Final Countdown OR Nesting for Dads

We’re now in our one-month window of the due date. Actually, it’s 2 weeks and four days at this point. I first sat down to write this blog post when it was one month, but as soon as I wrote that first sentence I walked away and am just now forcing myself to write. “To deal with it” wouldn’t be the right way to put it. I’m excited, but I’m also a good amount of terrified.

Waiting for a baby is the ultimate exercise in “hurry up and wait”, the trick being that you’re supposed to be ready, but also be patient. We knew some friends who had the baby as early as a month ahead of time, so I gave myself a goal to be ready for that early deadline. And I did it and I’m proud, but now I also have to prepare myself for the fact that this kid might not come early at all. In fact, he could be up to “a week and 3 days” late before our doctors will consider inducing.

This all ties into the added frustration that, when you’re considering pregnancies, the math doesn’t quite add up. From the time I knew where babies came from, I knew the magic amount of time to cook a baby was nine months. It was talked about everywhere, referred to in life, used as a dramatic plot twist in movies and plays when the protagonist suddenly finds out that his ex-girlfriend’s baby was born exactly nine-months after they dated. *gasp!* There’s even a charming film staring Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore called Nine Months. So why, then, is my wife 9 months pregnant and she’s not due for 3 more weeks? It might be easier to ignore if we couldn’t pin point when nature took it’s course, but in our case we know the exact day and time the romance in the insemination room occurred.

I’ve been told that there’s a secret month. That “full term” is more recently defined by doctors as 39 weeks. But, unless my math is off, 4 weeks times 9 months equals 36, a long 3 weeks before doctors even want to deliver.  It seems someone is playing fast and loose with the numbers. There doesn’t seem to be real math involved at all; or if there is it’s the same equation they use to figure out the expiration date for milk.

Whether I agreed with it or not, this all meant I’d have some time to kill.

Sorry, dads. I’ve been on your side for most of these blogs, gaining perspective as the other parent myself, but there’s one thing I’ve discovered that’s going to burst at least one pregnancy myth: No matter what people tell you (some of these “people” referring to themselves as “doctors”) nesting isn’t biological.

I’m living proof. I have now cleaned and reorganized every shelf, cupboard and closet in our house, scrubbed the floors, frozen meals and prepared everything I can think of for the baby from the time he’s born, basically until he’s ready to go to college. Katie has been helpful, but there’s only so much she can do when she feels increasingly uncomfortable. Plus, I learned a long time ago not to drag her into my cleaning fits. She watches as patiently as possible and only semi-begrudgingly complies when I excitedly call her over to check out my newly organized drawer as though it was a perfect replication of The Last Supper.

Nesting might be biological, but it might be your biology as a person more than your biology as a pregnant person. That means, dads, we have to help too (unless you’re lucky enough to have a wife who is more than willing to take on the task herself). But on the flip side, I think you should be given a pass on the cleaning if your wife is asking you to wait on her hand in foot. Up until now, I have traded foot rubs for cupboard organization, but, unfortunately, I’m starting to run out of things to clean. 

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