38 Weeks: A Father’s Reflections On Pregnancy

August 20, 2012

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What aspects of your pregnancy have been the most exciting?

I’ve enjoyed learning all about the biology of what’s going on in the womb – it’s so strange to me that women’s bodies can essentially enter this other phase where they work differently from all other times in their lives. And it’s all hormone and enzyme controlled! Unreal.

What has been your biggest surprise about pregnancy? Is it what you expected it would be like?

I feel like society treats pregnant women as fragile, delicate people, and when you think of someone who is pregnant, you pretty much imagine someone who is 2 weeks away from delivery. In reality, life hasn’t been that different for most of it. We’ve gone hiking, cooked great food, gone to parties – all the same stuff. I’m especially impressed with her activity level to the very end – frequent walking, yoga classes, and trips to the gym. I think the classic image of pregnancy is someone on the couch eating ice cream all the time, and it hasn’t even been close to that.

What about the most difficult to deal with?

I feel like I shouldn’t complain about anything because my problems are minimal compared to hers, but really the only thing that’s been slightly harder for me is not getting as much sleep. And that’s only because she’s getting even less sleep and rolling around a lot.

I guess I’m also a little tired of the perpetual question from other people: “Are you excited?” It’s been 8 months and I still can’t think of a funny enough response! I realize that they’re really just opening up the conversation, but man this question is about as useless as talking about the weather. But to actually answer the question, yes, I’m very excited!!

Are you nervous about labor and delivery?

I’ve mentally moved beyond the delivery – after all the reading and preparing Kath has done, I’m confident she’ll do great. So now my mind has drifted to the future and raising kids. I found this hilarious blog that I’ve been reading: Crappy Pictures. It makes me look forward to all the learning adventures ahead!

What stereotype of pregnancy most suits Kath? (Pickle cravings, waddling, crying all the time?)

I’m disappointed I don’t have a better answer to this question! Besides being sick in the first trimester, and general (and increasing) discomfort, there haven’t been any specific stories about stereotypical “pregnancy stuff.” Nope, still the grossest food consumption in the house belongs to me: putting mayo on potatoes, sipping the water in the tuna can, drinking pickle juice, and messily eating with my hands.

What part of having a baby are you most excited about? Nervous about?

I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed picking out some baby clothes – I’ve always been so annoyed that kids clothing is expensive, elaborate, and not at all appreciated by the wearer. But a baby in a polo shirt? Hilarious!

I’m most nervous about how our schedules will change. I can’t just abandon the bakery, but I also feel guilty with the thought of leaving home to go to work! But I guess being a business owner is a lot easier situation to deal with than a classic 9-5 job. I think the first week or two will be the most stressful, but just like we settled into a normal life with the bakery, we’ll figure out parenthood as well. It’s actually pretty easy to find parallels between business ownership and parenthood – I can’t tell you how many times at the bakery I’ve felt like I will never get all this work done, or I’ll never find a new person to hire, or we’ll never be able to integrate this new thing into the business. But with enough repetition, any job becomes easier over time and you figure out little efficiencies or tricks, or you just get better. I’m sure we’ll figure it out just like everybody else in time.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) August 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

I think Matt’s comparing life with a newborn to life at the bakery is spot on! Such a great example. It is so true. At first you think “Will I ever sleep again?” or “How are we ever going to figure this baby thing out?” and then all of a sudden you realize you are in a groove and things get a lot easier over time.

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2 Erica { EricaDHouse.com } August 20, 2012 at 9:15 am

I love hearing his perspective on this! I never thought of the routine questions the guys must be faced with when expecting!

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3 KERF August 20, 2012 at 9:24 am

Since he wrote this, 7 people have asked him “Are you excited!?” Like he said, you can’t blame them – it’s a legit and well-meant question – but I can see how he’s like “well YES of course!!” every single time : )

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4 Anna August 20, 2012 at 9:28 am

I found Matt’s answer pretty smug to that question. Yes, it is a conversation opener, but what a great one for a soon to be new dad! People aren’t looking for a funny response! Just answer yes, and tell them how much you are looking forward to being parents! Or tell them no, you’re more nervous and worried about the endless diapers and lack of sleep! Either way, I think it’s a nice question and calls for a friendly and polite answer!

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5 KERF August 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

He always responds with a friendly and polite answer!!

People asked for a honest post so he’s sharing his honest thoughts, behind the scenes.

