Advice to expectant fathers:
There is a lot happening that you will not understand and to which that you will not feel connected.
When you first hear that you are going to be a father, the excitement is unbelievable, but you quickly will feel like nothing has changed. You don’t feel any of the changes that your mate feels. But you will change. Trust me. You will start to have a sixth sense that will help you create a bubble of protection around her, even in the most crowded subways. You’ll visually navigate the crowded streets, plowing ahead, forging a path. You’re her fullback. Her safety becomes an obsession. Anyone who enters the bubble is a threat. You’ll feel it. The hair on the back you neck will bristle and you will feel emotions rising within you with which you may not be familiar nor comfortable.
Depending upon how long you have been together, you will notice changes.
I say that because we just had our twelfth wedding anniversary within days of completing our first trimester. Over those twelve years, I’ve learned almost everything about my wife. She’s still a mystery in so many ways, but during this pregnancy, there have been moments I have not been able to recognize her.
If you have not been together as long, these changes will not seem so drastic.
The first thing I noted was how calm she became.
My wife is a worrier. She always has been.
Since this pregnancy, she has mellowed so much it’s almost eerie.
That is not to say she doesn’t have her moments. I’ve learned that mood swings are commonplace. Not only is he body reorganizing, her hormones are in overdrive and it makes her… well, insane.
I have embraced the insanity. I know there will be some things she says that make no sense, she may fly off the handle, may be overly protective, may be touchy about things that have never mattered before. She’ll be upset one second, apologizing the next. She’ll cry and then laugh and then fall asleep. She’ll wake up in the middle of the night and complain about hot flashes (more on that later) and then she’ll be cold. Mostly hot flashes. (again… more later.)
It’s normal. You can’t take it personally. You shouldn’t. It’s not about you.
And along with these new swings come little bonuses: The glow she has when she wakes up, the baby bump first appearing, hearing her sing and talk to the still forming fetus inside her as she showers, her overly amorous moments when grabs you as you walk down the street. It’s all a whirlwind of tiny miracles.
I’m not a very religious man, but I’m a firm believer that all the things that are happening, good and bad, are tiny miracles.