I am very excited to be on the 2013 Advisory Board for Pregnancy Awareness Month and I look forward to helping to enable dad’s to be more integral, intimate, and involved with their wife during all stages of pregnancy. My wife is due with our third child within the next two weeks, this will be my 7th baby over all and I am just as nervous and excited as I was with the first.
Lets face it, knowing you are going to be a dad is scary, exciting, and wonderful all at the same time. It is a life changing experience covering a plethora of emotions, relationships, and new responsibilities.
How about you? Are congratulations in order? Are you about to become a new dad, either for the first time, second, or third? Or maybe the 7th, like me. Regardless, it is time to move forward with confidence as you enter once again or for the first time into “the continuous equation of life”.
First and foremost, pregnancy is normal, it is just as much a part of life as sleeping, eating, being in love, and living. It is important to have a solid relationship and be in love with your wife; as being pregnant, and having babies, will move you much deeper into the realm of “for better or worse”, “in sickness and in health”, and “for richer and or poorer”. My love for my wife grows exponentially each time she brings us another child into the world.
For the first timers, lets remember “she” is carrying a baby. “Her” emotions are starting a roller coaster ride, that you are on whether you like it or not, so hold on and smile. Can you imagine what it must feel like to have something growing and living inside of you? Moving around when you want to sleep, giving your brain signals for minerals, sugars and foods it is hungry for? Can you imagine your entire body changing in order to accommodate bringing in this new and wonderful person to the world? Everything that happens to her body during pregnancy is directly related to nature and designed to help ensure successful development and delivery of the new baby.
My wife is 8.5 months pregnant, and her hair is three times thicker than normal, I believe our new baby is going to be a wind surfer, because she seems to be standing straight out on her side, and my poor wife’s feet, ankles and fingers are so swollen she cannot wear shoes or her wedding ring. At this point in time, everything hurts, is distracting, and it is hard for her to get off the chair or out of bed. You have heard the term “grin and bear it”, well she tries every day and it is not easy.
We, dad’s and dad’s to be, have a very important role in the process, and it isn’t just the compliment we give ourselves for the few minutes of intercourse ending up in a sweaty mess, passing out and snoring. We need to be the rock, the support, the love, and the assurance to “her” that we cannot wait for our newest family member. Make sure to tell her she looks beautiful, and you are ready to tackle parenting together for the rest of your lives.
Lets practice for a moment, some general Do’s and Don’ts for any pregnant woman you may run into your day to day routines, but especially for your wife:
Do not say; “How are you feeling?” “When are you due?” “Are you having twins?” “Wow, you are big!” “You look tired”, “So do you think you are going get bigger?” “You must be ready to Pop”, “OMG”, “I have never seen anyone so big in my life”.
Do say; “What a beautiful natural state to be in”, “You cannot be any more of a woman than you are today”, “Can I open the door?” “Can I help you with anything?” “Your hair, or your out fit looks great!” “You have a beautiful smile.”
For a pregnant woman it is hard enough just to get out of the house, and everything feels uncomfortable, and she feels like everyone is looking at her constantly and passing judgment on her belly.
Remember throughout the pregnancy your wife looks to you for encouragement, and support. If you are a first time dad, get rid of the “deer in the headlights” stare, and put on your poker face, for second and third time dad’s, compliment her every day, rub her shoulders, and let her know you “want” her, as at some point the well will be dry for about 90 days.
Pregnancy Awareness if not just about mommy, it is about the family team, and now is the time for dad, new or experienced, to increase your awareness and make this experience unique and rewarding for the remainder of your life.
Written by Robert Nickell, from DaddyScrubs, the first online global brand offering delivery room duds and daddy gear for expectant and new dads. His website includes a popular weekly parenting blog, penned by Nickell (aka Daddy Nickell) covering topics such as bonding with your child and what fathers should expect during pregnancy and infancy. He is a member of the PAM advisory team.