Mike’s Guide for New Dads, Volume I: So, your wife is in her first trimester…
Amanda and I came up with this idea a while back because, frankly, we remember when we were new parents and realized that Camryn DIDN’T come with an instruction manual; Amanda’s pregnancy didn’t either, and boy were there some crazy moments and weird cravings at all hours of the day/night!
To start the series off, I thought, “well, what would be better than to start something at the beginning? Brilliant!” So, we shall kick things off with the first trimester. You found out a few weeks ago that you will soon be responsible for another life besides your own. Personally, this may be a no-big-deal moment for you, or it could be an oh-my-God-what-do-I-do-now moment; it can be a little bit of a freak out, but trust me when I say it is all worth it when you see them for the first time (but we’ll get to that at a later time).
Now, keep in mind, EVERY pregnancy is different, so some or all of this may not relate to you or your better half; and I’m definitely not calling myself an expert on the subject, but I will at least go over what I did and what seemed to work for us our second time around.
- SHE TRULY IS ALWAYS RIGHT, EVEN WHEN SHE IS WRONG
Not trying to be funny at all. She is going to be hormone-nitroglycerine set to detonate at a moment’s notice. You want to keep her as calm and collected as possible for two reasons: (1) it’s no fun being fussed and screamed at when you are just trying to speak your mind or explain something to her, even if she may realize later on that you were just trying to help; at that moment, you are a stupid idiot and don’t know anything so just take it; (2) on a health note, stress is not a good thing for her or the baby, even a little, so do your best to keep her calm as much as possible.
- REST YOUR ARMS AND BACK AS MUCH AS YOU CAN…
…because you will not only be carrying everything (again, this goes back to the stress, don’t want to physically stress her out or overexert her as this is bad for her and baby), but you may be dishing out a few shoulder, back, and lower back rubs (and when I say a few, I really mean at least 1,000 daily, 2,000 tops).
- BE PREPARED FOR FOOD CRAVINGS AT ANY TIME
This includes 2AM runs to Harris Teeter for 7-layer Mexican bean dip and Baked Scoops. Their bodies will be burning mad calories from making and feeding the baby inside them, so they will be hungry A LOT. I suggest having your keys by the nightstand along with a pair of flipflops by the bed so that you can just go, because she will be expecting you to already have it for her before you even get out of bed.
- DO AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AROUND THE HOUSE
I can be pretty lazy, and even as I write this I’m sure there is something I could be cleaning or vacuuming at the moment, but this goes back to the physical stress and overexertion that I was talking about earlier. She will be tired, she will be sore, she will not be feeling well, so help her as much as you can with the list of chores around the home. Laundry, dishes, bathroom, vacuuming, closets, whatever and anything that requires standing up for extended periods of time or a lot of energy, this will be a really big help.
Again, this is just from my experience, and this is just what I do (or try my hardest to do). It is a lot of work, and you may not get a ton of extra time to relax at the moment, but it is truly worth it to take care of both mom and baby. Down the road, you’ll look back at this time and truly say, “heh, that really wasn’t that bad”, hopefully…