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Five Things Every Expectant Father Needs To Know

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On April 9, the year of our lord, 2013, my wife gave birth to our very first child. Camden was born at 3:21 pm and at that very moment I crossed the threshold from being an expectant father, to being a parent. Now that I’m a parent, I can look back on the things I learned as Mrs. Most and I went through the whole pregnancy process with the 20/20 vision hindsight tends to provide. And since this is a blog – it’s only right that I share some of those things with you. Consider this post a sort of ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’… SBM Style.

Let’s jump right in…

Say it with me baby... "We In Charge..."
Say it with me baby… “We In Charge…”

5. Ignore Folks Who Tell You That Pregnancy Is Not About You.

I can’t tell you how many times I had people tell me that pregnancy is not about me, and that I should just throw all of my thoughts, opinions, and desires to the side as it related to our baby. The general perception seems to be that, because like 99% the actual biology of baby making occurs inside a woman’s body, that means that men have absolutely no say, whatsoever in anything that happens along the way from little stuff like picking the hue of blue or pink for the child’s room to bigger stuff like picking the child’s name. (Let me pause for a moment and state for the record that I’m not talking about a Woman’s Right To Choose here, because that, I fully support). If you’re a hands-on kinda guy as I am, you’re not really going to do well with being told your thoughts and opinions on a child you’ll spend the next 18 years of your life supporting, a child born into a relationship of which your 50% of, are irrelevant.

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Instead, from the beginning, approach everything as “we”. Don’t say, “my wife is pregnant,” or “my wife is having a baby,” instead say, “my wife and I are expecting a child.” Approaching everything as “we” from the beginning does mean that you’re taking on more responsibility –  but it also means that you’ll have a larger say in how everything transpires. This is important because, down the line, big decisions will have to be made and you don’t want 100% of the mental energy and research it takes to make some of those decisions to fall squarely on the shoulders of your 7 or 8 month pregnant woman. You need her to trust that you’ve been paying attention the entire time and that you’re as prepared as you can possibly be. Trust me.

Could be the best doc in the world... but if this is the hospital? Chill.
Could be the best doc in the world… but if this is the hospital? Chill.

4.Choose Your Hospital Over Your Doctor.

Chances are, your lady has an OBGYN that she’s been going to for sometime. That OBGYN is probably who you guys saw when you went to find out if that EPT test was accurate, and your lady probably feels very comfortable with her. Thing is, every OBGYN is affiliated with a particular hospital and while your lady’s OBGYN might be awesome, the hospital she’s affiliated with might be not so great. Decisions Decisions. Do you chose to have your baby with the doctor you’re comfy with even if you don’t like the hospital, or do you chose to find a new doctor that’s affiliated with a hospital you feel good about. I would encourage your woman to do the latter for a couple of reasons. First, there’s a good chance that the OBGYN you’ve been seeing ain’t gonna be the one that delivers your baby. You can’t predict when you guys are going to go into labor and when you do go into labor, the doctor that delivers is going to be whatever doctor is on call. So you’ll have a strange doctor at a hospital you hate. Double negative. Second, it’s better to go with the hospital because honestly, the difference in OBGYN care is was less significant than the difference in care from hospital to hospital. It’s not your OBGYN that you’ll spend the bulk of your time with, it’s the nurses, the doctors on call, and the rest of the hospital staff that will make or break your birthing experience. Encourage your lady to choose based on hospital. Trust me.

See Also:  Five Things You Need to Know (3/28/2013)

Head on over the page 2 to read reasons 3,2 and 1… they’re worth it.

 

13. People's Advice Will be Extremely Annoying.

Sleep Now!
Sleep Now!

When you’re expecting – everyone who’s ever had a baby will want to give you advice (kinda like I’m doing right now… but it’s different because my advice is amazing). Thing is, folks advice is often negative, disheartening, or just plain terrible. The number one piece of crappy advice you’ll get from other parents while you’re expecting is … “SLEEP NOW!” I can’t tell you how many times someone told us that. It’s particularly annoying because you can’t really stock up on sleep. It’s not like peanut butter at Costco. As a new parent, sure I’m not getting nearly the amount of sleep I was getting before Cam made his way into the world, but I’m also not sitting up at nights thinking damn, I wish I would have gotten more sleep back in December so that I wouldn’t be so tired now.

