– Part one of my recent Mojomums blog post.
So it occurred to me that I write a lot about parenting, I also write a lot about mothers issues, and why not; the mothers are my audience after all. Being a father of two I feel I have genuine experience that could indeed benefit the expectant fathers on what’s to come, coupled with some friendly male advice on the best ways to prepare. To do this thoroughly I have divided this blog post into three parts, this being part one. One thing is for sure Daddys-to-be, your life as you know it will never be the same again.
Part One: She’s Pregnant
You will go through a whole army of emotions when you find out you are going to be a father, you will feel excited, and why not, this is a big deal, a life defining deal, make sure your spouse sees this joy you have for the adventure that beholds. You will feel nervous, with every day that little one grows inside your loved one, is another day of worry and panic, you just want them to be healthy right? You will feel overwhelmed. This may cause you to do something stupid, actually scrap that, you probably will do something stupid. Finding out you are going to be responsible for another life can be severely distressing, you may find yourself over-compensating in another area of your life, or like myself you may find you take on an entirely new hobby that makes sense to no-one but yourself. For some strange reason I decided to become an over-night aquarist; yep I took on the responsibility of tropical fish before my first born was here. My wife will never let me forget that when sending me out to get a new pram I came back with instead, a humongous fish tank.
As I mentioned, you will be going through many feelings, which is fine and normal of course but remember at all times that you will not be growing this baby. A woman’s pregnancy will be one of the most amazing, but hardest, experiences of her life. Like it or not, this pregnancy will be what’s known as her top trump card. Whatever you say or do from here on out will never outdo giving birth, it’s just a reality you will learn to live with.
Now I can’t mention pregnancy without bringing up mood-swings, they are going to have them, they are extremely confusing and there is no way to stop them. Pregnant women are like a ticking time bomb, say the wrong thing and boom! Say the right thing and boom! Say nothing at all and boom! I hope your getting the idea of where this is going, there will be moments where you will be public enemy number one, because as you will hear in plenty, this is all your fault. There are many ways to combat mood-swings; The yes game – say yes to everything, trying to conflict with a hormonally charged woman can be catastrophic, simply agree to all. Show her your inner parental instincts – remember men will always be boys and it is because of this that they will often look down on you with regret. By doing a few extra chores around the house and taking on a few extra tasks that a tired pregnant woman just wont feel like doing, you are showing her that you are responsible, this will put her stressed out mind at ease, not to mention it will put her conscious at ease that the guy who screams like a girl when the new Call of Duty is released, may actually make a good father. Another way to distil those hormones is by mastering the art of foot and back rubs; that wee you just had, that missed the toilet by a few centimetres will soon be a distant memory for her once you get to work on those feet, do not stop until your hand looks like the front cover of the ‘night of the living dead’. If all else fails there is the ‘emergency exit’, get out the house and don’t look back. Explain later of course that you felt like she needed some space, I would recommend returning with a gift, extra brownie points if you get one of her weird new found cravings.
Remember lads, a woman’s appearance is going to change. That sweet girl you met in the club sporting a skinny black dress and 6 inch heels… remember it, hold onto it. She will most likely triple that size and as for heels, don’t even go there, her ankles will most likely look like they had a bad reaction to a bee sting. That being said, a pregnant woman is a beauty on it’s own, now more than ever will she need to hear the words ‘You look incredible love’, she will of course dismiss this, you should perhaps reply with, ‘no seriously it’s quite sexy, I love your curves.’
The best possible advice I can give is the words of Robert Baden-Powell, it was there all along in boy scouts ‘Be prepared’, and of course research, ask questions and get involved with the pregnancy as much as you can. There is so much to learn and by involving yourself it wont be so much of a shock when the little one arrives.
This moves us onto the birth itself. The experience is, well, it’s quite something. There will be parts you will probably want a few heavy nights on the drink to damage a few memory cells, that is if you want to have sex again. You will effectively experience what it might be like to be a slave, you will be at her beck and call for everything. Those foot and back rubs during pregnancy, they were all training exercises for the big day, get those hands to work. You will also become a poster boy of hate to her, I will still never forget my lovely innocent wife lying on the bed having contractions, she scanned the room, first catching the eye of her mother, she smiled, next she turned and looked at the midwife, another beautiful smile, then she looked at me. I swear to God, the theme tune to ‘The Omen’ called ‘Ave Satani’ began playing as I feel like I saw Lucifer himself staring at me through the eyes of the one I love. Evil, the most evil look I’ve ever experienced.
Remember to ensure she is doing brilliantly and to keep breathing, she may of course spit those words back in your face, this just means she cares. Once little one is here, make sure you tell her over and over how fantastic she was. Now baby is here, get ready for the hard bit…
Written by MojoDad Jim, author, husband and father of two
– Aspiring to Inspire