As the last couple of months went by, Michelle and I spent a lot of time trying to learn more about baby care and what to expect. In the end, you just have to wing it. I guess I should have sensed that this pseudo-preparedness was in fact a warning sign of overconfidence and bravado on my part. I don't know how else to describe the sheer helplessness a parent can feel at 2:30am when the baby is crying and the diaper is dry, she has just been fed, and burped, and it just isn't stopping. The first night, we just turned on the light and everything was fine. Just wanted to look around, I guess. Last night, we started supplementing with some formula and that helped.
Other things of note for fathers: During the time of labor, you need to make sure you have food and WATER! Also lay off the aspirin as nerves are going to play some not-so-funny games with the stomach. The nurses will help your wife. You need to take care of you so that when the time comes that your wife needs help, you are ready. I know a couple of friends that are expecting soon. If you are worried about missing it, just ask one of the nurses. I mentioned that I would like to get some lunch and the nurse said that it would be fine, that we were still a bit away. Same when I mentioned I needed to buy some antacids (you may want some of those as well).
All that said, it was the most special experience in my life. Watching my baby daughter arrive was so amazing. Listening to her first cry and she awoke to this strange environment was precious (just keep remembering that a cry can be beautiful...). All in all I feel blessed and lucky with this little bundle.
I want to thank all my friends and family who have talked to us over the last couple of days or left comments. It is always a good feeling when you see all the people that care. Thanks again!