"It takes two"...there are more than a few ways to finish that line. And in thinking about what it takes to raise a family, it can take way more than two adults to do it effectively. Attempting to quantify the commitment required to be emotionally and spiritually present in the process is folly. It's a way bigger number than can be perceived, much less calculated. Were the figure possible to derive it would be found that the better part of the value is the return of love; still it remains mind-boggling how it all comes together--partnership.
The pregnancy phase tends to focus on the female which may not be inclusive or generous enough. I remember the moment I told Brian he was going to be a father while catching-up at Oznot's over breakfast on the week's worth of news that transpired while he was away at Bard for grad school. I casually snuck the news into some banal update for the fun of shocking him when he'd realized what I had said a few moments later. Metaphorically speaking at that moment he became 'pregnant' too. Pregnant with thrill, expectation and passing anxieties I imagine a certain amount of the time. And he remained filled with these feelings up until our daughter 'popped' out.
He listened to the heartbeat at check-ups and fell silent in awe, he felt on edge until tests returned results for no concern, he reconfigured our space for the new arrival, he listened compassionately to every last trimester grumble and complaint of discomfort and by the look on his face--which I will never forget--he was feeling everything I was during labor.
His commitment to what we were embarking on in becoming parents could not have been more fully articulated than his creating a labor talisman for me, the first Brooklyn Bambini figurine. xo