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6 Anna August 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

People just want to share your joy! Its a well meaning question! It’s not like your baby was conceived in any less than ideal circumstances! Enjoy your pregnancy (both of you) and indulge others a little too! Just my thoughts anyway!

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7 KERF August 20, 2012 at 9:38 am

I know, I know – that’s why we both said we know it’s a totally fair and sweet question! It’s just been funny to count how many times people have asked it.

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8 Allison K August 20, 2012 at 10:44 am

Well if Matt’s response was smug, my husband was a downright ass by the end. He was tired of people asking him if he was excited, so he started answering “well, sorta, I’m still waiting to see if it’s mine.” He thought he was being exceedingly funny. Most people were like, “uh…..” until he told them he was joking.
I think the previous commenter has a point, people do just want to share in your joy, but that doesn’t meant it doesn’t get old. I feel like there are these types of questions at every stage in life.
Senior year of highschool: what are your plans next year?
Graduating from college: do you have a job?
Getting engaged: when’s the wedding?
Married: When are you having kids?

And, if you are hte one who is pregnant? You get WAAY more questions than the Father-to-be!

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9 Reghan August 20, 2012 at 10:50 am

I agree with you both…it’s a sweet question but um, of course a new dad is excited!!!! It’s kind of a given I think!
Great post!! My husband and I are also business owners and owning a business is very similar to having a baby! His business was his first baby and we figured that out alright :)

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10 Kym August 20, 2012 at 7:58 pm

My dad asked my husband that question yesterday, and I interrupted before he could answer and said “now, what do you think he’s going to say to that, really?” just because I was tired of both of us being asked that same question infinite times. If it wasn’t my dad (or similar family) asking, I would just say “yes” and move on, but man does it get old.

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11 Jen August 20, 2012 at 9:22 am

Great post! I chuckled at Matt saying how he gets less sleep because you toss and turn. I actually snored pretty bad the third trimester and my husband complained about how I’d wake him up. The funny thing is he’s an admittedly awful snorer yet I am somehow never bothered by him. Funny how the tables turn. :)

You’re getting so close!!

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12 Stef August 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

My husband had the same issue with a bazillion people asking him “are you excited?!” LOL

Kath, have you heard about The National Rally for Change on Labor Day? It’s purpose is to bring awareness to the lack of evidence-based maternity care in the U.S. I wonder if they will be rallying outside your hospital while you are there having your baby?! Here’s the link for more info. Feel free to pass it along to anyone you might know who would be interested! http://www.improvingbirth.org/

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13 KERF August 20, 2012 at 9:31 am

Oh cool – thanks I’ll check it out. I’m all for more evidenced-based practice

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14 Laurie August 20, 2012 at 9:29 am

Love the family picture of the bears with their sibling!

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15 Lisa August 20, 2012 at 9:36 am

You are both going to do great- very excited for you both!

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16 Kim August 20, 2012 at 10:22 am

Great post and interesting perspective.

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17 Karen August 20, 2012 at 10:34 am

This was very fun to read…nice job, Matt!!

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18 Marie August 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

Jeesh. Now, I see your point about having to defend your thoughts and posts. As the mom-to-be, I was TOTALLY sick of the “are you excited” question. I actually answered “no” a couple of times just to see people’s reaction. I mean, come on, we created LIFE — how could we NOT be exctied about that? We had never been more excited about anything. Ever. A wedding, a trip to Europe, buying a home, new jobs, promotions, etc., etc. NOTHING is/was as exciting as the day we delivered that baby girl! I know you feel the same — it comes across very clear in this blog.

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19 Kelly August 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Plus, I always wonder about those circumstances when it isn’t ideal that the couple and/or woman got pregnant. Some people don’t plan children and they just happen – and yes, of course, we all know ways to prevent that, but it happens sometimes. Sometimes women aren’t excited to be pregnant – nor are the dads. So, asking this question over and over forces either a very awkward situation or a fake answer!

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20 Ann August 20, 2012 at 10:41 am

Cute post! The bear pic is funny!

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21 Mom August 20, 2012 at 11:25 am

Great post. You should add writer along with bakery owner and father. And artist!

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22 colleen August 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Great look into what Matt is thinking/experiencing. My husband wasn’t so open with his thoughts. Love the bear photo at the end.