I am ... Super HusDad
I am … Super HusDad

This will be one of the biggest adjustments you have to make as a man. The luxury of laziness pretty much flies out the window once your woman gets pregnant. The idea of putting things off goes from seeming like not a big deal, to seeming like familial treason. I don’t know another way to describe it, but – sometimes – when your woman is pregnant, or when you have a child, you just have to get up and do stuff, like… right then, no questions asked. Maybe she’s at work, and tired or feeling crappy and wants you to come pick her up. It doesn’t matter how comfortable you are on the couch, what’s on TV or whatever, you’re going to go pick her up. What are you gonna say “nah babe, I’m pretty comfy here?” Or once the kid is there, the idea of letting the trash pile up is crazy. An overflowing trash bin in the house used to be filled with junk mail, some bottles you should probably have recycled, and maybe some table scraps. If you don’t take it out right away, no biggy. Once the kid comes, the trash can is filled with sh*tty diapers that will have your whole house smelling like… sh*tty diapers so that sh*t has to go… immediately.

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The crazy thing is, if you’ve put the proper planning into the pregnancy and prepared yourself the right way, you’ll approach these newfound responsibilities with a tenacity for domesticity you never knew you had. You’ll take pride in how not lazy you’ve become. You’ll feel more like a man than you ever have in your life. Sometimes, after I’ve put out the house garbage, I just look back at it all arranged on the curb and think to myself “look at all that garbage out there, nice and neat. I bet the trash collectors get hyped when they get to my crib because my garbage is so perfectly prepared for them to throw in the truck.” It is then that I know I am a fully growed up man and can’t nobody tell me different.

She Did That...
She Did That…

I didn’t expect my opinion of Mrs. Most to change much during pregnancy or after she gave birth. I didn’t expect it to change because I already thought she was pretty awesome, and held her in pretty high regard. But boy did it change. When you’re woman goes from being pregnant, to fighting through labor, to being a mom, she goes from being a great friend, and a great wife, to be a motherf*cking super hero. Literally. What women have to go through to give birth is nuts. If men had to give birth, all babies would be testtube babies. The best, and worst part about it all is that, as the man, there comes a point where you’re 100% helpless. There’s nothing you can really do to make them feel better or more comfortable — there’s nothing you can do to take away the pain they’re feeling. In that moment you realize just how strong they are. I’m still in awe thinking about what Mrs. Most accomplished. She gave our love the greatest gift one can give … she gave it new life in our baby boy Cam. Super-hero sh*t. Trust me.

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So there you have it fellas. 5 things you need to know if you and you’re woman are having a baby. Anyone out there expecting? How’s pregnancy treating you thus far. Have you experienced any the above. What about new and veteran parents? Same questions. What advice would you give those of us following you?

Going into fatherhood, you gotta prepare like you’re going into battle. The men who you used to be are going to be blasting away at you and you gotta buck back till the last man standing is the man you’re supposed to be. But you’re ready for this, because you already know what you’re supposed to do in shootouts…

Stay low and keep firing.

spradleysignature

Comment(31)

  1. I have to admit, when I first read the title of #1 I cringed. I thought that you were going to talk about how unattractive your wife is now, and how hard it is to want to have sex with her after seeing her give birth. Maybe I'm a jade in the blogging world now, but I guess I've gotten used to guys excusing their hurtful, shallow, selfish, ignorant, opinions by claiming they're "just being real" and "saying what most guys are really thinking". This reminded me that there are men out there who -even when they're being really real – aren't jerks.

    To say the least, I was pleasantly surprised. Great, great post.
    My recent post Grounds for Discussion: How to Stop Nagging Now!

  2. I’m still (as far as I know) kid-less but this is a great post. Informative without buying intimidating – as a lot of “baby advice” comes off.

