the ebb and flow of pre-fatherhood confidence

i [tim] wrote this a number of days ago and am just getting around to posting it. and yes, this is my virgin blog post [finally!] after launching this blog that is timandbrookecollier almost two years ago when we were married. this will hopefully be the first of many to come from me. 

brooke is due to deliver our baby in couple of weeks–actually, more like eleven days. that’s right, we’re so close now that it doesn’t even seem right to measure it in weeks any more, but days. though i’ve been incredibly excited about becoming a dad someday for most of my adult life, i find that I am back on a lull in interns of my confidence in it. but not necessarily in the same area that I was having issues with earlier in the pregnancy. going back for a minute, a couple months after we became pregnant, i had serious difficulty envisioning myself being a good dad, and was plagued by fears that I would fall into bad relational habits and end up deeply wounding my kids over the course of their life. i knew it wasn’t the truth but could for some reason could not get myself away from feeling like this was so. at the beginning of this year, the Lord brought numerous people around me who prayed over me and brought words if wisdom and encouragement to that area specifically. it seriously felt like the Father affirming me over and over again for a couple months, saying “i chose you for this and have been preparing you for it for a very long time. all you have to do is continue to be yourself and to show up.” after receiving these encouragements and prayer, i’ve felt much more confident in letting the baby come, and being able to trust Jesus in his grace of what he has put in me and will put in me at the needed times.

so recently, it’s more so been the actual labor and delivery I’ve been worried about. last saturday evening we were out for a walk and brooke started to feel something going on that was new. she was hopeful that the baby might come that night. the effect it had on me was a freak out and a bit of panic because i went blank in terms of what my responsibilities were and not being able to visualize anything of how this would ideally go down, despite having studied quite a bit about all of this. my mind started to imagine that the midwives would arrive, and by the time brooke would get to hysterics [probably something much less intense than that in reality] and need me to lean in to, the midwives would scold me like a teacher rebuking a student who hadn’t finished his homework, and then have me step aside so that she could do the job right. in my right mind, i know this would never happen as both our midwife and doula are amazing and kind people–they hug us every time they come and go for pete’s sake!  but i was scared of not being able to step up to the plate as a husband and coach when my wife needed me most. i know i’m not the one actually giving birth, but i want to be a part of as much of the process as i can, and know that my wife is fully supported when she needs me.

brooke walked into the office later in the evening to find me poring over the bradley method books and chuckled a bit and put her arm around me. in honesty, i told her that i was freaked out and wouldn’t know what to do if the baby came that night. she reassured me that i was going to do fine and then we talked through a little more what it would most likely look like, how i should support her as her birth coach, and that our mid-wife and doula would know if there was something abnormal going on, and would be able to act in the moment if anything needed to be done. i felt a bit better after talking that through, but not a hundred percent.

i find myself praying for baby and quite a bit throughout my days this last week, and actively needing to give my worry and fear of this event about to happen to the Lord. it seems like such a crazy thing to believe right now that this baby, who is fully developed and lying in my wife’s womb, is just going to come out and then be here with us. i am feeling more than ever that a miracle is taking place in front of me that i haven’t been able to emotionally or physically comprehend, and we’re about to hit the climax it. i don’t know what it’s going to be like–i mean i do, sort of. but mostly i’m sure that i can’t be fully prepared for what is about to happen to our family. i want to be be present for it though. i want to show up and trust that Holy Spirit will guide us in the moment and show us how to navigate this messy, beautiful miracle. and i want embrace-in-full that moment when brooke and i are holding our baby and seeing her face for the first time.

Lord, help me.