the pregnancy countdown – a man’s guide

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Camryn the day we told her she was being promoted to Big Sister!

There is no doubt that becoming a dad was and will always be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. The fact that it has happened twice is even more awesome. The first time around, I was inundated with tidbits and advice from people. While they always had the best of intentions, the one thing that I learned quickly after becoming a parent, is that everyone does it differently and someone’s right is someone else’s wrong. Find what works for you and just do that. It’s weird how the advice just stopped though once we had number two on the way. Maybe that’s because they now know you have your own way of doing things and by the looks of your perfectly heathy, functioning ,cute toddler, you don’t need to rely on the opinion of others? Bingo!

So, now that I had the dad t-shirt already, during this second pregnancy I decided to journal along during Samantha’s pregnancy. What started out as a great stress reliever, turned into something quite fun. I wrote it from the perspective of a guy who has been there once, and is trying to provide a full look at the pregnancy in weeks for any new dads. I never told Samantha I was doing it, and shortly after we got home from the hospital, I let her read it.  Figured it needed to makes its way here as well, so we will break it up into a few posts, as it get’s a little lengthy.

0-6 weeks

It all starts by telling the husband. Most use a cute, clever or attention-grabbing way of telling us and the wife hopes we react the way she’s been rehearsing it in her head over and over. Heck, my wife hid Camryn’s postive test in the silverware drawer and asked me to get her a fork — gross, right? Actually it was wrapped up and I completely looked past it! FAIL! Guys, go big, any sign of lackluster reaction or questioning the validity of the test and you’re not passing GO or collecting $200. General excitement ensues, however, there can be some internal doubt, but it’s science. It’s a tough thing to grasp at first, but trust her because you can’t even begin to understand the ride you’re about to go on.

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The first time I looked at this I thought, “Is this saying there’s 1 or 2 in there?”

7-10 weeks

Alright, first appointment may or may not be out of the way and the excitement is still at an all-time high. Getting to see the little blip on that screen and hearing the heartbeat is arguably one of the coolest experiences you’ll ever have. Also, having visual/audible confirmation is much more assuring for the guys at this point. A plastic stick with some fancy chemicals that vaguely illustrate one or two lines or in some instances a smiley face, only go so far with us. This is also about the time you tell the family — which is a lot of fun. If this is the first grand baby, get ready for emotional overload as you’ll see a new side of your parents you never thought existed.

11-13 weeks

The big day is here…you get to tell everyone on social media about your news! All of the Pinteresting, blogging and Facebook creeping of ways to do this is about to pay off. Some go above and beyond, while others are more subtle. This can be a big occasion with lots of “likes” and well wishes. However, those who have experienced child-birth are merely offering words of encouragement for the epic battle that’s about to ensue over the coming months. Be fully prepared for all the “expert” parents to come out of the woodwork and tell you and your dog about what to expect. Politely nod your head and agree, but at the end of the day, nothing can prepare you for raising a child other than figuring it out on your own. Also, if you haven’t secured a day care by this point, time is of the essence and you could find yourself up the creek without a paddle soon. PS. Day care is expensive…I mean really expensive.

Check back for weeks 14-26 soon!

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