James is a father of three girls and just had a new son introduced to his growing family.
Who Is My Son?
My fiance approached me with an idea about two weeks after I had proposed to her in a hot air balloon. She wanted to have another baby before the wedding. At first, I was reluctant because our youngest child is nine years old, and our oldest is sixteen. At 35, I could not understand the reason for bringing another life into this world. I finally gave in, hoping that I would finally have my first son. Months later, to our surprise, we discovered that we would finally be having a little boy. After going back and forth on the name he would sign and carry for the remainder of his life, we settled on the name, Jayden.
Weeks began to fly by, and my fiance's belly seemed to grow over night. We started shopping, creating baby registries, and could not have been more happy. Then that's when it hit me. We needed help from friends and family because we were not financially ready to have another child. The money we were making was just enough to take care of our current household with the four kids we already have. My fiance was preparing to go on an unpaid leave, thus the majority of our income was about to be halted. How can we properly care for Jayden without any money?
The fear of having a baby and not being able to care for him was real. I literally had nightmares of not being able to change his diaper because we ran out. I scoured the internet looking for supplemental income so that these worries wouldn't become my reality. Every solution proved difficult and the stress started killing me. Yes, I was excited about having Jayden, but I began to regret this decision. We decided to postpone the marriage to save money. I had to get a second job or increase my pay at my current job. We had to cut back a ton of unnecessary expenses (which we probably should have done anyway). As we approached his due date (September 25, 2019) we were still struggling to make the appropriate changes. It wasn't all financial issues either.
We had a spare room in our 4-bedroom home reserved for when my oldest two daughters visited. They are currently living with their mother from my previous relationship. In our home was my fiance's oldest daughter, and the one daughter that we have together. With Jayden coming, the spare room transformed into his nursery, meaning that we had to find a way to accommodate my oldest girls whenever they were here. I remember standing in Jayden's room thinking to myself, "There is no turning back. This is the point of no return." I immediately bought two blow up mattresses, and decided that when my girls were here I would make the family room into their temporary bedroom. I ordered the mattresses, along with some booties for Jayden. When they arrived a couple of days later, I had another revelation. I was adjusting.
Eliminating the Fear
One morning, during my hour long commute to work, I began to think back to when each of my kids were born. I was never ready, I was always scared, but I always found a way to adapt. I noticed a little grin on my face as the excitement of having another child resurfaced. I understood that it was going to be hard. I mean, I'm 35 years old, and having a baby this time around will be a bit more physically demanding compared to when I was 19. However, the experience that I obtained will make this more easy than ever before. We had already began preparing. We already purchased the items that we know we will need during his first year of life. I had finally replaced my fiance's income with a few side hustles. Maybe this won't be as hard as I initially thought. Comparing the births of my daughters, we had made adjustments to our live after they were born. This time we are ready.
The fear is not, and won't be, completely gone. Any time that we do something new there is some sort of fear of the unknown. Will I be a great father to Jayden, and make sure he doesn't want for more? Is he going to be healthy like his big sisters? Will the world be kind to him? There is no way to know these answers, and honestly, that part is scary. I'm happy to say that is the only fear that remains today. I will do my best to provide Jayden with everything he needs and remain being the best father that I can be to all of my daughters.
I want to document Jayden's life. I want to have a medium that he can visit to read my thoughts throughout his life. I'm not a great writer, but I feel that this is the best way for Jayden to know what was happening from the beginning of his life. Jayden, I haven't seen your face yet, but I have felt you moving around inside of mommy's tummy. I want to let you know that I love you already. We are all excited to finally meet you this month. Love, Dad(dy).
© 2019 James Shannon