Fishman, will be here any day now. Carrie and I have been given due dates ranging from October 31st through November 3rd depending on the mood of the sonogram. For months we've both been rooting for Halloween because every birthday would be a fun (and really cute) costume party. Now we're both rooting for tomorrow. I'm selfishly ready to stop worrying about how I'll respond under the pressure of labor and a home birth, while Carrie's just ready to evacuate her uterus and return to her upright position.

While we're waiting - here are a few things I will not miss about being an expectant father:

1. Opinions: Some say they're like assholes because everybody has one. I say they'd be much more similar if people had a whole bunch of assholes and offered them freely without solicitation. This has never been more evident than during Carrie's pregnancy. Whether it's the gender, our name choice, breastfeeding, how much time we take off, how tired we're going to be, or what kind of parents we'll make, people feel compelled to share many of their personal "assholes" with us. Granted, these opinions usually stem from experience and if they didn't I would definitely stop listening and immediately say what people have told me for years, "'ll feel differently when you actually have a kid." Instead, I generally just furrow my eyebrows in feigned interest, nod slowly, and say, "Wow. Thanks. I didn't know crying develops the lungs."

Interestingly, current and compelling research shows that prior to having kids, 99.9% of these same people vowed never to pass along their advice to newly expecting parents. I, however, as a proud member of the minority, have an extensive and ever-growing list of people whom I intend to call the minute my daughter is born just to let them know how they should have done things.

2. Loss of Identity: When we went public with Carrie's pregnancy (which was much too soon for the superstitious), I subsequently ceased to exist. "How's Carrie?" or "How's your wife?" or "How's she doing?" when people don't know her name or if we're married. I'm used to it now. It's kind of like the royal "you guys" that married couples get knighted with, though I've never bought into the royal "we" response unless they're specifically asking about our relationship. Then I make up something tragic so they'll change pronouns and just ask me questions.

To be honest I don't mind Carrie getting most of the attention, because I think she deserves it. My part in the pregnancy began and ended nine months ago, although in my defense I have taken on the very primal roles of wood gatherer, fire starter, and sandwich maker, which in my "asshole" are very important jobs. I'm sure that once Amari is here, then Carrie and I will both cease to exist.

3. Brand new "Friendships": Loss of identity is much less annoying than opinions, and in fact, my loss of identity with close friends and family has been supplemented by brand new relationships with previously peripheral people whom I never really had anything in common with. Now, knowing that we both have vital sperm or that they have a uterus built to support vital sperm, we have forged relationships based firmly in numbers 1, 2, and 4.

4. "You guys will make great parents." People love to say it, I love to hear it, and I also suspect that all of those people are brilliantly intuitive. I do, however, wonder whether there is anyone out there (besides my friend, Bodhi) honest enough in the face of less capable parents to say, "You guys are going to A kid?" or "You guys will be great co-parents after the stress of child-rearing leads to divorce." This is why I love Bodhi, even though I am sometimes the object of his courageous honesty.

I suppose the truth wouldn't be so hard to hear if the lie were never invented.

Stay tuned for the things I will miss about being an expectant father...


  1. Isaac,
    This is great! I laughed at everything! Even though I wonder if I have ever given you my *asshole* but I am sure I backed it up with "every woman is different so..."

  2. Isaac, you are so funny....
    I love the blog, you should be a writer.
    I sent the url to all of Dana Gray so everyone could enjoy it. We miss you at work and are waiting in anticipation for more news.
    Best wishes!