The room is painted. The curtains are hung. Toys have been bought. Clothes has been procured. There is a cupboard full of wet-wipes, nappies, nappy bags, cotton wool, and other assorted things it is handy to have when one is expecting a baby.
Now, we are waiting.
Johan Andersson, lifting lines from Gandalf, has a signature that reads “A patch is never late! Nor is it ever early. It arrives precisely when I mean it to!” I often think this should be the motto of game designers everywhere, but it most definitely applies to babies.
A baby is considered full-term at 37 weeks, and (in the UK at least) will generally be born sometime between then and 42 weeks. After 42 weeks they generally get the baby inducted. Apparently only about 2% of babies are actually born on the due date.
On the one hand this is quite amusing. For the last couple of weeks, at work I have been adding to most of the emails I have sent out a line to the effect that “if I don’t reply to your emails, it may be because my wife and I have had our first baby. In my absence please contact …”. I’ve also had to mention it in conversation. Both have meant a slight bombardment of congratulations, and eager updates for news from those I have most contact with.
Most men, at least publicly, I think would try to maintain a sort of distance from all of this – but I don’t see the point in not pretending just how excited I am at becoming a father. After we had finished decorating the babies room I sent some pictures to my work email address, and eagerly showed several (female) colleagues who quite understood the giddy excitement of the occasion. Of course, I am also rather nervous, even scared. becoming a parent is surely one of the great reasons for life, and also one of the greatest responsibilities. However, from what I have seen in my brothers and others, it is also one of the purest joys.
And all of this is a result of playing EVE Online. More on that another post.