1.) Pretty much everything on TV and in the movies is wrong.
I know, this is a shocker. But I grew up in a household of men (except for the one that we call Mom), and have pretty much no firsthand experience with anything feminine or pregnancy-related. I have come to find out that TV shows and movies have led me horribly astray. I’ve learned that the water doesn’t always break in a restaurant or crowded public place (in fact, 90% of the time it happens right before the end of labor.) I’ve learned that the entire labor process takes a lot longer than a 30-minute sitcom would have you believe. Also, babies don’t come out clean and baby-powdery. And they look more like E.T. than anything human. The next thing you know, they’ll tell us that there isn’t really some guy with red hair and sunglasses saving children and keeping criminals off Miami’s streets.
2.) God is awesome.
Seriously. Throughout this whole process, I have been consistently blown away by how well he designed everything. Like how the fetus develops from two microscopic cells into a living, breathing kid that hiccups and hears things and kicks Kim’s ribcage. As the pregnancy (and labor) unfolds, there are some serious biological changes that take place, automatically, all according to schedule. The people who have come to the conclusion that we’re all here by some sort of random cosmic accident will forever leave me scratching my head. My favorite element might be the oxytocin, which is a hormone naturally released in the mom and baby when breastfeeding, and causes them to fall in love. Which as our midwife humorously pointed out, comes in really handy at about the three month mark, for without it you’d be inclined to hand your baby to a complete stranger and say, “Here, you take it.” I am even impressed by God’s wisdom in having the pregnancy take about 9 months. I’ve found that it takes about that long to get your head on straight and the baby room set up.
3.) People are nicer during pregnancy.
It’s amazing how popular pregnant women are. If you go anywhere in public, blank stares are instantly replaced by smiling eyes and wide grins. People of all ages try to reach out and touch my wife’s belly, old ladies light up as if they were giddy sixteen-year-olds, and hardened Harley dudes transform into Mr. Rogers. I’ve often felt like I was traveling with a celebrity.
4.) They also become pundits.
As soon as someone hears or sees that you or your wife is pregnant, unsolicited advice comes at you as if shot from a double-barreled shotgun. Most of it comes with the assumption that your situation is just like theirs and any refusal to follow their advice to the letter is sheer foolishness. It must be what it feels like to be an NFL head coach listening to sports talk radio for advice on game-planning for next week’s matchup. Yes, it is well-intentioned, but it is also getting old. At least I’ve been able to perfect my polite smile and nod.
5.) If a pregnant woman drops something on the ground, she may as well have dropped it in the Grand Canyon.
‘Cause it’s gone, never to be seen again. (Unless a loving husband or smiling Harley dude is around to pick it up.)
6.) We over-complicate things in the guise of making them simpler.
This could be primarily a Western culture thing. Maybe we underestimate just how well God designed this human reproduction process, or maybe we just can’t leave well enough alone (probably a little of both), but we sure do a lot of tinkering. We’ve got drugs to make the labor start sooner and drugs to ease the pain caused by the intended effect of that first drug. If the water doesn’t break when we think it should, we’ll just do it ourselves. And if the labor is still taking too long — or at least longer than we think it should — we’ve always got the C-section to fall back on. (Which requires it’s own cadre of tools and drugs and special doctors.) By the end of 2008, the Caesarean birth rate in America will be approaching 35 percent (with some hospitals over the 50% rate.) With mortality rates six times higher for mothers who have c-sections, what’s up with that? Some things to consider: 1) Our microwave, fast food culture is notoriously lacking in the patience department, and 2) Hospitals make way more money on c-sections than on a regular delivery. (I’m not saying, I’m just saying.)
7.) The baby is closer than it appears.
I find it humorous how many times Kim and I have talked about our little child as if he or she is off in some mysterious faraway Neverland, eagerly awaiting a grand entrance, when in reality, has always been mere inches away the whole time, separated only by a thin wall of skin and tissue. Perhaps this is further commentary on my education via television.
8.) If you have Adultitis, it’s your fault.
This doesn’t surprise me, but it has been interesting to see it from a parenting perspective. The wide range of commentary we’ve heard on the vocation of parenthood has been stunning. Some people have been extremely positive while others point out the negative aspects of the job. (Particularly the pooping, peeing, and not sleeping parts…as well as the remarkably detailed parts about my life being over.) I’ve literally had some people tell me that kids are the cause of Adultitis, while others claim they are the cure. Statements like that tell me more about the person than parenthood. Like everything in life, it’s all about your attitude. Life has ups and downs and many opportunities to succumb to Adultitis, but ultimately, the choice of whether or not to let it take over is yours alone.
9.) My wife is also awesome.
