As soon as my wife and I joined our lives in marriage six years ago, we planned to have a baby. After no luck and multiple doctor visits we started becoming discouraged. We thought a baby simply wasn’t in the stars for us. With the thought of having a baby set aside, we started to move forward with our lives, focusing on work and hobbies. I’m not saying all of the negative pregnancy tests didn’t take an emotional toll on us, but as we both strongly agreed that we got married because we fell in love and wanted to spend our lives together.

As time went on, the idea of having a baby just seemed impossible; when my wife woke up one morning feeling ill, only one possibility came to mind–food poisoning. Well, after the third morning of illness, and a few other indications, my wife decided to take a pregnancy test. Of course we both figured it would come back negative. After all, we had long accepted that we weren’t going to have a baby. You could imagine the feeling of disbelief when my wife sent me a text message with a picture of a positive pregnancy test. I was in so much disbelief that I instantly ran to the nearest Walgreens to buy a second pregnancy test. I guess after so many negative tests in the past, I needed that extra confirmation.

When the second pregnancy test came back positive, disbelief turned into shock and shock grew into fear. Yes, fear! Was I ready to be a father after so long? Will I make a good father? Do I have enough wisdom to raise a child? What if it’s a girl? What if it’s a boy? Who is going to change the diapers? Millions of thoughts raced through my mind as my wife and I stood in the kitchen, staring at each other. “Are you happy?”  my wife asked. That simple question made me realize that it wasn’t fear that I was feeling. It was the feeling of excitement!

Everything about becoming a father for the first time is exciting. From the first ultrasound, seeing the tiny little human for the first time and imagining what he or she will look like to the seemingly endless discussions on names. Feeling the baby kick for the very first time is probably one of the coolest experiences ever but one of the most exciting things that come with this experience is finding out the gender of the baby. Could we have waited and be surprised after the birth? Yes! Did we wait? Not a chance!

I always envisioned that I would have a boy and I wanted a boy–but at this point in life I was happy as long as the baby was healthy and happy, too. When we found out we were having a baby girl, suddenly many more questions popped in my head. Am I ready to be a father to a baby girl? Am I going to be able to brush her hair properly before school? Again, who is going to change the diapers?

I was and I am still very nervous about being a father but it’s a good nervous because this “eustress” that I am feeling will assist me with making good decisions as a father. As the days go on, I get more and more elated. I am excited for everything that comes with this wonderful new status I have been given–a dad-to-be. I am excited to meet the little person who has been cooped up in there for nine months. I’m excited to see if what she looks like is anything close to what I imagine her to look like. I’m excited to hold her for the first time and see her beautiful smile. I am excited to come home to her after a long hard day at work and put her to bed at night. I am excited for the sleepless nights, spit up and yes, I am even excited to change diapers.