Becoming a dad for the first time - week 30

This week Brooke and I attended our first of 3 childbirth and early parenting classes that we booked ourselves in to. Our Hospital (Frances Perry House) offers 6 different classes; Postnatal & Early Parenting, Labour & Birth, Breastfeeding, Refresher, Caesarean Section Birth and Twin Plus. These sessions take 3hours on average.

We attended the Postnatal & Early Parenting class this week. I won’t lie to you, I did find most of it boring and I was dozing off 10mins into the class. However, there was some information I know will come in useful when the baby comes. This class goes into detail on what happens to the mother and baby in the days after the birth. Watch out for the day 4 blues!! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you attend this class. You’ll also be surprised find out how long the baby sleeps a day (about 16 hours a day but only ever for an hour every 2 – 3 hours). This class also gives you information on breast feeding, taking home the baby, setting up the baby’s room and if you have pets, it also gives you information on how to introduce the baby to the pets. We have two dogs, so the information provided was very useful. And in case you nod off at the start like I did and miss anything that may be important, there are plenty of handouts that are actually useful to read when you are up for it! Next class is on Labour & Birth. I don’t think I will be falling asleep during this class. Something tells me I’m going to need to know what to do when the baby decides it’s time to come out. And I’m not afraid to admit that when I was told that you watch a video on a live birth that I Sh*t myself!!!!! – Not looking forward to that.

Last week Brooke had the blood test (refer to week 29). What I failed to mention is the vaginal swab Brooke had to undertake as part of the test. This is conducted to determine if there is any vaginal infection that may harm the baby when it comes out. We had our obstetrician’s appointment early this week. He informed that he had received the test results and he was happy with them; no infections and no diabetes. Areas to improve on are for Brooke to increase her iron and vitamin D intake (this is no wonder with the first 5 months of vomiting!).  After examining Brooke’s pregnant belly he confirmed that the baby had turned. This means the baby has switched position. The head of the baby is now positioned toward the pubic area; he said this was no surprise as Brooke had mentioned she had a lot of discomfort down there, as if she had been riding a horse! To make sure everything is in order he requested Brooke to undergo another ultrasound at 34 - 36 weeks. At this point I also need to mention the hormone changes that take place in your partner. Brooke had a couple of teary days. I had to stop the crying by giving her a back rub. One day she cried because I complained about giving her a feet rub – So word of warning men, watch out for the hormones!

I want to confirm this though. Baby Brain syndrome does exist.  I’m not going to disclose every single incident where my wife did silly things. I’ll give you one; Brooke was on her way out and couldn’t find her mobile phone, so I called her mobile phone from mine to locate it. So off she goes to the shops to pick up a few things and no further is she out the drive way and she calls me on my mobile, “I didn’t hear my mobile ring, but I have a missed call from you, did you want something from the shops?” Yep, say no more.

I should also warn you that around week 30 the nesting begins and because your wife cant get around as quick as she use to, you might start getting ordered around to move this hear and move that there.... apparently we don’t have enough storage space now that the spare room is a nursery, so this week we “had” to buy new draws.... my wife likes things to be done straight away and this only gets worse as the pregnancy goes on!

So, what have I learnt so far about the role of a dad to be?

1.       Just listen and agree with everything. (Well , on most things)
2.       Learn to cook
3.       Read & research
4.       Plan for everything
5.       Become an expert in back/foot rubs
6.       Wife can’t put her legs over her head in the bath anymore, so be patient if asked to shave her legs!