    Great post. Also, and again, congratulations brother.

    Camden X, Jr gonna be alright.

  3. Didn't read the post yet ..however regarding the above movie poster for "What to Expect When You're Expecting" ..love how they have the black guy with 3 kids and the others with only 1 …lol I can't be the only one who noticed that.

    1. Didn't notice that – but interesting. I'd have to actually watch the film to see if there's any contextualization for that. The two in the strollers look like twins though.

      Anybody out there see the film and care to weigh in? Does it push forward stereotypes?

    2. I saw the film, pretty effin hilarious. And no, to my recollection there was no pushing forward of stereotypes… He’s got twins and a 3 year old. His wife is the SUPER corporate type so I believe he’s also the most domestic dad in the crew. There are are other wives yearning for more kids but the men aren’t having that sh*t! Lol.

    3. I don't have a problem with that. It just makes him the more experienced daddy and husband. Now if he was UNMARRIED in the movie, yeah, that would be pushing the stereotype of the irresponsible Black baby daddy with multiple kids. But…they didn't go there, thank goodness

  4. our baby will be here within the next month or so & we r very stressed out!alllllready lol..me becuz I'm a newbie & him becuz I stress him out (he has children from prior relationship);I would definitely have to say tht the most annoying thing so far is the unsolicited advice for sure which is a hundred times magnified whn they know you're going to be a new mommy.ie:I bought a USED burberry onesie off ebay which is the cutest thing ever & really it's just for pictures (I'm definitely feeling wally world the most so far for baby clothes as they have plain stuff without a bunch of cartoon characters all over it or sailboats;cheap too!) & one of my girlfriends said u know u shouldn't be buying expensive stuff like tht…also my own mother is trying to convince me to have elective c-section just becuz she had all c-sections.like no thx.& all this advice before he's even here yet lmao;so I'm sure my parenting skills r gonna be under intense scrutiny after the fact as well which will be awesome!:) congratulations on your guys baby;u seem like a great man

  5. Great post brother Sprads and congrats to you and the Mrs. !

    p.s. You're on to something about selling 'sleep' in bulk fashion at Costco. You can millions! Millions I tell ya! lol.

  6. Whoop! GO MRS. MOST!! I knew she was a superhero, she nailed you right? 😉
    Oh, and you too Brother Sprads. Lol.

    We’re expecting too… End of July/Early August is when Mini Candy Jane makes her way into the world. Good advice tho, and that’s coming from someone who reads every pregnancy blog she can get her hands on. There’s not a lot of advice out there for men. My dude’s pretty laid back about things but I can definitely see the changes in him. Even through the relationship w/ his 7 year old. He just seems overall more involved/informed. Makes me a proud mama bear. I waaasss gonna send him this post BUT now that I’ve commented, nah. Lol.

    I 1000% agree on the hospital tidbit. My mother didn’t understand that your doc may not be “catching”. I actually just changed docs 2 weeks ago to transfer hospitals. And the unsolicited advice = real. Also, the amount of ppl who feel like they’ve somehow earned the right to be involved in your pregnancy O_o. I have a family member who STILL isn’t speaking to me b/c I didn’t inform her of my pregnancy earlier on. *sigh*

    Anywho, congrats again and good post.

  7. Wonderful post Most and Congrats to you and your growing family. I wish you the best.
    This added to another reason I loooooooooooooove coming to SBM. It reminds me that really great men still exist. Men who are honorable, virtuous, caring, loving and who treat the woman in their life as they should. Kudo's to you and Mrs. Most *smile*

  8. I just want to add to the list that expectant fathers need to know that just because you have to be at the baby shower don't mean that your guys need to be there too. I mean, if they want to go… fine. I'm from the old school, I don't do baby showers.

      1. We had a co-ed baby shower and it was pretty dope. I think, if you're gonna have your boys at the baby shower then you have to be hands on and proactive in helping the ladies plan it, so that you can be confident inviting your homies.

