- Women's Health»
First Time Dads Expect The Unexpected
So You Think You're Ready
Ok, she's pregnant, you've done the test, you've seen the doctor, and you've psyched yourself up for what is to come. Dang it you're ready for this new baby, and how bad can pregnancy be really... it's only for nine months.
Boy what we tell ourselves... the truth is that pregnancy is hard for both the man and the woman. Your partner is going to be going through some major changes in the coming months and she is going to need your help, but the other side of the coin is that you are going to have to try and keep it together as well. Trust me this is harder than it seems. You may think you can still go out with your homies and drink, or that you can still take your me time for yourself but that time is long and gone now. It's time to grow up my friend.
Whether you were planning the pregnancy or it was a 5 minute romp and an opps-ee-daisy, the truth is you rolled the dice and that baby is going to come hell or high water. You've gotta get it together and settle in for the big life change that has already started with your partners new circumstances.
The First Trimester:
- She is going to be sick, no getting around it.
- She is going to get real emotional and she may cry a lot.
- She will start to be more demanding, and perhaps a little grumpy.
- She is going to want you there more and more. (Best to be there for her hey its your kid too!)
The first trimester is pretty hard. Most men don't feel the attachment that the mother feels once she realizes she is pregnant. Men are removed from the event in that they kind of go into a sort of denial stage. You may be elated when you first find out but then that excitement tends to die down. Why does this happen? Well part of it is because the reality of the responsibility starts to set in. This causes an emotional detachment from the soon to be Daddy and what he views as his buzz kill aka the new baby. I know that sounds real harsh and you are thinking this is B.S.! But hey think what you want.
The best thing to do is focus on your responsibilities like you always did but to be there more for your partner. Her rational brain went out the window when that pregnancy test showed she was pregnant. Did you not notice a change right then and there? I'm sure you did, I DID! She's going to need your support, your love, your encouragement, and you shoulder to cry on... a lot.
The Second Trimester:
- Ok, she's starting to plan for everything from baby showers to kids clothes.
- She's starting to calm down and feel better as far as her being sick is concerned.
- She is now beginning to show in her tummy.
- Her clothes don't fit like they did. (Be supportive - she's not fat she's just pregnant)
The second trimester is kind of a lull point for both new daddy and mommy. Mom is busy with her plans, she may complain about being fat and have some emotional moments but they are not near as bad as the first trimester. She will be making plans for her baby shower, buying baby clothes and getting rid of stuff she knows she won't need. She's getting ready for the new arrival.
How's this effect you? Well honestly, (you) no longer matter, your job is to help with her plans and be there when she needs things. You are a supporter, and her rock. Be strong bud, you may be feeling kind of pushed out, but as long as you can hang in there you are making yourself the rock she needs you to be. Remember that this is your baby, your woman... you want to be a man... so be one!
The Third Trimester:
Ok, this is the big event! You are close now and your baby could come sooner or later but you need to be ready!
- She is going to be showing lots now.
- She is going to talk about being fat and be very emotional. (irrationally emotional but she is very pregnant and hormones are coursing through her body.)
- Her clothes really don't fit her now and you had better of hoped she bought some pregnancy clothing or you are going to catch the wrath for that! All part of the second trimester... better remind her then in a loving way to get some for later.
- She will have a hard time getting around, and she's going to want her feet and back rubbed often.
- She's going to need lots of down time so make sure you give her space and time to rest but don't give her too much space or she will think you don't care. Just be there for her and be scarce when she needs you to be.
So the third trimester is a hard one. She's real emotional, feeling like crap, and really having a hard time. Not to mention she's about to go nest crazy, where she will clean out the house and get the baby's spot ready for her and her new born. Just make sure that you keep a rational head. This is not so bad, this is just the end of road for your partners pregnancy and you are the cool head that will prevail.
Keep your cool, keep breathing, sneak away those moments whether in tears or in laughter... Together you can do it. Be a man right? haha... listen just keep your mind on the baby and honestly all the other stuff will just happen.
Oh Boy! She's in pain, she doesn't seem that bad... yet. When the labor goes into full swing your partner is going to be in mega pain, she is going to be totally persona-non-grada until a day or so after the baby is born. Now you have to be strong, and I mean like battle field strong. This is like the end of the game and there are just five seconds on the clock strong. She is going to cry, she may look like she is going to die, don't worry she isn't... she just wishes she were dead, and probably she wishes you were as well. Those last minutes before the baby is born are so hard and gross but hey you stuck through all the rest of it so now get in there and help your partner!
Let me be serious for a moment though... There is no greater moment in your life than when you see you baby born. That new life when you see it will imprint on you. It burns into your psyche and in that moment you finally get to see what it's like to be a REAL MAN.