Founding Fathers: From oops to awesome

Founding Fathers is back again to give a Richmond dad a place to reflect/opine/wax poetic about a fatherhood-related topic of his choosing. Today we hear from Shane Jimison, local attorney and brand new father to a baby boy.

Sure, the dads occasionally contribute to Raising Richmond, but the conversation there tends to leans more towards the maternal perspective. That’s where “Founding Fathers” comes in. Each month, we’ll be giving a different Richmond dad a place to reflect/opine/wax poetic about a fatherhood-related topic of his choosing. Today we hear from Shane Jimison, local attorney and (as of Wednesday) a brand new dad to a baby boy named Hank. This piece was written a few weeks prior to his son’s birth.

My wife Kristin and I spent the first seven years of our marriage actively trying not to get pregnant. Thirty-three sounded like a good age to maybe get rolling, so we thought we’d have a couple of years left of being dog-only parents. That all changed on Valentine’s Day 2010. I had not one, but two pregnancy tests with that purple plus sign hurled at my head. (Full disclosure: the second stick deservedly hit me in response to my plaintive query of “are you sure?” Yaz birth control? You can suck it.)

The next day, while she sat at home — catatonic and weeping — I went to the bookstore to grab a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I couldn’t find it. There were shelves and shelves about infertility, but I had to ask for help in finding the expectant parents books. It kind of hit me how lucky we were at that moment.

We kept our news quiet until we could tell our family and friends at 12 weeks. What Kris doesn’t know is there are several bartenders, CVS clerks, and old ladies I met that knew I was going to be a dad. I had to tell someone, right? Because I wasn’t forced to live with my head in a toilet for 20 weeks, my excitement level was much higher than hers for a long time, as she began referring to the fetus as “that little asshole.”

Once the 12 weeks passed, we could tell our families and our friends and that brought with it a tremendous wave of “We’re really doing this… maybe it’s even going to be fun.” I read that my wife would start feeling better after the first trimester. She didn’t, so my job became convincing her that at some point, she would feel better and be as excited as I was. To no surprise, this happened when she started eating solid foods again.

One night before dinner, I casually mentioned that I had a few names running through my head. Turns out she did too and she said, “Out with it.” We agreed on names in about 30 seconds, and thankfully, Ted Theodore Logan or Bill S. Preston, Esquire met with her approval. The big 20 week ultrasound came, and sure enough, Baby Jimison had a penis, assuring that my family name lives on and our time-honored collection of fart and poop jokes will last another generation.

As of this writing, according to my “I’m Expecting” app on my iPhone, we are at week 34. The baby, who we once saw on a monitor as a pea that flickered is now 17 inches and 4.75 pounds. He beats the heck out of my wife’s internal organs, but when I put my hand on her stomach he calms down. I hope I have the same effect when he escapes out of his amniotic prison. We no longer have to refer to him as the size of a fruit or vegetable, because he is a person at this point and I can’t wait to meet him. I’m pretty sure he is going to be awesome.

So kid, when you read this, realize your mom did not have an easy pregnancy. You showed up uninvited. You made her sick for five months. You beat her up. You threw her hips out of whack. She was tired for weeks. Moody. Irrational. Downright angry, for no good reason. There is nothing you can do to repay her so do as I did with my mother and don’t even try. All you have to do is just love her as much as I love her and she will know that every discomfort was worth it ten fold. And if not, I hear macaroni wreaths are all the rage at Christmas.

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Shane Jimison

Shane Jimison completed his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Richmond. An irreverent lawyer practicing all over Richmond, he is also husband to a girl who makes him laugh every day. He loves bacon, hoppy beer, the Nats, the Spiders, and the Redskins. You can follow his personal shenanigans on Twitter at sljesq or his professional musings at RVALawyer.

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