So I was given the opportunity to write a guest post for the Kira Nicole Photography blog today. And since I am the blessed guy that so happens to be Kira’s husband, I am writing a post on pregnancy from a husband’s perspective. As I am writing, we are waiting for little Callie to come out of the womb, and I sit here wondering if I am ready to handle the craziness that comes with taking care of your wife in the hospital, while also realizing that my life is going to completely change, and change for the better if I am willing to let it! However, I guess I’ll cross that bridge when it comes, since Kira asked me to share some truths & tips about pregnancy from a guys perspective! Here we go!
To backtrack, pregnancy is an interesting thing from the husband’s perspective because it is some of the best news that you will probably get in a lifetime. However, knowing that God blessed you with a little one doesn’t hit you because nothing in your life instantly changes. Even though you may start walking into Babies R Us for the first time, or start painting or assembling the nursery, everything else stays the same. What I mean by that is your wife will be experiencing a lot of firsts, morning sickness (AKA all-day sickness), her belly stretching, back pain (or in Kira’s case abdominal pain), but for the husband, everything stays the same. My job is still 8:30 – 5:00, I still come home and have dinner and my stomach doesn’t necessarily get bigger, unless I eat too much, but that’s my own fault. What is hard from the husband’s perspective is that it doesn’t feel real, until the baby starts to grow and your wife starts to show, and you can feel your baby kick. As a result, it was hard to understand what my wife was going through and that is why communication played a key role. I had to ask Kira multiple times, what are you feeling, how do you feel, and other questions so I could understand what was changing in her world. Since we were able to communicate, I was able to understand what she was going through and it helped me learn how to support her well. Not that I did everything perfect, but my advice for any soon-to-be dads would be to love your wife well by asking her questions.
The other thing that I had to learn was that “morning sickness” is real. Guys, if you are not comfortable around throwing up, then don’t get your wife pregnant. I am not a vomit or throw-up guy, even the sound of someone gagging makes me gag, but you can increase your tolerance for things if you allow it to happen. Fortunately, Kira was only really really sick when she had the stomach flu for a week, but I believe a lot of woman have it bad for a couple of months. The advice here is to be her rock and her sidekick during this time. Buy her comfort snacks or Gatorade or whatever helps her get through that season. Think about how you felt the last time you had the stomach flu.. now imagine having that feeling for weeks on end. With that in mind, I had to learn how to be a nurse and take care of her, even going online and finding ways to help with nausousness. Also a little tid bit.. I discovered popsicles are a great treat, and usually do not end up getting vomited out.
All that to be said I am now at the great anticipation of waiting for Callie’s arrival. The other recommendation is to use the time you have during your wife’s pregnancy to talk to other dad’s. I have learned a whole lot from men that have gone through the experience of supporting their wives through pregnancy, labor, and delivery. Find a friend who is a dad or maybe even ask your own dad, and just pick their brains and ask them how the pregnancy and delivery experience was. I learned from a friend of mine that just had a child that nurses will be pressing hard against Kira’s stomach after delivery, and that it will most likely cause me stress because I will think that they will be hurting her, and also, that after the child gets delivered, she will have to deliver the placenta! Need I say any more about that. Talking to dad’s who have gone through the experience will give you a first hand perspective of what you will be going through, and how you can be supportive. So ask those questions like, “How did you support your wife during the first trimester, during delivery, etc?”
As I wrap up my thoughts, I want to share one more tip. What I have learned the most from this process is that I don’t know much about it. I have been humbled many times through this process, but that’s a good thing because God has shown me how to love well in that humbled state, and has given me friends and family that have given me great advice. As I wait to meet Callie for the first time I have come to the realization that I just need to surrender to God’s will. As a man, we want to provide, take care of things, and keep our wives safe. But I know that I will ultimately be useless when my wife goes through delivery, because I can’t take the pain away from her. But if I am willing to surrender and trust God, I am sure that He will use me to help my wife through it, even if it is just to hold Kira’s hand and pray for her or to just cry happy tears with her when we meet Callie. And as we start the process of being Callie’s parents, I know that if I learn the lesson of surrender now, it will make my life easier down the road, because it is God’s child that I have the privilege of raising and Kira is God’s child that I have the honor of being married to. Let God be God, and just love your wife the way God loved the church, and that is not trying to fix every problem, or having a solution for every situation, but to be a prayer warrior for your wife, to hold her hand or give her a hug and comfort her when she needs comforting, and last but not least.. to paint and decorate the nursery when you would rather be doing anything else.
Go get em’ men!