What To Expect When Your Wife is Expecting

What To Except When Your Wife is Expecting

By Mia Atkins

 

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Here Comes the Bride’s Baby

When you find your soul mate, often times you and your partner are two peas in a pod. But then, your wife becomes pregnant and a whole new world opens up. Besides the contribution of manufacturing the baby, the husband’s job in a physical sense comes to a screeching halt. The baby is growing inside of her, leaving you to watch on the sidelines. She will experience emotions and hormones that you’ll never understand. So what’s a man to do?

 

Facing the Facts

For men, becoming a father is a surreal life alteration. The end of the road is near for being a young man, while the door opens for adulthood and responsibilities. Having a child can thus be overwhelming for men as it means facing the facts; saying goodbye to your own freedom. Not only this, men will have to open the floodgates of puzzling and perplexing women’s emotions during pregnancy.

 

Survival of The Fittest

So how do men survive? It is without a doubt that men want to be a part of experiencing the pregnancy and enjoy it as much as possible. However, the bun in the oven can be so disconcerting that men rather do the opposite and retreat and head for the hills. Wouter, a brand new dad from Rotterdam, said he found that what women need the most is constant confirmation and recognition throughout the pregnancy. Confirmation for settling the nerves and reminding her that everything is okay and recognition for her endurance and patience. He said, “This shows your appreciation and understanding of what she is going through”. Let us not forget, women are afraid too. They’re the ones whose bodies are changing due to a live baby inside of them. The idea of responsibilities, lack of sleep and a lot of diapers can be daunting for them as well. The most important thing to remember is, you are in this together. She may be the one creating the baby, but together you are its parents. When you reaffirm her (and thus yourself) of the awesome team that you are, it brings a bundle of hope and positive vibes.

 

What’s a Man Gotta Do?

Baby Centre’s experts noted that the number one role of the upcoming father is a role of support. While she is experiencing a wild array of changes such as strange food cravings, random mood swings, sleep deprivation, discomfort, bodily pains and hourly bathroom visits. Help her go through the experience by buying the bulk jars of pickles and plenty boxes of donuts, or by bringing home flowers and offering a foot rub. Besides the emotional side of the pregnancy, the support role can also be executed through organisational support. Being there for the antenatal appointments, for shopping for the baby’s room and for keeping track of the baby’s development. Baby’s centre argues, “You can’t be pregnant, but you can be an active observer”. Active is the key word here: being there applies both showing appreciation, but also of being involved in helping with the process.

 

The Abundance of Emotions

While confirmation and support seems all fine and dandy to do, most men run into a roadblock with the mystifying mood swings. Mothers to be will become tired and most likely blame you, their nearest and dearest, for everything she is going through. Wouter adds to this, “I did not understand what was happening. It’s funny; men really don’t know how to deal with that. I personally think that the best option is to take it as a it goes and let her have the victory.” He continued, “It’s important to remain on the same line of understanding; as a man you don’t actually experience the pregnancy so you cannot fully understand what she is going through: the emotions, the pain and the endurance. This is why most of the time I will give in and tell her she is right. Also, I let her rant and take it out on me. It did not seem fair to argue back at her when I could not even fully understand what she was going through anyways.”

 

Keep it Cool, Man

So while the wife is growing, the baby is nearing and emotions are running high, how do you both keep your head cool? Wouter explained that during the pregnancy, he tried to take an hour a day to gather his senses. This helped him prepare for the game changer yet not become a different person. He said “ just because a child is on the way, does not mean you have to become a completely different person with a different personality and beliefs according to the baby books. What will you accomplish when you are forcing yourself to be someone else?” The answer to his question is stress, hidden anger issues and bad communication.

 

Communication is Key

Talk to each other; tell each other your plans, your goals and expectations. More importantly, keep talking to each other, even on off days. Give each other the space to be scared but also take the time to share the excitement. It is only reasonable to break out in sweats at the idea of becoming a father, but running in the opposite direction is not the solution. Communicating is the key to a smooth sailing pregnancy (and beyond).

 

Reference:

BabyCentre. (2015). Dads: how to share in your partner’s pregnancy. Retrieved 8 December 2015, from http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a549793/dads-how-to-share-in-your-partners-pregnancy

Interview: New Father. (2015). Rotterdam.


 

 

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