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There is nothing to fear, right?

Over the past nearly nine months, Julie and I have been on a journey of sorts. It’s a journey that millions and millions of American couples travel each year.

The whole process of becoming parents is fascinating and amazing.

From a scientific point of view, it’s difficult for me to imagine any other thing is at play in the process if not God’s hand.

Human creation is indeed a gift from Him.

Of course many others have written about this process much more eloquently than I ever could. So instead, this morning, let’s explore one of the repeated road stops along the path to parenthood — the obstetrician’s office.

Until a few months ago, this was considered a “no man’s land” for me.

I joked with Julie on our first few visits about how completely uncomfortable I was with the process.

I was there, as I repeatedly told Julie — mostly in jest — only because she requested me to tag along for support.

I feigned terror as we walked from the elevator to the office’s entry door. Then I made a face as we turned the knob as if untold terror were about to be unfolded before my eyes.

After a visit or two, the humor of the feigned terror faded and things became a bit more routine in nature.

While the process of pregnancy seems to be one of the most researched human processes known, the common male malady is the phobia of entering no man’s land.

Since my early trips I’ve quietly taken great pleasure at watching as the husbands or significant others of pregnant women come into the office showing signs of the early phase terror.

My observation post is one of the seats in the waiting room at the Natchez Women’s Center.

As soon as the door opens, and the female patient enters the waiting room, the terror on the face of the husband is almost universally evident.

Although it may not be scientifically sound, it appears the more masculine-looking the man is, the more terrified, he’ll look.

Jeans, a baseball cap and work boots generally appear with the most fearful-looking faces.

Despite our best male efforts, it’s difficult to mask the fear of the unknown and the feminine.

After the would-be fathers enter the room, we don’t even know what to do. Most often, the husbands — likely normally the alpha male role in their family — take on a more submissive nature, hanging back, near the door as their female counterparts sign the patient check-in form.

Perhaps hanging by the door provides a sense of security, an easy out if the human body’s flight reaction needs to kick into gear.

Once inside, the first reaction is not unlike that of a law-abiding citizen touring a jail. Try not to make eye contact with anyone, look down to avoid seeing something you’ll later wish you didn’t and don’t touch anything.

The whole thing is kind of funny, particularly how all of us — from all walks of life — share so much in common.

Little do we know on those first trips that fear of the unknown and overcoming our uncomfortable nature will soon be the least of our worries.

 

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.

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