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On multitasking

I have been a dad for more than a year now. I started this blog mainly because I thought I would have plenty of time to reflect on being a father in a country like Sweden. I’m a stay-at-home dad, right now, so I do have some time for reflecting, but taking care of a child means that the reflecting has to be more bite-sized than blogposts. Feel free to follow me on Twitter instead (in the sidebar).

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On a new human being

It is odd how you can watch a face for hours on end without growing tired. When Swedish Baby is sleeping that’s what I catch myself doing time and time again. My wife and I created this person – and it is awesome, in every sense of the word.

Swedish Mom has shown new sides in the days following the birth of our child. They’re not bad, they’re just different. She can cry for the smallest things, something she never has done before. Some of this can obviously be explained by hormones, but I thing a small part of it is that we now have a baby to take care of. A more sensitive mindset is an absolute must. I can feel it myself.

Swedish Baby is doing great. He does what babies do most – eats, craps, and sleeps. Every now and then we get a glimpse of his eyes or an occasional distortion of his face – something that could be called a smile. He recognizes our faces and voices, and one of his favorite past-times is sleeping on my chest. Sniffing a baby’s head is more intoxicating and addictive than any drug you can think of.

Right now I am enjoying ten “daddydays” – a paid ten-day parental leave that all partners can enjoy after their child’s birth here in Sweden. We are able to get to know our newest family member together and help each other with the transition from married couple to married with child. I wish everybody could experience this.

On life

I am now a father.

On September 4, at 10.07 pm, we had a baby boy. 3560 grams. 51 centimeters. 10 fingers. 10 toes.

I am so happy I am crying.

I’ll be back with more as soon as I’m able to wrap my head around this…

On the final countdown

We are in week 39 and counting. We had an appointment with our midwife this morning, and she booked us for another meeting next week. Considering she has been around the block a few times, we take that as a sign that nothing will happen for at least another seven days.

Swedish Mum has had very few problems during the pregnancy. It’s a bit heavy at times, and her pelvis hurts after walking, standing, sitting or lying down, but all that is normal.

Right now, we are mostly looking forward to meeting the baby boy we have felt through a belly, seen through an ultrasound, or heard through a doppler. Again: Can’t wait to meet him.

We have prepared everything we can. And still, when the whole thing actually takes off, we’ll probably feel like we haven’t prepared a thing. Oh well…

On preparations

Baby carriage? Check!

Baby bed? Check!

Baby Björn? Check!

We are at week 36 and the preparations continue. I’m seriously considering keeping tabs on all the expenses so that I can give Fjant a bill on his 18th birthday – just a loan, son. I thought having a baby was expensive but this is silly – and we’re getting most of the stuff second hand.

We still have not settled on a name, but now we have a list at least. We have scoured the family trees, name books and the Internet for good names that can not be made into something stupid – in any language – and the list has dwindled to about ten names. Boys’ names have turned out to be more difficult to settle on than girls’ names, but I’m sure I’m not the first one to figure that out. Fjant doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s getting closer.

Swedish Mom is doing well. The “ready button” hasn’t popped yet, but it’s about to. For being this late in the pregnancy I think she is very active. She has had an eight week holiday (she’s also a teacher), but on Wednesday she’s going back to work for a couple of weeks. However, she will try not to miss too much of the Olympics…

I’m doing well too, I suppose. I can’t wait to meet the person inside my wife, which is as strange as it gets nowadays. Any day now…

On getting ready

The summer passes quickly and I still haven’t done everything I am supposed to. Seven weeks (I am a teacher) is not enough to prepare to become a father. Mentally I’m prepared, but that is not the hard part.

We still have not bought a baby carriage. From what we’ve heard, they have to be ordered at least ten weeks in advance. We still have not packed the bag(s) that we should have ready if the baby should decide to come early. We’ve heard that we need diapers, but there are none in the house as of right now.

That is about an afternoon of work, we feel. The carriage we’ll buy second hand and as soon as we have the diapers we can pack our bag.

The hardest part of preparing for the arrival of a newborn baby in your house is to understand the system. I’ll explain the Swedish system in more detail later, but in short it is as follows: The two parents get 480 days of paid parental leave that they can use during the child’s first eight years. Although it is extremely generous, it is also extremely complicated.

I’m not worried though. Maybe I should be, but I don’t care. Mentally I am prepared to be a parent, and that has to be the most important thing. The rest will follow.

Week 34 and counting…

The second trimester honeymoon is over. My wife has started to have difficulties doing the most trivial things. Just getting out of a couch has become difficult, not to mention biking. And she is more tired nowadays. She has always been up and about, but now when she has lost the capacity she gets very frustrated. I wouldn’t call this straining for our relationship, it’s just a changed dynamic.

As Fjant is running out of space, we have become more interested in what sex the he/she is. We feel that it would be more personal to know if it is a boy or a girl. It’s not that the sex matters, it’s just that we are tired of calling the baby It, or Fjant. We want to be able to call It a boy or a girl. We want to treat It as a person. And as a bonus we can cut approximately 50 % of the possible names. We will try to find out what Fjant is during the next ultrasound in a few weeks.

We’re in week 28 and counting…