Nervous new father needs advice


#1

Dear CAF,

So, I'm 25, starting a new career, been married for 12 days, and just found out my new wife is probably pregnant (pregnancy test had two strips!). Needless to say, I'm happy, scared, anxious, worried, all at once. To break it down, I'm overjoyed that our Lord has seen it fit to bless my wife and I with a child. I am scared, anxious, and worried however that I won't be a good husband/father, and also that I may not be able to provide. However, I praise God for another opportunity to entrust myself to his divine providence. Sounds schizophrenic? Well I sure feel like I am right now! Any advice? tips? comments?

FYI: I found out on May 13, 2010 (Our Lady of Faitma, pray for me!)

  • Atran8400

#2

Congratulations!!! and take a deep breath and try to relax. God will provide; He always does. This is comes from a father of 3 sons by the time I was 24. :slight_smile:


#3

I know exactly how you feel my brother. Welcome to the club. I am also expecting our first child this year. We got married in January. I think the best thing for you and your wife to do is pray daily together and bless your unborn baby praying for his/her development and a safe delivery. Ensure your wife pay attention to your OBGYN doctor on what foods to stay away from (fish and seafood high in mercury like lobster etc), what activities to keep to a minimum or stop (deep tissue massages and lifting heavy objects). Avoid stress and worry however so don’t make her diet a chore as stress is the most dangerous thing to the unborn and mother.

God bless and you all are in my prayers!
:thumbsup:


#4

Congratulations!

We have our precious honeymoon baby and another on the way and my DH is wonderful. I am sure he is worried and stressed, but he is so supportive and loving. On the plus side you have 9 months to prepare for the baby. :smiley: Treat your wife well during this time, in a few weeks you will find yourself doing most of the cleaning, and cooking while your wife is sick and growing the baby. I agree with the other poster, pray together for your marriage and for the baby. Having a baby in the first year of marriage really strengthened our relationship. You are still adjusting to living together and being married so a little more adjusting with the pregnancy and a kid really isn’t that hard. :smiley:

Prayers for you and your new family.


#5

Your words and actions will mean the world to your wife, so keep that in mind! When I got pregnant with our first, my DH at first reacted VERY poorly. It took him about a week to even talk about it. Finally, he warmed up to the idea and when he saw our son at our first sonogram, his heart melted. He was fine for the rest of the pregnancy and when our son was born, he changed…for the better!

The first week after we found out was awful for me. I felt like I had done something wrong and it was all my fault. (Even though we BOTH knew I was fertile.) I could see how women are coerced into abortions when they have no love or support from the baby’s father. I’m glad my DH finally came to his senses, now he is immensely embarrassed at how he reacted and made me promise to never tell Zack when he gets older.


#6

I have never had anyone cooking or cleaning for me! :shrug: I’m married to the wrong man :stuck_out_tongue:

Just be confident in yourself that when the new baby comes, you’ll know what to do!

HAVE A BABYMOON!!! Go somewhere really nice for a week and enjoy your time together before baby comes. This will be your only opportunity to do so.


#7

I’m probably not a good one to give advice. With my wife’s first pregnancy and even immediately following the birth of our first child, I didn’t really feel very “parently”. It was, initially, almost like having a baby sibling in the house. Don’t get me wrong, I did my “duties” (changing diapers, etc) but I just didn’t feel like I thought a father should feel, right off.

That changed, though, and pretty quickly. Oddly, one thing that I think had a lot to do with it was my discovery that I could cure a colicky baby when my wife couldn’t. Something about a man’s chest physiognomy. I found that if I took off my shirt and lay down, putting the child’s stomach over my sternum, then covering both of us up, that slight pressure, the warmth and I imagine the breathing, would soon cause the child to burp and be relieved. Worked every time, and quickly. Suddenly I had a role only I could fulfill, that was somehow closer than just changing diapers or holding the baby. And too, I think having that warm baby next to me, crying for awhile, then burping, then getting contented, just watching her little face, did a lot for the bonding process.

You have to remember, your wife will have been carrying that baby around physically for nine months, and I think maybe the parental attachment and “feeling” is enhanced by that in a way men can’t quite share until the baby is actually born. It’s a gender difference thing.

You’ll do fine. Don’t sweat it. Just make sure your wife sees you’re attentive, watch for your roles, and you’ll find them naturally, no matter what you think now.

And by the way, I recommend the “colic cure”. I’m serious. I have never known of a woman who could do that, or a man who tried it but couldn’t make it work. I think maybe our sternums stick out more or something, and I think our exterior temperatures run higher.


#8

I didn’t really read through the previous responses so if I mirror anyone sorry.

Being a father is one of the greatest gifts and greatest vocations that we can ever be called to. That said it requires all of your being. I’ve been blessed with 2 daughters, a 20 month old and 1 month old. Many days I am running on fumes and feel like am dragging myself along.

My advice. Pray for guidance. Pray for physical and spiritual endurance and strength. And pray that you might exemplify the Love of Christ towards your bride and child.

One last piece of advice. After the baby is born is when your wife will be going through the most stress. Between breastfeeding, lack of sleep and her hormones leveling out, you may not recognize her, but its par for the course.

