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Stress: A Father's Afterbirth -- Invitation to Write #39

For Writers:

Between you and me, the last time I cried was when my daughter was born. I'd like to say they were tears of joy, but to be honest, they were tears of stress.

The whole time we were waiting for delivery, I was fine; even after the doctors removed Octavia from my wife's belly, I was fine. Cutting the cord? I was fine. It was the next day that the whole reality of fatherhood started to crash down on me, and crash down hard.

Although we had a private room, it was quite tiny once you added in-laws and my parents, Tavi and my wife, and all the doctors and nurses that kept running in and out at all hours of the day and night. I'm sure the sense of claustrophobia was much more acute for my wife, but for me, it was bad enough. On two specific occasions, I recall wanting to run to my get-away car and start driving toward the mountains.

Of course I never did that, and a few days later we were able to take mother and baby home. Everything was just fine by then, but boy, if you want to experience stress, have yourself a baby!

Recall a time in your life when your level of stress reached the saturation point. How did you handle the situation, and if faced with it again, what could you do to prepare better for the challenge?

"To be a successful father . . . there's one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don't look at it for the first two years." -- Ernest Hemingway


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