What to Expect When Your Partner is Expecting
If you are reading this, then congratulations! You and your partner are pregnant. Okay, she’s pregnant and you are supporting the pregnancy. Still, congratulations are in order.
If you are like I was, you’re probably a little nervous about what is in store for you over the next few months. You might pick up a parenting book or two, but those are usually written by women for women. So I decided to put together a list of what to expect from the guy’s perspective.
The Bad Ass Dad’s Guide to Pregnancy
You can expect nesting behavior to begin at or prior to the pregnancy, or anytime after childbirth. You just need to breathe and accept this one. In fact, just get used to breathing. A lot.
Nesting is described by Parenting Weekly.com as “an uncontrollable urge to clean one’s house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.” My wife has been nesting since I met her, years before she and I had our son. We worked on the nursery “together”… she planned the layout and design and I moved furniture back and forth, and back again and again.
- Parenting Classes
My wife signed us up for a series of parenting classes. It was a good idea—or maybe it was a hint. The classes covered Basic Parenting 101, feeding, bathing, and changing diapers—perfect for a baby spaz like me. Helpful hint, don’t bring a camera to the breastfeeding class.
- The Baby Shower
Like its cousin the bridal shower, baby showers are a great way of filling your home with tons of free stuff—but it’s not really free—it comes at a cost. You will have to be there.
In days long past, women went to baby showers while the men stayed home. The father’s involvement was limited to loading and unloading the car afterwards. It was a good system that worked fine. I’ve always been a believer of “If it ain’t broke.” Over the past few years baby showers went coed. Men are now required to attend, not just the expectant fathers but the husbands and partners of the female guests. Why would a guy want to go to Hooters for beer and wings when he can play games like Baby Bingo?
- Oh That Weight Gain
Mine that is. It’s common for expectant fathers to gain weight during their wife’s pregnancy—I just didn’t think it would happen to me. We both gained weight (25 pounds for me) the difference is she produced a son, I produced a belly.
- Hormones, Hormones, Hormones
Every father has more than a few war stories about theirs or their partner’s hormones going berserk. Hormones will hijack your sweet lady and they might even get you. Hormones can give either of you more personalities than Sybil and that is no joke. If you’re lucky your season of hormones will only feel like getting a prostate exam from a doctor with fat sausage fingers. Why are you putting your head in the oven Frank? If you’re lucky they will pass when the baby is born… remember, there is always middle age to look forward to.
- When in Doubt Laugh
It’s my motto for life and it helped when things got stressful. Pregnancy is a unique experience, and those experiences have given me enough material for a 20-minute set at a Comedy Club or a blog. I survived Lamaze Classes, unsolicited advice, and baby name suggestions with a joke or two. Sure it cost me a few looks and maybe a lecture (see the previous paragraph on hormones) but it helped.
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