Two days later we were in the hospital again. And this time it was my pregnant wife’s turn!
In a way, running through three months worth of adrenaline by completely losing my shit was quite helpful for dealing with the birth. I’m proud to say I was able to keep a level head and help her to the best of my ability.
I don’t want to go into too much detail so will just say, with the exception of my almost concurrent hospitalisation, it was nothing like Friends™.
“The One With the Baby”
Phoebe is moving in with her cop boyfriend, and we’ve also had a new person move in!
One who, I’m relieved to say, looks very little like Rachel’s new hairless sphinx cat.
I completely get the worry of things changing when you move in together. The new person screaming all the time, making a big mess, and that’s just my wife.
It’s true it’s a wild time where you find out a lot about your partner, as Phoebe does when her perfect cop bae shoots a bird. It’s no great surprise separations are expected to increase massively from families being forced closer together. But we’re lucky, and have grown closer and closer during lockdown. Even though I did go literally crazy briefly, I actually don’t know how we would have coped with the late stages of pregnancy and early stages of parenthood if I was around less.
This isn’t to say it’s all been perfect. We’ve learned some uncomfortable truths. Not least that our cat supplements their diet by eating entire birds. The other day I saw him bite one in half and swallow it whole! Like Rachel’s cat, they’re a little scratchy at times. We were slightly concerned we’d end up on the child services register, going into hospital with my wife looking like a self harmer from the cat, and me looking like a junkie from all the blood tests…
Fortunately the cat attacks look like they’ve finally been solved by the addition of a screaming baby to the house. He’s never spent so much time outside!
It’s clearly been good for him, and I think I need to try and get out more too if a repeat of what happened on due date is to be avoided. I feel back to normal now, able to quash any recurring jolts of anxiety by recognising where they’re coming from. And with the baby I have little time to over think anything.
But I am fearful of it becoming a “new normal”, my fight or flight response being activated by the mildest of stimulus.
There was a big concern of my more physical symptoms continuing too. Following the birth the pain in my arm continued, and I manifested a new sensation of a jolt of electric going from my thumb to my elbow when I reached to pick up things. Very much not something you want to be happening when you need to hold a baby!
But it’s passed now. I’m still none the wiser as to whether it was from my head, or if I was simply gripping the trolley too hard when my wife had to push.
Sorry, this sounds like I'm making it all about me. She's amazing and I couldn't be more impressed with what she did, and how well she coped with it!! And all her pain and effort produced a perfect little baby we've been looking after for a few weeks.
It’s amazing how quickly you go from putting up with late night screams and feeds, and thinking “there’s no way I’m going through this again” to it just becoming a part of your daily life. If the Friends™ think tossing a ball back and forth for hours is hard they want to try having a baby. You can never drop the ball for a second. Sure Monica can eat Pizza one handed. Try having to do that with every meal!
It's a pretty huge change, like Chandler says to Gary about Phoebe moving in:
“She is always gonna be there. You're gonna get home, she's there. You go to bed, she's there. You wake up and, oh, yes, she's there.”
Real Live Sitcom Moment:
My brother-in-law’s been having a bit of trouble with their own Ugly Naked Guy! Of all the things from Friends™ it really is surprising how often this comes up.
Gazing out the window one day, he was scarred for life when he saw his Ugly Naked Guy enjoying lockdown a little too much… I do, of course, mean; he was playing with his Giant Poking Device.