As I write this, another lockdown looms as Covid-19 cases have steadily risen over the past few weeks. I'll start by saying that both my wife and I have adhered to the recommendations/restrictions since March and in the past few weeks again reduced our number of contacts with people.
I've been happy to abide by the restrictions, wear a mask, give distance and go through copious amounts of hand sanitizer. When we got the news that we were expecting, I became even stricter with myself making sure I didn't miss a beat. I had hoped when the restrictions were easing during the summer that I might be able to attend the scans with my wife in CUMH.
The 8-week scan I was at home, waiting anxiously for word from my wife, as we previously had a miscarriage. The 12-week scan I sat like a spare prick in the car park outside a Subway. Now with how things are looking, I'll be sitting in my car outside Subway again, my nerves and anxiety through the roof, burning through Twitter newsfeeds and YouTube trying anything to occupy my mind. All the while my wife will sit and wait and have the 20-week anomaly scan alone.
I would say on the whole I'm a very positive guy. 99.9999% of my heart and head are telling me everything will be fine. She'll be fine and the baby is fine. Everything so far has been good why should it be any different. But that 0.0001% that's left is made up of worry.
My wife is a strong woman. Mentally, emotionally and physically. Christ the woman has freakish strength. Kinda like Monica from Friends. I know she's more than capable of heading in on her own to the CUMH. I don't doubt her for a minute in that regard. But I do know she would love to have me there and would love & appreciate the support. I want to be there to support her and also we would get to enjoy seeing a live scan together as first time parents. Instead of just looking at the pictures in the front seat of the car.
I like to think I'm an honest guy. Maybe it's me being selfish. Simply being there would reduce the time I'd be sweating bullets in the car. Sometimes I ask myself is it wrong to think like that? At the moment I'm angry, emotional and jealous. I'm emotional and frustrated that I'm missing out on seeing these scans. I'm angry that I'm not able to be by my wife's side, to support her, see the scans with her and that I won't be there in case my wife receives bad news. I'm jealous of Dad's that have got to go in and be there for the scans.
I understand the restrictions and measures put in place. The powers that be don't have an easy job appeasing the masses. I know they're necessary especially in a hospital setting. But fuck me lads, I'd be lying if I said, it doesn't make my blood boil.
I would wear any and every type of PPE if it meant I could go in for that 20-week scan.
Strip me down to my birthday suit nurse, power hose me down in hand sanitizer and throw me inside one of those big Zorb balls baby! I'll roll myself in!
I'd do anything they asked. And I'm not the only one.
There are Dads across the country who I'm sure feel the same. They might be in a similar position to me. They could have wives/partners that are further along than mine. Who's wives/partners are being admitted to hospital today but are unable to have their husband/partner by their side as they're not in labour or have been called in for a C-section. It's a time of high stress, the Dad is a big part of the birth plan, they're there for support, can help tell the midwives what their birth plan is, and are there should any difficult decisions need to be made or arise. If you have 90 seconds, check out this great video from Studio Work Ireland here.
People have messaged me in support since I set up this website/blog. It's been fantastic and overwhelming, the suggestions, tips everything. For some reason I didn't think I'd get much of a response if any. So I do really appreciate it.
I've had quite a few suggestions about not being able to go in for the scans, like "Get your wife to FaceTime you when she's in there". Yes great in theory but it's simply not the same. It can't be. I've seen and experienced some amazing things in my life across the globe. You probably have too. You'll probably agree with me then when I say that they all looked and felt better in person than when you looked back on them on a mobile screen. That memory is etched in your mind through your eyes. The picture just brings you back to that moment.
However, this may be my reality, watching the 20-week scan through FaceTime. And if it is, I'll just have to deal with it but I'd love to be there.
The 20-week scan, I suppose for me, is the moment where we can both breath a sigh of relief almost, as we would know everything is in fact fine. No ifs or buts. A definite fine. We're on track for our due date in April.
My wife will have hit the 17-week mark this coming Thursday the 22nd of October. We're just coming into the time when we should start feeling the babies movements. But from what I've read, if it's your first baby you may not feel those kicks or flutters until the 20-mark.
If you're unaware gents, a baby kicking or moving is a good sign. You and your wife/partner should be able to feel your baby move right up to and during labour.
But when you're first time parents and you've 8 weeks between scans. When movements can't be felt until closer to that 20-week mark. You do just want to get that scan to make sure everything is alright. To be fair, I do think I check my wife's belly more than she does for kicks. When in fact she'll probably feel them way before I can.
We've booked a private scan which we'll have in a few weeks time. But who knows what Covid-19 will bring. Fingers crossed lads. "Covid is a Pain in the Arse!"