Becoming a dad for the first time can be an uncertain, scary, and, at times, a bit of a funny event but, many have gone before you and have made it out alright and you will too.
Since my husband and I found out that we were pregnant with our first baby, the whole process has proven to be quite the conversation topic for us. As a woman, I have found it somewhat difficult to explain to my husband everything that is going on with me. Sometimes, these little misunderstandings can be pretty hilarious, but at other times, they can be aggravating, embarrassing, and even emotionally hurtful. I have decided to share some of the experiences my husband and I have had in this article to help you bridge some of those awkward and difficult gaps you and your wife/partner may have with being first-time parents, and hopefully give you a bit of a laugh in the process, and to help you realize that you are not alone. The following three topics are things my husband and I have come across on our first baby journey.
#1 Week-to-Week Monitoring
If your wife or partner is anything like me, as soon as they find out they are pregnant for the first time, they dive onto YouTube and watch week to week gestational videos. Most of them are model creations that show the week to week growth of babies in the womb and some women will tune into one once a week. However, for me, I became OBSESSED with these videos watching them several times a week and constantly quoting facts that I had learned from viewing them. This was ok at first, but after a little while, my husband started to become a little annoyed with it. At first, it kind of hurt my feelings to see my husband’s lack of enthusiasm. I thought that maybe he really didn’t care about how our little one was doing.
Boy, was I wrong! After a couple of weeks of going back and forth between the two of us, my husband finally conveyed to me why he got so annoyed. The whole thing made him anxious! Growing up, he had heard the dreaded stories of miscarriages and stillbirths especially ones that happened in his family. It was a fear of his that this could happen to us, and he was angry that this fear had a hold on him, which manifested as annoyance that he then took out on me. My advice for all you new fathers, have a quiet time with your significant other and discuss with them your concerns and your fears. We love you and would never laugh or think less of you, so be open and honest about your feelings. We are here to listen.
#2 Morning Sickness
Oh, my goodness. There is nothing a pregnant woman dreads more and nothing that makes new fathers feel more helpless than the dreaded morning sickness. Heartburn, migraines, nausea, and vomiting for absolutely no reason can be a royal nightmare not to mention that it can strike at any time. I remember one incident where I went to the local pizza shop to pick up some dinner for the two of us. I was about halfway through my first trimester, and I had been feeling rotten all day. Normally, I would get sick in the morning, and be fine the rest of the day, but this day was an exception. I pulled into the shop parking lot only to find a very long line. That is when nausea hit me full force. I tried to play it cool by walking briskly for the bathroom, but wouldn’t you know it? The shop only had one toilet in the women’s room and there was a LINE! Now, I normally have a very strong stomach, but there was no denying this confetti party. I had to quickly run out of the shop to my car, that was luckily on the edge of the lot next to some weeds and dirt, and I lost stuff in my stomach I didn’t even know I had in there! Well, a lot of people saw this and it was all very embarrassing.
After cleaning myself up and getting the order, I drove home on the edge of tears and upon seeing my hubby, I broke down in tears. I told him what had happened, and he gently rubbed my shoulders and told me not to be embarrassed, that crap happens to everyone, and he just wanted to make sure I was ok. That night he got me some mint and chamomile tea and watched some shows with me. I think I cried for a good two hours, but afterward, I felt so much better having my husband there with me. Sometimes, it can be hard to know what to do in situations like these, and even though we laugh at them now, at the time they can be very hard and embarrassing for us. Guys, all I can say is that it isn’t necessarily the words you use but just being there as an anchor for your significant other during these times means the world to them.
#3 Food Cravings
Ok, so this subject is one that my husband and I still don’t fully get. Most pregnant women may come to crave certain foods or combinations of foods that for their husbands or partners (and families) make absolutely NO SENSE! What is my craving? McDonald’s McChickens. Why I have no idea. They’re crunchy and mushy at the same time, and for some weird reason, slightly spicy…I never really had one before I was pregnant, but now, the “micker chicker monster” will not let me go more than a few days without a fix. I’m not entirely sure if it’s the chicken that’s appealing to me or if it was just the mayonnaise on toasted bread… which sounds way more disgusting in writing.
My husband too is at a loss for this strange, unhealthy snack that seems to pop up everywhere. Although instead of making a big deal about it, he seems to have a lot of fun joking about it. I guess his curiosity outweighs his puzzlement over his wife’s newfound weird craving. Don’t worry men, for most women I have talked to, the weird food cravings go away either during pregnancy or after. So no worries. Have a good laugh with your wife over them. After all, laughter is good for the soul, especially for pregnant mommies and very proud daddies.
For all the men who are about to enter the world of fatherhood, I would first like to congratulate you on your new bundle of joy. Children are a blessing, and your life is about to change for the better. Second, I would like to leave you off with this last piece of advice. Even though you have a new little one on the way, spend time with your wife/partner. Go on dates, walks, and trips. Make lots of fun memories together as a couple. These will be special memories for you to look back on when those sleepless nights of pacing the floor with your new little bundle come, and time flies by slowly. The best thing for you now is, to be honest about your feelings and concerns, be there for her, and don’t be afraid to find the joy and humor in things. Remember that happiness can come and go but the joy you and your significant other share is an everlasting bond that will tie the three of you together. We all have our own unique circumstances that come with having our first child but have no fear. Others have been in the same place and you are not alone.