Father Material: Are You Ready To Be A Dad?
Is anyone truly prepared for the roller-coaster ride that is pregnancy? Well, I never could say I am! Of course I am not experiencing it first hand – and so does ever guy out there. But it is an experience worth taking even if you’re on the passenger seat. For first time fathers like me, this is one heck of a ride. It sure is full of unexpected twists and turns.
My wife, Grace is in her 7th month as I write this. Suffice to say, the past 7 months have been truly life changing! So all you first time fathers to be here’s a glimpse of what you are about to experience. For the rest of you dads out there, can you remember what it’s like to ride shotgun on this pregnancy trip?
Grace and I never knew she was pregnant until she was around 7 weeks into the pregnancy. Just a week prior to discovering it we were out swimming, snorkeling, island hoping, simply enjoying ourselves on the beach. Sure, the telltale signs were there – nausea, breast sensitivity, some cramping and of course the delayed period but we did not give it much attention. As for morning sickness only around 88% of pregnant women experience morning sickness and she’s fortunate enough not to be one of them. Just a point of information here: morning sickness can strike anytime in spite of its misleading name . For some reason we decided to buy a home pregnancy test kit and give it a go. Alas, there were two pink bands – we have a baby. Only then did we start connecting the dots. It was Thursday night around 7:00 PM. Our lives changed at that moment. We were gong to be parents. I’m a dad!
Our first visit to the doctor came 2 days later just to confirm what we already knew. After another pregnancy test a sheet of paper was given to us. On it was written: PREGNANCY TEST: POSITIVE. Baby in tummy, check! The next logical step was to get an ultrasound. So we did, that very same day. On the monitor I could not make out anything except for some white smudges and a pulsating white spot. It was our baby’s heart. Nothing can prepare you for a sight like that. Truly breathtaking!
Knowing your wife is pregnant changes everything. One moment you’re doing all sort of crazy stuff in a vacation (Boracay is a must-see place). All of a sudden you have a paranoid tendency to keep your wife safe at all times. That means sanitizing everything, wiping every spill, preparing healthier food, doing most of the chores at home and all efforts to pregnant-wife- proof the home. That was the first 3 months.
By second trimester were used to the idea that’s she’s growing a little baby in her. However, pain was a huge part of the second trimester. What was disturbing was the amount of cramps, back and hip pain she had to endure. As she progressed through this stage, it just got worse. Darn those neural misfires and physical stress . We would wake very early in the morning just trying to stretch her limbs to alleviate the pain from cramps. No husband wants to see his wife cringing, wincing and at times crying in pain. I felt so useless whenever my Grace has to go through that. So I can’t imagine how I’d feel when she finally delivers the baby . All I can do was to make her comfortable. More than just impregnating our wives, our role in this pregnancy is to support our wives. We ride shotgun remember, we have their backs – sometimes literally. In addition, waking up several times in the night just to empty her bladder was routine. Get ready to lose some sleep. I can’t help think that I am merely a spectator in this pregnancy. All the work she had to carry. To all moms out there, great job!
The changes in the body are notable by now. The baby bump is now a huge protrusion, there are stretch marks that resembles Darth Maul’s face, the breast are fuller (though I’m not complaining) in preparation for lactation, some skin pigmentations are more noticeable. Yes, the weight gain is also amusing.
Not everything is dismal during the second trimester. We could feel the baby kick and move and that’s always a pleasant encounter.
Grace just entered the last trimester. Literature says the baby can hiccup and cry at this stage. Also, our baby can react to sound so we talk, read, sing play music for her (yes, our baby is a girl). At 7 months she’s already 1 and half pounds. By the 8th month, all her systems are developed and functioning. However, the lungs may be lagging a bit in the development. But on the 9th month it will be ready.
Muscle pain, fatigue and back pains are more common during this time. If you carry that much weight 24/7 then you’ll eventually to take the toll. Now, even the simplest tasks become more difficult. Bending over to put on your socks is a chore. Guys, help your wife dress up. It’s a small job compared to carrying around a kicking baby in your abdomen. Let your wife rest and you take charge of the rest. It’s just fair that way.
I can never experience pregnancy the way Grace does. Sometimes I’m glad I’m not the one carrying the child. I just don’t know if I can endure half as much as what Grace is experiencing. Pregnancy is a true test of a woman’s strength. I’m so proud how strong Grace is.
Around two months to go. Am I ready? I can confidently say NO.