I feel that I need to write this as a matter of record for me, Gwen and our unborn baby. I think we will look back and be surprised by how naive we were but hopefully not that much.
So what stage are we at? Gwen is 26 weeks pregnant which means we have about 12 weeks to go if the experts are to be believed. We chose not to find out whether our new little nipper is a boy or a girl, to us it is not important because we know we will love our baby either way. All we care about is that it is a healthy baby.
We affectionately call it “George” but that is not going to stick after the birth, trust me.
We are, I think, blissfully happy that we have a little baby on the way. It is exciting, life changing and there is a whole lot to learn. It is amazing to lie there and talk to my wife’s tummy and have our baby react to our voices. He/She frequently kicks Gwen all over the place but it is reassuring as well as a little painful from time to time. It reassures us that little George is still alive and that they are getting on with the task of growing and developing.
We are learning about the birth, breast-feeding and everything that is to come afterwards in the ante-natal classes. Nat, our educator is brilliant and delivers the classes with just the right amount of light hearted humour for what can at times be serious subjects. There is so much to take in and process but none of it feels like a chore, more like preparing for the best adventure you are ever going to go on. If you don’t remember ever little detail then who cares because the experience itself will remind you and you will remember it properly then. When your standing holding your crying baby at 3am and you suddenly remember that if you just did this little thing that your baby will stop crying and go to sleep. No wonder you remember things when you learn them in circumstances like that. (And sorry I don’k know what that magic little thing is that makes a baby stop crying at 3am.)
A few things that you never really thought about before you decided to get pregnant and have a baby but might be worth knowing;
- It is expensive. I can’t stress enough that you must SAVE as much money as possible. Even if you think you might think about having a baby some time in the distant future, S A V E now. If you have money in the bank then you can buy all of the million things your baby will need AND you may also be able to afford for the mum (or dad if that is your choice) to not work for as long as you both feel is necessary. Money gets very tight very quickly. Oh and don’t do silly things like us and buy a house when you find out your pregnant…
- Labour can be an amazingly positive experience for the mother (and father). Every time you see a mother in labour on TV she is lying on her back screaming in pain, hooked up to all sorts of medical devices and she does not look happy. This is not how it is meant to be. I know I am a man and I won’t have to push out a baby but the negative image that is portrayed by the media is all wrong. Women are designed to have babies and nature wouldn’t build unnecessary pain into the process. OK it will hurt, there will be pain but it should be a positive experience not a negative one. The woman’s body will know what to do if she can get past the fear (that is predicated by the media) and listen to it and trust her OWN instincts. Lying on your back is also not the way your designed to have a baby. Just have a look at any of the enlightened literature about active birth.
I know I sound like an evangelist but it has been a really educational experience so far.
The only thing that I am not looking forward to is the lack of sleep early on. I think I will be able to cope with changing nappies, being peed on, our lives being turned upside down, being puked on and the myriad of unknown delights that await us. But I fear that the lack of sleep might be my downfall.
So that is the negative stuff. On the positive side we are going to have a brand new little life that is half Gwen and half me. We will have made this new life, how fantastic is that going to be? This little new being that is going to surprise and delight us, frustrate and amaze us and generally just leave us in awe quite a lot I think.