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The Essential Guide For Expectant Fathers

Aug 21, 2008
This is a guide for expectant fathers. Not what to expect from the impending birth of your beloved offspring; that is relatively straightforward. No, this guide is about what to expect from your wife, girlfriend, partner, significant other over the coming months. Once you've planted your seed and that baby is on its way, there's every probability that it will be some time before you see the woman you know and love again.

Pregnancy does something 'other worldly' to your woman that no text book will tell you about. You will read of morning sickness and back ache and food cravings but there are other aspects to this period of your life that you won't read about and that nobody is willing to admit to - a darker side to pregnancy, and that is what I am here to warn you about.

Let's first break the pregnancy down into the trimesters that you will have read about already. The first three months are when your pregnant lady will experience the most changes. Her body will feel as though it has been taken over by an alien life form. The baby will be too small to feel moving around but the body goes through a major upheaval during this most important developmental stage in the baby's forming process.

For reasons as yet unexplained, she will need to pass urine approximately forty seven times per day, without sleep breaks. She will also very probably get excruciating back ache. Apparently, this is something to do with the effect of hormones on the ligaments, personally it just feels like a practice run for how knackered the body will feel for the rest of her days.

A large proportion of pregnant women will get a degree of morning sickness. Do not turn away in disgust. Do not complain if you wish to keep your ability to ever father children in the future. Just realise that when she's doing her exorcist impressions and projectile vomiting one hundred paces across the room that this is all your fault, you did this to her. Just hold her hair out of the way and know that this stage will pass.

Towards the end of the first trimester of pregnancy, you may be lucky to get glimpses of the woman you once knew. The sickness will, hopefully, settle down as will the other symptoms and her body will begin to adjust. Now she will begin to feel broody and want to start busting your credit card with baby purchases for a bump that you can't even see.

One tip here. She will want everyone to be able to see she is pregnant so when she turns side on to you looking as svelte as ever just say yes dear, you can see the bump and yes dear, pregnancy suits you. Stroke and cuddle the non-existent bump as if you already know it the way she does.

Moving into the second trimester of pregnancy, you will actually start to see the bump. Do not, under any circumstances, tell her she is fat. Never. Tell her she is positively blooming, glowing, beautiful, regardless of whatever you may think of her changing shape. This should be a relatively easy phase. Between three and six months of pregnancy your woman will be able to cope, she will feel the joy of her baby moving, sleep will still be possible, bladder pressure will be bearable and all will be rosy.

The third trimester of pregnancy will be bitter sweet. You will be starting to bond with your baby, learning its waking and sleeping patterns (don't be fooled into thinking this will continue after birth, just accept that they don't sleep). You will have adjusted to sharing your bed with a beached whale and you will know that if you want to get out sometime today then best you help your beached whale up out of the bed, off the sofa or out of that chair because by the time she manages it herself it will probably be time to set off for hospital.

Your wife will now be a little cranky, particularly if it's summer. Her ankles will have become cankles (the same thickness as her calves), shoes and clothes will be a nightmare to get into or out of, legs will go unshaven, toenails uncut unless you would care to assist with any of the above. Bathing will be a mission in itself. But don't worry, however much she moans about the situation, you are now on the home stretch and it's almost time to stop holding your breath and look forward to your imminent arrival.
About the Author
Prenancy expert Catherine Harvey looks at the warnings that men should be supplied with when pregnancy is diagnosed in their partner.
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