        At our joint, we didn't play any of those baby shower games, nor did we sit around opening gifts. I'm pretty confident all my friends had a good time, and… to whit, there were a bunch of single women there too.

  9. "Sometimes, after I’ve put out the house garbage, I just look back at it all arranged on the curb and think to myself “look at all that garbage out there, nice and neat. I bet the trash collectors get hyped when they get to my crib because my garbage is so perfectly prepared for them to throw in the truck.” ……

    LMMFAO! My man and my brother get this Chester Cheetah grin on their face after doing housework. Pointing to it and saying, "I did that!" When my brother does something really well, and his wife acknowledges it, he puts his fists on his waist, turns to the wind , face to the right, and sticks his chin out while bellowing, "ALL IN A DAY'S WORK!" and then pretends to fly away.

  10. As….for other parents offering you the unsolicited advice, well, I think its just par for the course for newly and first time marrieds, first time parents, first time divorced [lol]…hell, the list can go on. Folks MEAN WELL but often they're just blindly…stupid. LOL. Not one size fits all, however, take everything with a grain of salt I say. File shit away….it may come handy… later. 😉

  11. The number one piece of crappy advice you’ll get from other parents while you’re expecting is … “SLEEP NOW!”

    I always thought that was odd. Enjoy your sleep now makes sense.

    Add buy onesies. You can never have too many. And when they grow to the point you can't fasten them at the bottom, they still make good t-shirts.

  12. Congrats on the new additions. Listen to the advice from others, you will find yourself repeating it later.

  13. Congratulations sir and welcome to parenthood. Your life is now officially over, and your life as a father has now begun officially. Although you were a dad at the moment of conception, your fatherhood is now literally tangible. Enjoy it and embrace it.
    Great write up. Oh, and people will always tell you how to parent when you're a new parent. Be patient with them, as their advice is coming from a good place.

    Mr. SoBo
    OpinionatedMale.com
    My recent post Here I Come To Save The Day: White Saviors And The Negro Damsels in Distress in Hollywood

  14. right on point. People have many misconceptions abiout pregnancies. At the end of the day it's just not about her anymore, so all the things you did prior (partying, hanging out, etc.) you have to cease with or slow down onsiderably. Remember anytime you're strssed the negative energy transfers to her which transfers to the baby which can lead to lots of potential complications. If you have an argument same negative transfer of energy. Remember it's your baby too. So you're going to have to be submissive–for lack of a better term. Call it damage control. Her body is changing with all the weight gain, swollen ankles, and hormones are going batsh*t, her self esteem may fall because of this. With this being said you're going to have to be very patient, and cognizant of things going on: What she's eating, drinking, whether she's getting enough exercise, just to name a few. All in all, remember whether you're with her or not (I hope the former not the latter!) You have to act as one, and do everything you can do to make sure your child comes out healthy.

  15. I gotta admit, I've told PLENTY folks to sleep now, LOL!

    And, when I say it, yes, I know you can't literally stock up on sleep. But, I think what's really meant by the phrase is to slow your lives down now. Cause that's a mean sudden stop to go from running, running/busy, busy to live with a new born. If you ease in by lightening up your schedule, relaxing, spending a bit more time at home, etc., its a better transition once baby gets home.

    …maybe folks should just say what they mean then, LOL.

  16. Reading #1 makes me smileeeee…. AWWWW!!!
    Congratulations to you and your wife!!!
    Really people read that kind of post and still don't wanna be a parent… AHHHH i can't wait :D!!!

  17. My lady is 5 months, and I definitely see some of that happening already, and some soon to come. Great article, especially about the hospital. We're in the process of finding one now.

  18. Take lots of pictures they grow so fast! My daughter is turning two and I look back like where did the time go!! Make time for each other, after child birth every woman wants to feel beautiful. Compliment your woman and remind her that she is still sexy… those six weeks can be crucial!!!

  19. Writing well researched and up to date essay is tough task as a college student, you should get help of a best essay writing service or tutor in hope of getting good marks. That will surely play an important rule in your passing out.

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