Maybe not as awesome as God, but still quite remarkable in her own right. My respect for her has increased tenfold over the last nine months (and I didn’t think that was possible.) Kim has embraced this last nine months like a child would, with unbridled excitement and curiosity. And she has kept a sense of humor about all of the icky stuff and inconveniences that come with pregnancy, like her inability to tie her own shoes.
Kim asked me last night if I would ever like to be pregnant.
I said no.
I don’t think I could ever do it as well as her.
Eliz Greene says
You need to print this, put it in an envelope and pull it out every year on your baby’s birthday. Kim will love it, you will love it and eventually you baby will grow into someone who is reminded every day — but particularly on that day, how much Daddy wanted, anticipated and loved him or her from the start.
You are already a great dad!
Okay – maybe there is a 21st century answer to the whole envelope thing, but you get my gist, right?
Great stuff Jason! I’ve been through it three times (well, as the father – but you know what I’m saying). It is a miraculous thing – new life! And the whole thing about attitude – spot on! Life is what you make it – you guys are going to be great parents! Enjoy!!
Alex S. Brown, PMP IPMA-C says
Great, great post, Jason. I was touched and moved…and I laughed in recognition. You captured some of the best stuff about what it is really like to go through pregnancy as a father.
I love that your #1 item is about the myths of childbirth as portrayed on TV and in the movies. There is simply no end to the mis-information out there. I hope some people reading this take the time to watch some of the better documentaries or reality shows about the process of pregnancy and child birth, so they are ready for the real process. Hollywood has done a lousy job of educating people about what it is like.
Not so long ago, it would have been normal for all of us to have actually seen a woman go through labor and delivery (with our own eyes) before we were old enough to be parents. It is only in this medical age that we shunt away and hide the event. I love that you have made it an act of celebration again, with your post here.
Congratulations on the birth, and congratulations for entering a new stage of your life. It sounds like it will be a time of joy for you, Kim, and your child.
Great article! #1 reminded me of Bob Smiley telling about when his first son was born…he always thought babies were born “pink and cuddly”, because that’s how he saw it in the movies…but he found out that “they’re goopy.” He said his first son looked like “a VeggieTale dipped in motor oil.” Fascinating.
Anyway, I’m so excited for you guys! God is definitely awesome, and He gives the best gifts!
You are so insightful…and Kim is very lucky to have such a supportive, loving husband! I particularly love #6. With faith in God’s whole process and a wonderful husband coach, #6 is exactly why we chose a midwife and a natural delivery…and it was amazing! Trust God and Kim’s inner strength(with your support) and you’ll be amazed what you’ll accomplish together-hopefully without complications (In man’s world, it always seems like one intervention always leads to another…and then another…). Let go and let God! We’re praying for your family!
Gina Goodbred (Gianpetro) says
Loved the post, J. With being pregnant again myself, I could relate to so much of it! I love #5, and constantly use my 2 little sons (who are closer to the ground anyway!) to help me pick up something else that I’ve dropped. What doesn’t make it to the floor, often ends up on “the baby shelf”, hence all the stains on most of my maternity shirts!
I also laughed at #1, I tell my labor patients all the time (like all the after birth or other grosser things) “this is “The baby story” gone wild/uncensored!”. It’s nothing like TV or the movies!
Keep up the great work, we love you! Baby Kotecki, come towards the light now, we all want to meet you!
This is an awesome perspective from an expectant dad. So much truth and so much wisdom and you’ll only add to it after the baby is born.
About the C-section rate, as a former L&D nurse I can explain that in two words: Liability and convenience. Doctors don’t take chances on anything anymore because they are sued for everything. Patients have changed too. You’d be amazed at how many don’t want to “labor” or do anything hard. They just want to get it over with. It’s nice to hear that the two of you are challenging the “norm” and educating yourself.
Julianne Salem says
How sweet! Really!! Its so nice to see such a celebration of life!! We are pregnant with #5….and we don’t get as many smiles from people. I can guarantee you that everytime I go out in public with my kids, I get some looks of disgust, and ALWAYS comments of “Are they ALL yours?”….and my favorite “Boy, You have your hands full!”…really original! Some people make the comments with a tone of approval or even sympathy. Others act like they are upset with me for having 4 children. They are the ones missing out!
Yes, there are struggles with having children,…but there are so many joys!! So much fun!! And they surprise you EVERYDAY!! :-)
So ENJOY every minute!!even the struggles!!…which knowing you and Kim I KNOW you will!! :-)
Thanks everyone — great insights!
Aszani, one of Kim & Jason's midwives says
If my hunch is correct and adultitis can inhibit oxytocin flow, you and Kim will do just fine!
I’m so pleased and honored to be walking this journey into parenthood with you!
Mary Beth Updike says
I have to agree with WOW!!
