Two days ago, my wife and I had another check-up with her OB-Gyne and she confirmed what we calculated, that we can expect our son, Philip, to be born any time now.
While it could be a month or even more away, we are so giddy with anticipation. I have so many questions, what will he look like, how will he grow up, what kind of skills has God given him, etc. But for now, I just want to hold him.
Other ways are valid too. Here’s how Carla and I have learned to tackle change:
1. Learn as much as you can.
I’m blessed to have a wife who loves learning like I do. When we were planning our wedding, we read all kinds of magazines and blogs in order to figure the event out. With this pregnancy it’s been even more systematic: buying and reading so many books, attending classes, watching videos on YouTube and buying DVDs. We even quiz each other on the learning to see if we’re absorbing it.
I know there are experts who study years for these things, but we don’t believe in just following whatever they say. This is Carla’s body and our baby. We are responsible for it, so we keep ourselves informed. And we are very grateful for the doctors, midwives, nurses, and parents we’ve met with who have patiently heard and answered our questions.
2. Keep the right priorities.
Learning too much can be a drawback. Soon we encounter clashing viewpoints. Natural, normal, or Caesarian? Hospital, birthing clinic, or at home? Water birth or bed birth? Joe cuts the umbilical cord, doctor cuts the cord, Joe shoots the cord with a Nerf gun?
Often, when this happens, it’s easy get sidetracked by that particular advocacy. “I will give birth this particular way no matter what.” Nope, nope. Not for us. The objective of giving birth is to have a safe, healthy mother and child at the end of the process. Just like when we were planning our wedding, “The win at the end of the day – regardless of the weather, special numbers, vendors, etc. – we leave there husband and wife. That’s a great wedding.” For this birth, it’s to leave there “husband, wife, and son.” I’m getting excited just typing that.
3. Always come back together.
Another downside of planning and working hard during transition is the tendency to pull apart as we focus on tasks. I get grumpy as the to-do list never seems to shorten. But as we’ve practiced before (but still desperately need to keep learning), whatever we’re facing that’s new, we’re supposed to face it together. The tasks aren’t the goal. The flourishing of the relationship is. 🙂
4. Cultivate key relationships.
There’s always someone out there who’s been through what you’re going through and has insight that would priceless to you. Carla and I are so grateful for friends and family members who have been so generous with material things, advice, time, and encouragement. It’s part of the reason why we blog what we learn: to share it with others as well. Regardless of your transition and season in life, there are people who can help you. Find them and learn from them.
5. Filter everything with the lens of faith.
Learning isn’t all positive. As we read and studied, we have to face the fact that there are always risks As we became aware of the many things that can go wrong, it was easy to worry and be fearful. And we had to pray together and decide that our trust and hope on the future isn’t on our learning or preparation but in God who has the best in store for us.
Really, at the end of the day, we have no control over our future. This isn’t an escapist-fatalistic perspective. We must all do the best we can, but, in the end, trust and leave the results to Him who has the best in store for us.