A partner’s perspective

Brittany B.’s husband looks at their pregnancy journey from his viewpoint.

Brittany and I have been through a great deal to get to this point in our pregnancy journey. I can tell you that throughout your own pregnancy, not everyone will agree with you and your partner 100 percent of the time. But the following points are some advice I feel is important to pass along — from the dad-to-be’s point of view.

Be strong, and be unified. Everyone experiences their pregnancy in a different way, but nothing is more important than supporting your partner and being unified in your decisions. Before Brittany and I were pregnant, we were married for several years. People would ask, “When are you going to have a baby?” This put a lot of pressure on us. They didn’t understand what we were experiencing.

Now, several people have persistently pushed us to find out the gender of Baby B. When faced with this kind of pressure, it’s even more important to support your partner and stand for the decisions you make together.

It’s OK to be scared, but don’t let it control your journey. When Brittany and I were pregnant the first time, I never imagined miscarriage would happen to us. When it did, I was bitter and angry — and scared that it was going to happen again.

If this happens to you, it’s OK to wait to tell others you’re expecting when you feel comfortable doing so.  I spent the first 13 weeks agonizing that something bad was going to happen — that miscarriage was right around the corner. I regret that, because with everything that happened I was too afraid to be happy for my partner, or even acknowledge that everything could go right.

I am guilty of what Brittany refers to as Dr. Googling. (This is not good. It scares you more than anything.) One good thing that came from this was a pregnancy blog that I happened to read. It stated: “More often than not, things go right. Things don’t just die in there.”

Your attitude affects your partner, too. It’s impossible to see how baby is doing on the inside on a daily basis. If you have faith, trust it. If not, trust in each other that you both are doing everything you can to make baby healthy. So be cautiously optimistic, and try to enjoy the all of your pregnancy!

Be proactive! During pregnancy — let’s face it — dads are along for the ride. The woman is in control, and if you believe in the philosophy of “happy wife, happy life,” you’re going to be all right.

No, we can’t help with caring for the baby yet, but we can put together the crib, paint the baby’s room, look for day care facilities, cook dinner or make midnight ice cream runs. Anything you can do for your partner during pregnancy will be appreciated. Brittany appreciates it even more when she doesn’t have to ask me to do something — when I take the initiative to just do it.

You know your partner, so try to take the load off her in any way you can. However, I do not recommend remodeling a bathroom during pregnancy — just trust me on this one! And, apparently, you should look for a day care before you know you’re expecting. Some have 15- to 18-month wait lists!

Be there for your partner. Bring home flowers, rub her feet, tell her it’s going to be OK, book her a massage — or when she’s really pregnant, get the clothes out of the dryer. There are many ways to be there for your partner, and each relationship is unique. So try your best to be empathetic to her needs, because building a human is tough work!

Sex is good, and it’s safe! Unless otherwise instructed by your health care provider, sex is completely safe during pregnancy.

The day we found out we had miscarried our first child, we had had been intimate. My initial thought was that I had done something wrong — I hurt the baby or my wife. My fears were not warranted, and I put too much pressure on myself. Secondly, the baby is protected by lots of fluid, skin and fat. It would take more than the “motion in the ocean” to hurt the child. You can’t poke or harm your child in any capacity by having intercourse.

Keep in mind that some women want sex, and some women don’t. Each pregnancy affects women differently. Try to be understanding, whatever the situation.

I hope these tips have provided some insight into pregnancy from the man’s point of view, and that they’ve helped a future dad or mom out there somewhere. Good luck in your own journey!

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