Pregnancy has been a wonderful, exciting, anxious and terrifying experience all rolled into one. I’ve experienced so many highs and lows so far on this journey, but one thing I have been so thankful for, is my husband, he’s been by my side throughout the entire process and has been my rock. Although I’m the one that is growing our child and experiencing all the miracles along the way, my hubby has played a massive role in this journey, and has of course experienced his own mixed emotions and challenges.
Pregnancy really becomes all about mum and bub, but we often forget about the dads, who are also experiencing a mixed bag of emotions as well. They’re the ones who are holding your hair back while you vomit into the toilet, rubbing your sore back at night, bearing the brunt of your hormonal pregnancy outbursts, and the list goes on… My aim with this interview is to get a fathers and/or partners opinions, thoughts and feelings throughout the pregnancy journey, to open the conversation for other dads to be!
Question 1 ) What was your reaction when you found out I was pregnant? What were your main thoughts?
When I first found out that Ash was pregnant, I was very excited and extremely happy! I knew I always wanted to have kids, so I was so excited that it was finally becoming a reality.
Ash and I had been living together at her mum’s house for some time, when we found out we were expecting, my first thought was that we really needed to get our own home. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any worrying thoughts, at the beginning I had a quick panic “like shit this is really happening”, but it has definitely pushed me to grow up a little faster and put life into perspective.
Question 2) What age did you expect to be when you had your first baby? Did you expect to have your baby so young?
I always expected to have my first baby around the age of 30, I actually didn’t think I was going to have kids for a long time. But in saying that, I don’t feel that young and didn’t realise that all my dreams would become a reality so early on in my life. I have a career, a home, an amazing wife and a baby on the way, regardless of age, there really isn’t a perfect time, it just happens.
Question 3 ) What are you most looking forward to about becoming a dad for the first time?
I’m most excited about growing that family unit and bond, and being that huge support for my family. I can’t wait until the baby is a little bit older so I can take him/her to the park and sporting activities. I ‘m also looking forward to being there to guide my child, to help shape them as a person by teaching them foundational beliefs and values that only a parent, specifically a dad can do.
Question 4) Whats the weirdest craving I’ve had during this pregnancy?
Anything sweet!! The weirdest things you’ve craved have been the tonne of sour lollies (Zombie Chews), and the huge 7/Eleven slurpies you down a few times a week.
Question 5) What are some of the challenges that you have faced in this pregnancy?
There are so many challenges that come with pregnancy, some that I didn’t even think about until they actually happened. The morning sickness at the beginning of the pregnancy was a massive challenge more so for Ash than for me, I knew women experienced some form of sickness, I just didn’t expect Ash to get as sick as what she did! She was sick right through until around 20 weeks and I definitely didn’t expect that.
The emotional fluctuations have also been challenging, its definitely been a bit of a roller-coaster… Having to think and understand that Ash’s body was going through major changes, and that I needed to help support her, not make it worse.
Having sex with a big belly has definitely been a challenge! We’ve had to move around into different positions that are more comfortable and so I don’t squish the baby haha. Waking up multiple times a night because Ash needs to pee a lot, she also gets a bit uncomfortable and suffers a bit of insomnia so she tosses and turns quite a bit which keeps me up.
The biggest challenge during this pregnancy has by far been the medical issues we have experienced. I thought that pregnancy was a natural process, women have been having babies for hundreds of years, I naively didn’t expect there to be difficulties. Ash has written about some of these challenges in her previous blog post (you can read it, here), it was a difficult time because I believed that everything would be okay and I was extremely positive, however Ash was very emotional and upset and that was heartbreaking for me. It was hard seeing her so upset, I had to be strong for myself and for her and did as much research as I could.
Question 6) What has been your most enjoyable experience so far during this pregnancy?
I think pregnancy has strengthened our relationship, making it even stronger than what it was originally. Pregnancy definitely has it challenges, especially for the mum-to-be; I’ve found that I’ve become less selfish and put Ash’s needs ahead of my own, helping her out where she needs it. Our support for each other has definitely grown.
Feeling the babies kicks and seeing it move around inside my wife’s stomach has also been extremely enjoyable.
Question 7) Are you nervous about your babies birth? Have you prepared yourself mentally for the process?
I’m very nervous!! Labor is an intense process and no one is the same, its also something that I’ve never experienced before and I don’t really know what to expect. I’m also worried about Ash when the process gets quite tough, especially if the Dr has to perform any minor surgeries, like an episiotomy (that shit freaks me out), I think it will be difficult seeing her in so much pain. I just don’t want there to be any complications during the birth, I hope that everything goes smoothly!
I’ve started to prepare myself now that Ash is in the third trimester and the birth of our first child is approaching. I’ve started reading chapters in educational books about the birthing stages and what to expect, I find that the more knowledge I acquire, the better prepared I can be on the day!
All fears aside, I’m very excited for the birth of my first baby.
Question 8)What makes you the most nervous about bringing your newborn baby home?
“What do I do with it?”
It’s kind of scary because you don’t really get any training on how to look after a newborn, I hope that when the baby comes home I’m able to adjust to taking care of all its needs and fall into a healthy routine.
Question 9) What advice would you give other dads-to-be about the pregnancy journey?
I think definitely get prepared as early as you can! Start reading the educational books and information not just about pregnancy but about birth and bringing home baby, and get that nursery started. You think you have all this time, but time definitely creeps up on you and you don’t want to leave everything last minute.
I think my biggest advice though is that pregnancy is a massive impact on your partners body, they have so many changes and challenges that you can’t always see at face value. You definitely have to be a lot more understanding of what they’re going through and support them as a much as you can!
Question 10) We decided to not find out our baby’s gender and to keep it a surprise for the birth, what do you think our baby’s sex is?
To be honest I have no idea! I’m not bothered at all, as long as my baby is healthy, that’s all that matters to me. But, I would love a little girl, so she can be “Daddy’s Little Girl”.
And of course Lady had to make an appearance! I can’t believe in a few short weeks we will become a family of four…
Love and Light,
Ash, Frankie and Lady xx