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23 Allison K August 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

Honestly by 38 weeks, I had stopped being mostly excited. I was 50%-Done, 30%-Excited, and 20% TERRIFIED! Not about labor. About the fact that I was actually.having.a.baby.

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24 ashlynn August 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I would say that the “are you excited?” question would get annoying. I think sometimes people don’t know what to say or ask so they just ask that.

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25 Cindy August 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

What a sweet post from the fathers perspective :). So nice for you to hae and to share with baby later! You two will be great parents! The one thing my husband did that i loved, was write me a note (which he gave me later) during a down time of my labor – his thoughts and reflections on how things had gone and on his impending step into fatherhood. It was incredibly sweet and neat to read from his perspective, since some of that time was a little blurry for me!!

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26 Kayla August 20, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Aw, this post made me tear up for some reason! What is it about young guys becoming dads…happens to me at the pool when I see a young dad with a little one too! So exciting for both of you! I’ve been living vicariously through you guys these past few months (we’re just about the same age and my husband and I are also thinking of trying in the next 2-3 months!)

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27 Erin August 20, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Great idea giving the daddy-to-be’s input! I want you to know that i stumbled upon your blog right after i found out I was pregnant and I have found everything so reassuring, helpful, practical! Thanks for everything and I cannot wait to see pictures of your little one! I wish you a nice smooth delivery :) and enjoy that beer after it !! you have earned it!

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28 Brooke August 20, 2012 at 4:33 pm

This is off topic, but I was reading one of your 34 week posts (I’m 34 weeks right now) and you mentioned rib pain. Do you feel like the baby has dropped yet, and if so, did that help alleviate the rib pain? That is my #1 complaint right now – constant little baby jabs in my ribs on the right side all day and night! I’m going nuts…

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29 KERF August 20, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Yes, definitely!! It got way better, but unfortunately not until about 37 weeks. And last night he was back up there again, but in general, much better.

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30 Anna August 21, 2012 at 2:04 am

That rib pain is horrible!! I still had sore ribs for several weeks after giving birth (x3). I’m sure my first baby just created a foot hold for the other 2 to enjoy!! I sympathised completely with that too!!

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31 Amy in Canada August 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

“But a baby in a polo shirt? Hilarious!” Too funny! I see what you mean about the thought police. There is nothing remotely smug about either of you!

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32 Angel7 August 20, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Great / funny thoughts, Matt!

It amazes me, too, how expensive baby clothes are, & sometimes they are only worn a few times!

http://faithfulsolutions.blogspot.com/

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33 Kym August 20, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Such a great post to see Matt’s thoughts on things. He will be a great dad!

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34 Spice Chicken August 20, 2012 at 9:20 pm

This was great; I enjoyed Matt’s perspective. And I agree that repeat questions get super-old. For me, this has been “How do you like it here?” after moving across the country for work. The question is even more frustrating because I cannot answer honestly. But I realize, as others point out here, that it comes from a place of friendliness. People just don’t seem to know what else to say.

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35 SB August 21, 2012 at 5:05 am

Interesting post.

Re the ‘are you excited?’ question it is just people being friendly and making small talk. We all do it at times and it is people just trying to make friendly conversation with you guys. So I wouldn’t say it is useless.

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36 Vidya August 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

That’s a really sweet post. The baby would be glad to read all these chronicles once he grows up.

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37 Beth August 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I’m glad to support having a sense of humor & honesty through pregnancy & even having baby at home. We experienced the same thing. Yes, we’re excited. No, we’re not totally ready because we’ve never experienced this before but we’ve done our best to prepare. Yes, having a newborn is wonderful, but it’s more exhausting & harder than we’ve ever imaged. I think people sometimes just want a flat answer, not what you’re really thinking.

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38 Leila @ Spinach and Skittles August 22, 2012 at 12:25 am

I love Matt’s reflections! My parents bought the hubs the book “Be Prepared” and he has been loving it. It is written for the men, but I’ve read a few excerpts and it is great!

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39 Meredith August 22, 2012 at 10:06 am

It’s great that you’ve let Matt weigh in on impending fatherhood – I’m always very curious what dads-to-be think about becoming a father. It sounds like the two of you have a very exciting adventure ahead of you!

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40 Pam August 25, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Great post from Matt! I really like his sense of humor, I checked out crappypictures.com – thank you Matt, Amber is really funny!
You two are going to be amazing parents!!

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