God bless. :slight_smile:


#9

OMG…this is soooooo true! I am such a ##tch the first 3 months after the baby is born.


#10

Yay! Congratulations! Every new parent has these same worries; it would be a rare soul who didn’t worry so! My advice, besides lots of prayer, is read everything you can get your hands on about pregnancy and childrearing (I am an avid reader, so of course I advice to hit the books). Talk a lot with your wife about how you envision your roles as new parents playing out. Talk to your own parents and get their advice and wisdom. Take a childbirth class, and a parenting class. Find a breastfeeding class for your wife, or look for a La Leche League chapter near you. Above all, enjoy this time with your wife. For my husband and I, when we were expecting our first child, it was a time of renewed romance and enjoyment of our couplehood. We went on a weekend getaway together and spent lots of time talking and dreaming together. :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="atran8400, post:1, topic:198347"]
Dear CAF,

So, I'm 25, starting a new career, been married for 12 days, and just found out my new wife is probably pregnant (pregnancy test had two strips!). Needless to say, I'm happy, scared, anxious, worried, all at once. To break it down, I'm overjoyed that our Lord has seen it fit to bless my wife and I with a child. I am scared, anxious, and worried however that I won't be a good husband/father, and also that I may not be able to provide. However, I praise God for another opportunity to entrust myself to his divine providence. Sounds schizophrenic? Well I sure feel like I am right now! Any advice? tips? comments?

FYI: I found out on May 13, 2010 (Our Lady of Faitma, pray for me!)

  • Atran8400

[/quote]

Congratulations. As a man whose child is 10 months old, I was where you are not that long ago.

The first thing to do is learn to accept God's will in your life. Parenthood is, I believe, one of God's ways of teaching us that we are not in control. The next nine months, God willing, will take an incredibly long time and fly by at the same time.

So here are some general thoughts...

  1. The first three months are in some respects kind of rough. You are just starting the journey, your wife will probably have the worst of her 'morning sickness' during this time and its the period of highest risk for the Baby. Your job here is to be as supportive as possible. You two should also start deciding how you are going to prepare for delivery -- I know it seems early, but if you want to try some of the more advanced types of Natural Birthing, they take some time to learn.

  2. The second trimester will probably be easier physically. The baby will really start looking like him/herself in the sonograms and it will be really cool when you can start feeling the baby move. If you haven't started getting the house ready for the baby, now is the time. If you are living in an older house, you might want to get the paint tested for lead.

  3. The third trimester is kind of like the home stretch. Be ready to give lots of back massages (Not deep ones, but even a little bit can help make her more comfortable). Definitely try to get as much sleep as you can now.

Some general thoughts. Talking between you and your wife is really important. Find out what you do and don't want in terms of your pregnancy. In later pregnancy the OB might try to push scheduling an induction or pushing you to decide on an epidural. Basically, there are certain things that sometimes they have to do, and some things they like to do for convenience or their malpractice insurance. Try the learn the difference.

Oh another thought... we hired a dula to be there with us during the Birth. It was a great decision. She was not as emotionally involved as we were, so she could find out what we wanted and then serve as our advocate with the doctor and nurse. She also was great in coaching me to remember the stuff I needed to do during the birth and helped.

After birth.. coffee is your friend :). Try to do your best to help your wife get as much sleep as possible. If you can, try to save all your vacation and take it after the birth so your wife can have you there with her for a week or two after the baby is home. Probably for about two months, I would sleep in the Baby's room until about 2:00 AM and would only wake my wife up if the baby was really hungry (Early on this is actually pretty easy to determine because their head bobs back and forth as they look for the nipple). After 2, I would catch 4-5 proper hours of sleep (if I was lucky) before work.

Other general thoughts... its amazing what a long drive in a car will do to calm an upset baby and get them to sleep.

The only men who need to worry about not being a good father are the ones who don't :).

Trust in God, he will guide you.

--
Bill


#12

[quote="Serap, post:6, topic:198347"]
I have never had anyone cooking or cleaning for me! :shrug: I'm married to the wrong man :p

.

[/quote]

Hahahaha, I guess I had terrible "morning sickness" and food aversions first trimester. I threw up every time I went into the kitchen. My DH wouldn't have eaten if he didn't cook and do the cleaning in the kitchen. :p

StratusRose

Your words and actions will mean the world to your wife, so keep that in mind! When I got pregnant with our first, my DH at first reacted VERY poorly. It took him about a week to even talk about it. Finally, he warmed up to the idea and when he saw our son at our first sonogram, his heart melted. He was fine for the rest of the pregnancy and when our son was born, he changed...for the better!

I completely agree with Stratus. It was what I was trying to get across. I am the worrier in the relationship, so when we found out we were pregnant my DH was really excited, hugging me, touching my belly, saying "hey you two." It really helped me not to worry.


#13

WOW! thank you everybody for the great advice. I think the gist of what everyone said is simply that this situation calls for more love, which equals sacrafice. I am definately going to try and worry less about it, so I appreciate everyones advice. I spoke to my spiritual director today, who basically said that at this point what is needed is trust. So I appreciate everyones input. I'm going to keep this page saved so that throughout the next nine months I can refer back to it! Please feel free to add anything else you think might help. Believe me, I'm an open book right now!!!


closed #14

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