I love the part about Adultitis (wait – I loved it all)! I find everything a new wonder when I see it through the eyes of my 5 year old niece. It’s amazing how fun and new the world can be that way. Kids are definitely God’s one of GREATEST ideas! And when I got to the end of the post, well I still have tears in my eyes. What a great tribute to Kim and what a lucky baby to have both of you as parents.
LUKE, I mean Jason, this is your father. When you were born in the 70’s things were different. Back then they had these classes that we went to and I don’t remember seeing any movies. All I remember is that we had to bring a pillow and I was being trained to be your mom’s breathing coach. Ya right! And just like you Jason I was from a family of all boys only I was the last so I was really, really green. The opportunity of going into the delivery room was rare. But I was there when you were born. I remember at the eleventh hour the doctor looked at me and said, “Well you better get some stuff on if you want to be in there. Go and talk to the nurse.” My breathing coaching career was short-lived as I tried to “help” your mother with her breathing. The nurse handed me this mask thing that I never saw before and she said put this over her mouth, It will help. It didn’t and I was fired as coach.
Here are the highlights of my delivery room experience and in no particular order.
A. Are you OK Mr. Kotecki? You look a little pale. Maybe you should sit down. No, No nurse, I’m OK. Really…..
B. The sight of seeing you being born was unbelievable! You were red. You had broad shoulders. And after the business part of you came out we knew we had a boy. And that was a neat surprise.
C. All of this gel stuff or “after” something that your other fans speak of I have no recollection of. I can only assume that I have blocked it out of my mind or you can out pretty clean. And that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
You’ll be a great dad. L dad
Be aware the higher mortality rate with Caesars may be a reason for the Caesar, rather than a result of them.
Pregnancies with complications more often result in Caesars.
That being said, we’ve had two kids normally, and one by caesar. The two were definitely an easier recovery for Mrs RodeoClown too…
Awww, what a wonderful post! As a mother of two (both born without any medical intervention or drugs) I found myself nodding along with much of what you wrote. My experience is that yes, they are hard work, cost a fortune and, when they get to be teenaged (as my oldest is) they can be a serious pain! However, for all the hardships of the last 14 years, I wouldn’t change them or the experience for the world. The highs more than compensate for the lows and some of the funnest, silliest, adultitus-free moments of my week are spent with the kids, laughing, playing, and seeing the world from their perspective. I have been known to blame them for my grey hairs, but, in fact, I strongly suspect they are helping to keep me young at heart.
All the best to the three of you as you embark on your adventure. (Oh, and I love that you don’t know the sex of the baby yet – I had no wish to know mine either!)
What a great list. I agree it should be printed out – but frame it and give it to your WIFE too! Every year on your baby’s birthday, you can read this to both Kim and your little KoJo and really remember the important things in life. Good luck! I know you will both be great parents. Just remember – the Daddy needs to breathe during the labor and delivery, too!
God has blessed you THREE
Sister Kimberly says
Hey there J! I loved reading your latest blog. Sounds like, to me, you are well on your way to new material for a future book or comics. You are going to make one Terrrrrrrrrrrriffffffffffffic dad! I wish (and pray) that all goes well for Kim’s delivery. May God continue to bless each of you always and in ALL WAYS!
Love you guys!
Rob Bell says
First, have you had the youngster yet?
Second, WOW! I truly enjoyed reading this blog. You and Kim truly are amazing. I’m proud to know you.
Thanks for sharing your amazing, funny, and insightful journey.
Mike & Karen Domitrz says
FANTASTIC blog. You 2 are both wonderful people who we are blessed to have in our lives!!
Congratulations. You’ve both boldly gone where I’ve never been, but you’re rockin’ it, and making it look not quite so daunting. And yeah, God really is awesome. Again, congrats.
What a lovely article! I wish I had something like that to thrust at people when I was pregnant with my first, when all they could tell me was how awful it was. Or when they insisted to my husband that life as he knew it was over. Of course, that second one was absolutely true, and we have to find a new “normal” after each child, but it’s a wonderful thing!
Blessings for a peaceful and empowering birth.
Nice article, but I just want to comment on C-sections. My baby was breech, so a C-section is what allowed me to safely give birth.
Without that medical intervention, one of us, if not both, wouldn’t be here today. At 8 lbs, 3 oz, I’m fairly certain my 5 foot, 110 lb (not pregnant) body wouldn’t have managed to get her out safely.
C-sections aren’t always about money or instant gratification. Sometimes they’re the safest route to bringing a beautiful new baby into the world.
I’m just saying.
Cheryl Hahn says
Jason and Kim,
I am the mother of 4 and I am pleased to say that I made it through each delivery without medications. The nurse did come in with a narcotic medication and I told her to give it to the physician. She smiled and walked out. My youngest child is 21 and I am a grandmother with three lovely grandsons. I am very happy for my daughter and my son-in-law. Children are the gifts that keep giving.
