by Timothy D. Riel
I am about to become a father for the second time. Seriously, my wife is ready to pop at any second. My daughter is due to arrive on the 26th, but both my wife and I are pretty sure she's going to show up early. Not as early as my eldest daughter, who was born one month, to the day, before she was due, but she probably won't be too long now.
Two of my best guy friends have also recently been told that their wives are pregnant with what will be their first children and so "The Birth of a Child" has been a pretty big topic around the "World of Tim" camp.
Having gone through it once before, there are some things I want to share with and warn my friends about, certain aspects of the whole pregnancy and childbirth thing that come solely from the male point of view. After a few discussions with some of my other friends who are already fathers, there are a few things we all agreed new fathers should know.
Here are the things, as a father and as a husband, you will go through and some tips to help you out.
The normal state of a man in this situation is usually equal parts joy and terror. Even if you are lucky enough to have planned to have a baby, the moment you find out is a mash-up of extreme emotions. My wife and I had planned to get pregnant so I had expected to be happily thrilled when I would receive the news. When she told me it was like I got hit by a truck. A soft Marshmallow truck filled with wishes, but a fast-moving extremely large truck nonetheless. Here’s what I remember my brain doing on the day my wife told me we were going to have our first baby:
The whole day is a blur of these kinds of thoughts, criss-crossing through my mind.
After the first pregnancy test, I was so disoriented that I needed to get out of the house. My wife and I got into my car and I just drove. We didn't say much as we drove through the streets of my town but I do remember smiling for most of the drive.
At one point we stopped at a drug store to buy another test. This was mostly because I'm a huge nerd and not so much that I didn't think we were pregnant. At the time my first daughter was conceived, there was a great commercial for a home pregnancy test that was completely digital. The ad finished with the line, "It's the most advanced technology that you will ever pee on" or something like that. I absolutely wanted to have the computer pee stick, so we stopped and bought one.
Then I drove to the Tim Horton's on the corner and my wife peed on the stick in the bathroom as I bought an Extra Large Double Double. The thing that got me through the day without a full emotional collapse was the sense that my wife was also going through the same thing and that we were a team in this; that we were a team and we would be the best gosh-darned team ever. Here they both are. The coolest part was that during the time you have to wait for a result, the window shows a spinning hourglass. Awesome.
Many women reading this have undoubtedly already mentally corrected me every time I write, "We were pregnant." I'm not sure why women get so heated about this. When my wife and I were going through this the first time a lot of women would stop me and let me know that "we" were not pregnant, my wife was the one that was pregnant.