Our nephew recently posted a photo of his lovely wife and him on FaceBook. He is pointing at her belly with the caption, Haha, she is pregnant and I did it! This young man has some things to learn. It took two for that dance, my man.
You see, Dude, you came knocking and she allowed the docking. Did you forget that part? Oh the naiveté of young men.
Over the next few months, you’ll learn who really carries the burden from conception through birth. Just in case, you’re not paying attention, it will clearly be pointed out to you, and rightfully so. Knowing the kind of young man that you were growing up, I have no doubt that you’re really an awesome husband and will be an equally awesome father. Just the same, following is a survival guide You WILL need it.
She has a beautiful glow right now but don’t get used to it. When it goes away you may be searching Google for an exorcist but it’s really not that bad. When she seems impossible, you need to comfort her. Just so that you know, she doesn’t find it comforting when you point to her belly and tell your buddies, “Hey! Look what I did!” Right now it’s kind of cute but she’s going get over that soon.
Stay close to her, hug her and tell her how much you love her. Don’t talk too much, though, or you’ll say something really stupid that will make her very angry. The ultimate sin, in this case, is to say something like, “I know just how you feel.” I hope that, if you make that mistake, you’re wearing a well-secured face shield and cast iron Levis, lest your first child will never have siblings and you won’t be much help changing diapers, being sightless, from having your eyes scratched out.
Just smile quietly, when she brags about you helping with the housework while she’s pregnant. You’ll be thinking that you help with the housework all of the time anyway but don’t say it without having an athletic cup securely in place. As helpless as that pretty woman is going to seem, her foot is still like leathered lightning. Instead, just hug her and tell her that you love her.
Do not take notice of her changing physical form. Even if she says that she is getting fat, don’t agree OR disagree with her. If you agree you’re obviously in trouble. If you disagree then you’re patronizing. You can’t win that one, man. Just hug her and tell her that you love her.
When she wants something to eat that you don’t have in the house, go get it. Don’t worry about the time of night. Somewhere in town, or in the surrounding counties, somebody has green olives dipped butterscotch and rolled in shredded Parmesan. When you get back, whether she thanks you or not, don’t forget to hug her and tell her that you love her.
Never forget that it isn’t near as much fun getting that child out of there as it was getting it in there. And, this time SHE is going to do that. Together, learn as much as you can about childbirth. You can never fully empathize with her but you can be there (hopefully) to hug her and tell her that you love her.
If at all humanly possible, be by her side when she delivers your child. Hug her, hold her hand and tell her that you love her.
When the doctor says, “push” you must understand that there is more than one ramification to that action in a delivery room. You might see some things filling the bedpan that the nurse is holding under your wife’s butt that you never imagined as part of childbirth. Just tell her that you love her and squeeze her hand gently, if you have any circulation left in your own hand, that is.
When you see what you thought was only an entrance stretched into an exit of unfathomable size, don’t let the awe show on your face and don’t worry. In a few weeks it will be better than ever. Just squeeze her hand gently and tell her that you love her.
When the miracle of your mutual love emerges and changes from blue to pink as air fills the tiny lungs for the first time, you won’t need to say anything. She’ll know because you’re there with her. Hug her anyway and tell her that you love her.