Sunday, May 27, 2007

On Playing Dad

An old friend of mine asked some advice on what to expect/ anticipate since he is embarking on the crazy journey of parenthood. I guess that I can only speculate as to what my poor husband had to deal with when I was pregnant with little Jack. So here goes:

1) When I was in my first trimester I was really ill. I threw up 3 times a day for 3 months straight. Some hints for the hubby: Don't expect dinner all the time. I know my dear friend cooks, and cooks WELL. But my man doesn't. I couldn't stand the idea of raw meat in my hands. I really don't know what Sage ate for those three months. He probably snuck off to his mothers house. Also, my sense of smell was through the roof. Know that even if your wife loves a certain cologne- you may have to stop using it. Sage was all about his foot sprays, and was not allowed to spray them in the bedroom- I would smell it- even hours after initial spray.

2) Sex... either she wants it or not. Take advantage of the times she does- because you never know when you'll get it again.

3) I had this weird wave of nausea that would come over me at times. Especially if I was drying my hair. The only thing that helped was COLD water and baby carrots. I don't understand why, but whatever she needs in those times- just do it. You'll get out the door a lot quicker.

4) Try and bond with the belly even if you think its dumb. It always made me feel so good when Sage would kiss my belly goodnight. You see its easy for us to feel connected to the baby. More than anything we want to share what we feel with you. So take any opportunities to connect with the little one inside.

5) Doctor's appointments. I was a hard ass wife and made Sage go to every one of my visits. Your wife may not make you do so. There really is no need except for the initial "heartbeat" one and any ultrasounds. Sage never complained about this although he did mention it after jack was born. Don't miss hearing the heartbeat and seeing the ultrasound, I know this was a big help in Sage realizing that he really was going to be a dad. I just wanted Sage's support, and I hated parking in Lankaneau's garage. During the appointments, Sage would busy himself by stealing sterile unused instruments to stir his coffee with.

6) Towards the end. I was a bear. I felt like ass, and I was just done being pregnant. I would cry for no reason, and God forbid there was a cute Johnson & Johnson commercial on. There is nothing you can do. Just be there and let her talk irrational. Tell her she's beautiful.

7) During labor, I remember Sage making me laugh. I remember when the told me that I needed a C-section. I was never more scared in my life. Through the tears I remember Sage's eyes staring at me, smiling and holding my hand.
Some guys get really grossed out by gooey pregnant stuff. Get over it. You don't have to watch anything but your wife. You are not delivering the baby- so if anything bugs you out, just look at her. Be there for her.

8) Be prepared for really uncomfortable sleeping arrangements. nuff said! This also applies to pregnancy when your wife may need 14 pillows arranged in a certain way- go with it!

9) Before your family comes home- Go and clean up the house. I don't care if you hate to do so. A woman will not be able to come home to a mess and be able to leave it knowing that people may show up at any time from that point on. Set up any last minute baby items- swings, bassinets- etc...

10) She may breast feed or not....regardless be supportive of whatever she chooses to do. Sometimes latching can be difficult and stressful for the mom. Everybody is telling her what they did. Just support your wife. Also offer as much nighttime help as you can. She will be really tired and so will you. I know you have to go to work, but coming from my perspective- I don't give a shit. Help.

11) This kind of relates to # 11. Your and her families will have a wealth of advice for you. And by wealth I don't always mean good. Please for the love of God- Don't tell your wife "Well, my aunt said this...." Offer advice only when asked for it. Alot of becoming a parent is just learning by messing up. Being a mom is so scary. The love and nurture comes naturally. But at 3:22 am when she is cross eyed with exhaustion- just go with what she says- or just let her sleep.

12) My hair started falling out 3 months after Jack was born. I looked like a stuck pig and felt like Homer Simpson. Sage told me I looked beautiful. Only later after I started to regrown hair and regain my figure did he begin to laugh about the hair issue. Don't hate on him. This is how our relationship works. We play nice up until we feel it's an appropriate time to make fun of one another.

13)Sex...again. Just because you've reached the six week point doesn't mean that your wife is ready for sex. She might still be in pain, or may feel vulnerable. Go by her watch and not the little piece of paper that most men probably hang on the fridge. Oh and if she is breast feeding and you do have sex- look out- you might just get a taste of breast milk.

14) This kid may and will drive you crazy. You will question the point of ever having kids- especially if many of your friends don't yet already. But look into their eyes (and they may be crossed for the first month) and realize that this little person is as my dad said once " The best parts of your mom and me combined".

I hope that this may offer some insight. I know that Sage did his best in being supportive. I know that my hormones were crazy out of control. Sometimes Sage just needed to walk away and let me be.
Also- I never though of this while pregnant with Jack. But up until the little one is born- if you see diapers on sale size 1, 2, 3 BUY THEM- You will never have enough- trust me- I pack of size 1 may last you 3 days.


Linda said...

Leo said to me last night, "Why can't men have two wives...just for nine months!" Wow that was pretty funny, let's just say there wasn't much talking after that!

cello said...

carrie keeps crying and apologizing for the most random things. my single guy friends have given me the following advice:

tell her it's ok, as long as he learned her lesson and never does it again.