By Mike Farrell

I’m A Father

You’ve just receieved the news. You are going to be a father! It’s an exciting time and a bit scary too. A myriad of questions go through your mind. What will life be like when the baby comes? How will it affect US? How will it affect me? Is it harder than feeding the dog? One thing is sure. Having a new baby is on the top of the list of life greatest events. In my own opinion, besides your wedding day, nothing comes close to the arrival of your first child. Nothing.

Now What?

If you are like me you’ll spend the first several months in limbo.
The idea that something has changed almost doesn’t seem real. The days turn into weeks, weeks into months, and presto-chango–the baby arrives. Up until this point you’ve watched with curiousity as your wifes body changed in ways you didn’t plan on. Now, your best bet is to sympathize with her. Follow this simple rule and you will make your life much easier: Give her what she wants when she wants it.

Be There For Her

Our new baby’s arrival was a very long and drawn out process. My wife’s water broke at 7:00a and we methodically made our way to the hospital. We did not return to our home until 5:00p, 2 days later. I don’t mean to scare you because not all “labors” are like ours. Some a very quick and some can last even longer. But the important thing to remember is that while the two of you are in the hospital you must be there (mentally, physically, and spiritually) for your wife. Afterall, you are partially responsible for her being there in the first place.

Plan Ahead

If you are smart you’ll both attend a few child-birth classes prior to the actual event. This will help to prepare you for the long journey ahead. Some men say that having kids is easy. But, I can attest that if you are totally involved in the pregnancy and in the delivery process, it is “work.” During the birthing classes you’ll learn about the varying types of deliveries and what complications can arise. You’ll learn different ways including breathing techniques that seem trivial at the time but actually do help you to help your wife focus as the actual delivery time comes.

Your Rite of Passage

You also need to let the doctor know AHEAD OF TIME that you would like to cut the umbilical cord after the baby has come out. This is your “rite of passage.” Unless complications arise and your wife is wisked out of the room for a c-section you must take part in the cutting of the umbilical cord. The feeling I got from participating in this very intimate procedure is simply amazing. Be sure to cut between the area where the doctor has crimped the umbilical cord. No higher and no lower. In my haste to get the job done I almost cut the cord in the wrong place. I’m not sure what effect this might have had but the doctor wasted no time pointing to the proper location.

Don’t Forget To Breathe

In the excitement of the moment immediately follwing delivery don’t forget to take several deliberate and deep cleansing breaths. You see, during the delivery you will be so focused on helping your wife to breathe and in helping her to push that you can wear yourself out. I rememeber having to sit down and drink orange juice because I was feeling a little light-headed. The nurse explained that fainting occurs from time to time. It happens because both the husband and the wife are so focused on birthing the baby that they forget about themselves. It’s like nothing else matters except getting the baby out safely.

Total Reward

Once the baby has been has been delivered safely and cleaned off a series of events take place. He or she is weighed, measured, tested, tested again, pricked for blood, inked for identification and then bundled and placed under a warming light. Once the baby’s temperature stablilizes and all the testing is complete you finally will be able to cradle your own little bundle of joy in your arms. This is, above all else, a “total reward.”

Mike Farrell and his wife Dawn have been married for 10 years. They have three children: 2 boys and 1 girl: Jonathan (7), Meg (3) and Luke (2). A 1991 graduate from Boise State University, Mike has a B.A. in English. A native of Idaho, Mike works as a professional in Information Technology. But his real passion is with his family. Mike is the owner, operator and Senior Editor at: