I read this weekend about this story. Seth Meyers’ wife delivered their son in the lobby of their apartment building. The couple was heading out for the evening, and then his wife’s water broke.
She went into labor. They called an Uber but by the time it arrived and they got in, it was too late.
Time ran out.
The baby was on its way.
There was only one thing to do.
Seth called 911. The operator talked him through the delivery.
With the operator’s help, and an audience in the lobby, Seth delivered the baby. When I read this, I recalled something from when my wife was expecting.
This was my worst case scenario & fear:
That something would happen and I would be the one delivering the baby.
And I think this is a common fear new Dads to be. And I think this cut to the core of why fatherhood is existential. I wanted to:
be the Dad who saves the day.
So I did prepare. I did things such as:
– Put 911 on speed dial
– Study the route & time the drive
– Pack a go bag
– Pack snacks & protein bars
– Put the hospital on auto dial
– Save the hospital address in my GPS
Most of these efforts were secondary though when the rubber hit the road.
That’s when I realized something.
Despite my efforts, I could only ever be ready for any emergency if I learned how to do one thing.
And this think is common: I talk to folks who are expecting and they all want to manage for any possible situation with kids.
At a goodbye party last weekend for friends leaving town, another friend whose fiancé is expecting asked me how I prepared.
This is what I said to him:
Learn how to calm down FAST.
It’s simple, but it ain’t easy.
I told him the good news though. I would tell him how he could learn.
We do this all the time and don’t even realize it.
Why? Because getting into a state of calm is not just mindset.
It’s a physical state of being.
Anxiety or the feelings of it are a by product of excess cortisol.
When I make an effort to get in a state of calm when things get crazy in life, I notice a palpable difference of my perception and reaction to a given situation. This then makes it easier to react quickly.
It’s not about getting into some guru zen state, although I can’t say I wouldn’t mind if I could figure THAT out…
It’s really about being in control of emotions.
When I do that, a whole new world opens up.
You can go from worrying about worse case scenarios to actually welcoming situations when the crazy hits the fan.
So, don’t be dominated by fear:
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