In blog 63 – will it be a smooth and easy, or painful, even violent birth? : Zani feels panicky, because a mother is said to play the chief role in who her child becomes. On top of that, she is terrified of the actual birth. Then she discovers a comforting truth.
How a man feels about his wife and unborn child is one of the single most important factors in determining the success of pregnancy.
How [the baby] is born – whether it is painful or easy, smooth or violent – largely determines who he becomes and how he will view the world around him … That is why Freud called the pleasure and pain that accompany birth ‘primal emotions’. None of us ever entirely escapes their pull.
I suddenly feel overcome by a myriad emotions: grateful that Jake is such a rock and that he was prepared to change his timeline to become a dad; panicky because the chief source of those shaping messages is the child’s mother; afraid because the word ‘pain’ keeps popping up; and, after the videos Jake and I saw on YouTube, terrified of the actual, perhaps painful and violent, birth.
I had no idea that having a baby was such serious business! I thought a baby was something that happened parallel to your life, and that you could dip in and out of the experience as and when it suited you. I didn’t realise that having a baby meant taking responsibility for shaping a little person’s life! I didn’t know having a baby meant saying goodbye to your own life … I don’t know if I can do this.
Feeling very sorry for myself, I turn my face into Jake’s pillow and moan over and over, “I don’t know if I can do this … I don’t know!” Eventually I cry myself to sleep.
The moment I wake up, I realise it’s true. Smell can comfort you! Jake’s pillow, or rather the smell of Jake’s pillow was a huge comfort during the night. It was as if his smell gave me courage. Maybe that’s why I should sleep on Brandon’s blankets? My smell may give him courage when he needs it most …
Message from Jake: You awake?
I call rather than text back. Jake picks up on the second ring.
“Good morning, my babe …”
“Good morning, my man.”
“Did the mother of my son manage to sleep without me?” Jake asks in his most innocent voice.
“Sort of … Phew, I was feeling really overwhelmed last night, but I’m okay this morning – thanks to your smell.”
“Huh? Come again?”
“It’s a long story, but for now it’s enough to know that it was your smell that gave me courage.”
I can imagine the broad grin spreading across his face.
“You think we should patent it? Imagine the billboards and the women queuing up to get a whiff.”
“Go put your branding and marketing talents to more practical use, mister!
Fantasising doesn’t buy nappies!”
He roars with laughter. “But, hey, one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you was to say that Vee’s book is an incredible read. I’d really like to hear more about Marais’ work and Sky’s ideas. How about we invite Sky and Seth for drinks sometime?”
“Yeah. What about some time next weekend, say Sunday?”
“Okay, let’s ask them at the class this week.”
“Good thinking. Have a good one, love, see you at dinner time tonight.”
“Go get ’em, Jake! Love you.”