The news of impending fatherhood can unleash a flood of feelings, both joy and fear. An unplanned pregnancy may be shocking when you hear the news. But news of such magnitude is sure to make you stop on your tracks and reflect on all aspects of your life, from your relation with your partner, to your relationship with your own father and your own feelings about becoming a father. You may worry about whether you will be a good father or not, the health of the baby or the increased expenses that having a baby will incur. Becoming a father is also a source of great pride and joy, and you may find yourself already making plans for all the things that you want to do with the baby in the years to come.
Your partner will be able to emotionally connect with the baby sooner as she can feel the changes in her body many of which you cannot share. Talking with her about what is happening to her and how she feels about it will help you be a part of the process and will make your partner be secure about your feelings. The physical changes occurring in your partner may make her insecure and she may need your frequent reassurances.
It is just as important for you as a dad to be emotionally ready when having a baby as it is for a mother. Involving yourself in all parts of the pregnancy will help you to emotionally prepare yourself to be Daddy. The days when pregnancy was a matter best left to the womenfolk to tackle no longer exist. These days women expect their partners to be equally involved in the pregnancy. Accompany your partner on doctor’s visits, go shopping for baby items, help paint and decorate the baby’s room and decide the name of the baby. The more engaged you are in the process, the more excited will you feel.
Many aspects of your relationship with your partner may change during this period. She may be less attentive towards you and be more focussed on herself now. Physical relationship pattern may also change. In the first and third trimester especially your partner may not feel up to sexual intimacy. The hormones during the first trimester and the growing baby in the third trimester make it uncomfortable for her. The second trimester is the best time of pregnancy for you and your partner. Communicating your mutual feelings among yourselves will help you both be aware of each other’s thoughts and feelings.
Go for prenatal classes together so that you can be with your partner during her labour and help her through it. Discuss pregnancy with your friends and colleagues who are fathers and ask them to share their experiences with you. Once the baby is born you will look back upon these months of anticipation with a great deal of fond nostalgia.