Dad Chronicles: The one thing you will painfully learn when your wife is pregnant for the first time

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. For women who have made the choice to bring forth life into the world, their testimony is universally one of profound joy. Pregnancy does not only bring life, but being pregnant completes life as these gallant women attest. So for us dads-to-be, it is an honor to accompany your partner/wife in this journey, especially when you are pregnant for the first time.

Granted, most couples miss the first signs of pregnancy

My “We are pregnant Honey!” moment arrived via a WhatsApp text in the middle of the night. 11:30pm.Monday night, I think. I was away on business, she was at home holding forte. The message bore no words, just a picture of home pregnancy test. Two lines never before bore such symbolism.

home pregnancy test remains the commoner ways to know if you are pregnant

I was going to be a father. I remember that I called my wife as soon as I saw the message. For what it’s worth, I can’t remember details of that conversation with my wife that night.

All future dads to be, highlight this one: For all the biology you learn in school, it can be easy to miss the early signs of pregnancy. Just so that you know, future dads to be, morning sickness kicks in much later after that missed period.

I did what any regular Joe would do when caught out cold. Later, I stepped out of the hotel room took my two beers and quite soundly, I slept.

Pregnant for the first time: What’s it Like Being a First Time Father?

I don’t know why but I expected the morning to be different. Nothing happened. I waited nights and days for ‘something’. Again nothing! You see, there all these notions on TV of husbands with pregnant wives.

Yes, you do have to go to the doctor’s office time and again so as to be on the safe side of life threatening pregnancy danger signs. Yes, she will need other clothes but not to mean a new wardrobe. Your pregnant wife will enjoy some foods more than others and at the same time won’t be able to stand other foods. Most of the time though, she still will be the girl you know.

Circa 280 days of earnestly waiting later, I held her in my arms. She was a tiny beautiful thing which at the time, I struggled to find any semblance with myself. She wailed and I stared. I didn’t know what to do with her but just to hold her.

Seemingly picking up on my lost stare, the midwife offered that the mother being with the baby at the time, would be the thing to do. That the wailing would turn on a switch in my wife’s brain and the milk would flow. Then the baby would get fed and everyone would be happy. Save for a diaper change, colic, vaccination nights and even sleep.

Rinse and repeat.

Onto My Arms

Now, can you believe that? All through the nine months, as I waited for ‘something’ the two, my pregnant wife and unborn child, were already at it. Doing stuff like wiring up switches in each other’s brains and lying down the piping to let the milk flow on certain cues!

In the delivery room, there I stood with this silly look on my face. Relieved at a smooth childbirth. In awe of my wife and in every way a messy ball of nervousness and joy. And still with that waiting for ‘something’ feeling.

Handing over our baby, I took it in as my whole world immersed in this joyful ‘reunion’. Standing a few feet away, I could see feel the deep joy in my wife’s face.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

Let me tell you this bros, nobody prepares you for this kind of stuff.Nothing compares, really to the separation. Before she was your pregnant wife. Loving her meant offering your pillow, a back rub or getting her that expensive cake. It was simple really, as the object of your affection was one. Now before you there is your wife, your son/daughter and the mother of your child. Bro, you’ve got to learn how to love each one of them all over again.

Hollywood’s artistic liberty lets you focus on the trivialities of getting pregnant such as dealing with exaggerated pregnancy signs like the dreaded cravings. The best you will get from the boys is that bro hug congratulating you. Your folks will be busy choosing names.

All these shenanigans whilst the real deal all slips by you.

You will notice your wife slow down and you will naively dismiss it as all those pregnancy changes weighing in on her. Once you come to know what really matters, it will be too late. The painful truth catches up with you leaving you forever playing catch up.

The painful truth: Daddy, this is what you’ve been missing out on

Through out the morning sickness, swelling of feet, hyper-acidity, breathlessness and beautiful skin; the two- your pregnant wife and unborn child- came to know each other.

The relationship between my wife and daughter, was solemnized by those two lines on the home pregnancy kit. For your case, the “we are pregnant moment” served to kick start your protector instincts: Health insurance, booking appointments with the obstetrician etc.

While all these are signs of love, but still quite unlike your pregnant wife, and your unborn child who set off on the journey to getting to know each other. For mother and daughter, the pregnancy is just but a period to get over small talk awkwardness. Little wonder then such songs in praise of mama

In retrospect, I could have done better with the waiting for ‘something’. Maybe I should have spent more time feeling my daughter’s baby kicks through my wife’s pregnant belly.  Who knows if the high fives would have set us on a journey similar to that brought on by cravings, back aches and the munchies. One thing is for sure: Once beaten twice shy.

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