I wish you two the best of luck!!!! After having met you Jason, I know that you will be great. Love your little baby each and every hour of the day. They grow up way to quickly and then they leave home.
They don’t come out very clean-but you can get them really clean in a short period of time and smooch them up.
Cheryl Hahn, Grand Forks, ND
Don’t expect the advice to stop coming after the baby is born…for me it got worse…keep up the nodding and smiling.
Jen Robinson says
That is lovely, Jason. This baby is going to be very lucky to have such amazing and adultitis-free parents.
Great post. Although, my kids are all adopted you said a lot about parenting. Keep being childlike in your parenting as well career. Thank you for all the reminders some day there will be no more adultitis.
Congrates Kim & Jason.
Dennis Kunkel Rochester, MN
Leo Ray Killen, Al. says
Hello Jason & Kim:
What a wonderful E-mail. I have talked about you two to many people; how I met you & Kim working on a house for “Arc of the Shoals” in Tuscumbia, Al.
You were just dating at that time; later got married and moved away. I know the baby will have two of the most wonderful parents imaginable.
Our first child (a girl) was born Aug. 6th, 1948. We had four (4K) more later; nine grand children and two great grand sons.
Congretulations and the best of luck.
Leo Ray, Killen, Al.
Pat and Mike Holden says
God Bless you Three! I’ve had 2 c-sections and now have 2 sons and 8 granchildren! I’m a retired RN. While in labor and delivery, I cried evertime a baby was born. Such a fantastic experience! Studying the formation of a baby will tell you only God can create!
Again, CONGRATULATIONS, Pat and Mike Holden
Cathy Andreozzi says
Ahhh, the many joys that you will encounter as you enter a new stage of your life. Parenthood. As a family childcare provider for the past 18 years, I agree, without hesitation, that children are the cure for adultitis. My motto “I get paid to play”. If all parents would spend quality time daily with their children, they would find that their kids are happier, making their own life happier. Enjoy the stages as your little one grows up, each stage is an opportunity to grow. Remember, the tough stages are when he/she is learning and trying out something new (aka “testing”). Once mastered, the stage will pass and there will be a calm again. ENJOY!
Mary Buggé says
Once you have your little person, all of the other stuff just sort of fades away. I have never seen sunsets, flower, butterflies and ants with such fascination and wonder as I have since having children. God gifted me with two “stop and smell the roses” offspring; and gave me back that childlike wonder that was hibernating deep inside.
Just wait until your little one sees his/her first rainbow, snowstorm or butterfly. It’s wonderful.
Thanks for all of the sweet comments, everyone!
And a special note to Tracey and anyone who may be wondering: I’m certainly not anti c-section at all. In a number of scenarios, c-sections are a very good thing. My rant is regarding the rising percentages of c-sections that are scheduled for non-crucial reasons, such as convenience or impatience.
Lynn Jensen says
It scares me to talk about midwives. I had 2 girls by normal delivery- no reason to expect any problems with future deliveries. 10 years later after a divorce I had 4 more babies with my new hubby. The first was a girl and had I been with a midwife instead of in a hospital with a super good doctor, both of us would have died. Not knowing I was a “bleeder”, the surgery presented a huge problem in keeping me from bleeding to death. AND they had to take care of the baby at the same time. She was too big to come out without a C-section and she had a bowel movement in the birth canal and got it in her lungs. My mother lost a 9 lb. baby boy with the same problem 10 years earlier, but they knew what to do about it when MY baby had the same problem. I wanted kids bad enough to never take an unnecessary risk by being outside a hospital and it’s resources at the birth of a baby. I’m so thankful that we were where there was help for the doctor and for the baby.
Love the Kim and Jason cartoons ! ! ! I keep ’em all and re-read them often. Thanks everyone.
Phil Gerbyshak says
Hooray to you Jason for recognizing what a blessing childbirth is for you and for Kim. Definitely make this into a little ebook for your baby, include the comments, and all the virtual hugs.
I think it is especially cool that your DAD left a comment on this post. How awesome is THAT! Walter Marvin in the flesh!
Congrats to you both, and soon to baby too! This is one lucky kid, to be born to two of the most amazing people in the universe!
Jill Fleming says
Hey Jason. Awesome top-9 list. What a lucky baby to have you and Kim for parents. As one of the advice-giving, smiling admirers… it is hard not to share some insight that might make this miracle even better for you =). It’s what we Moms do!
I am so excited for all three of you. God is smiling on you all. You are all in our prayers. I can’t wait to see pictures.
My best, Jill
Great blog, good luck for the future.