I’m Mat, and I’ve been a stay-at-home-dad for the past two years. I never planned on being a domestic dad, but an unexpected pregnancy and the insanely high price of childcare left me with very little choice in the matter. That being said, I couldn’t think of a more rewarding career than professional dad.
My wife and I love to spend time with our two kids. Ben, our firstborn, is all boy. Fiercely independent and off the charts huge (not flabby or anything, just tall and thick). This kid is a handful on the best day. He loves to run, jump, eat, climb, slide, swing, eat, swim, eat, dance, and eat. He has the strength and physique of a 4-year-old coupled with the wisdom and experience of a two-year-old, and I’m sure you can imagine the kind of trouble he manages to get himself (and daddy) into with stats like those.
Ben hates to sleep during the day or at night, he wakes up at the butt-crack of dawn every morning, and he has a nasty habit of running away when he hears me calling his name. He despises diaper changes, quiet time, anything clean, and the only things he hates more than sleeping are songs that are too slow for him to dance to. He is a constant challenge and my greatest treasure.
His name, Benjamin, means “Son of my right hand.” It’s perfect because he is my right-hand man, my confidant, my companion, and even when we’re facing off in a battle of wills, with tension mounting and emotions running high, he is still a source of immense joy for his mom and me.
My daughter Joanna, on the other hand…
Joanna is quiet and content most of the time. She will sleep through just about anything (including the freight train that is my son). She has her mother’s eyes, nose, hands, and toes, and she is by far the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Jo was born just two weeks ago, but she has already captured her daddy’s heart. Her name, Joanna, means “God is gracious,” and it serves as a daily reminder to her mom and me of God’s goodness.
You see, my wife and I didn’t plan for our first baby. In fact, we were under the impression that getting pregnant without the help of doctors and expensive fertility treatments was going to be all but impossible. So when we found out we were pregnant with Ben, we were stunned. Our hearts swelled with joy at the thought of a little addition to our family, but like most parents-to-be, we were also anxious. We had lots of questions like:
- What should we expect in labor and delivery?
- Will our child be healthy?
- Will we be good parents?
- How the heck do you take care of a baby anyway?!?
When the time finally came, we discovered we were overwhelmed and ill-prepared for his arrival, especially when complications arose during delivery.
The hardest day of my life…
We started out at a birthing center. Birthing centers have limited equipment and are staffed primarily with midwives, but they offer a less expensive alternative to hospitals. They can be an excellent place to deliver your baby, provided things go smoothly of course. If complications arise, however, you will more than likely have to move to a nearby hospital. Thankfully, in our case, when things started to go sideways, we were just minutes from one of the best hospitals in the country.
When we arrived, my wife received a fluid drip, antibiotics, and an epidural. We then had a few hours to wait before it was time to push. Once delivery began, things seemed to be going pretty well. Ben’s head became visible almost immediately, and we could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, but as time wore on, we realized he wasn’t coming out. After six hours of pushing, we were more than a little worried. My wife was exhausted, Ben’s heart rate was dropping, and we were too far along to perform a c-section safely.
We had very few options left.
Then one of the doctors suggested forceps. (For those unfamiliar with forceps and how they work, they’re basically a giant set of salad tongs used to grab a baby by his head and yank him out.) We were ready to try anything, so we agreed. Immediately, an armada of nurses and physicians in blue scrubs and white coats raced us down the hallway to the operating room where a throng of medical students stood lining the walls to witness this rarely performed procedure. After a few hard pushes from my wife and a few even harder tugs from the doctors, we were finally able to welcome our little boy into the world.
Fifteen months later, we are pregnant with Joanna, and we find ourselves feeling anxious all over again. Anxious about taking on another baby and the possibility of another labor and delivery like what we experienced with Ben. However, God was gracious again, and this time we had no complications. Everything went swimmingly from start to finish. Within hours of arriving at the hospital, we had a perfectly healthy little girl.
That’s why we’re here.
After going through so much with our two kids, we wanted to help other new parents somehow. Out of that desire, Adaptable Dad was born. We understand that parenting is a messy business. Things don’t always go as planned, and any parent with more than one kid will tell you that they are NOT all created equal. Each child requires a different approach to parenting. We’re here to provide parents with the tools to equip, enlighten, and hopefully alleviate some of the stress that comes along with being a parent.
We’re also developing and growing the Adaptable Dad (ADD) Community, which parents can use to connect, ask questions, and offer insight gained through experience. We hope you’ll join us in this endeavor!
We’re exited to hear from you! Tell us about your delivery experience. Leave us a comment below, or contact us with your questions, jokes, or any good news you’d like to share. Be sure to bookmark our site and check back soon for the latest posts and updates!
Mat, Katy, Ben, and Jo
Founders of Adaptable Dad