Today Sarah reached week 7 of her pregnancy which seems really sudden, but in the grand scheme of things we’re far from the end product. It’s almost like every time I look at the calendar another month rolls around; this year has flown by. I’m guessing it’s a, normal anxious dad move, to find a bunch of reading material and buy everything like it’s the Scholastic Book Fair? Someone please tell me that’s normal because I ordered a backpack full of books from Amazon: What to Eat When You’re Pregnant; What to Expect: The Congratulations, You’re Expecting! Gift Set;. We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook; and The First-Time Mom’s Pregnancy Journal – I’m pretty sure these books will be helpful but when that baby comes, I’ll have to let fatherly instinct take over.
Throughout these last couple weeks, we’ve been trying to eat healthier, I’ve cut back on the alcohol, and found myself randomly waking up at night to feel for Sarah’s baby bump (it’s getting there). I’ve been drifting; caught in day dream imagining the nursery being built, the baby shower, the birth. But then I snap back and tell myself I need to be patient. I need to take this one month, one, week, one day at a time. Why am I rushing through this pregnancy? I know the answer – It’s all my excitement. I want to reach this “Dad” destination so bad, that I’m blowing past all the scenery. Right now things are easy for Sarah*. Eat right, drink more liquids, get some exercise. But I know things are going to get tougher, I can’t mentally be in the future when the present is calling on me to be a good Husband.
So what do I do? How do I slow down and make sure I’m taking care of my wife as well as myself? The Handbook suggest I should take charge of the household needs. Sarah and I usually share the responsibilities of a clean house, but now that she’s pregnant, I need to make this my priority. But she can be pretty stubborn when it comes to things like this; she likes being active and helping around the house. I can’t imagine how hard it is for her to be at home all day – she’s a Physical Therapist whose work was put on pause because of COVID – and now I’m trying to take on all the household responsibilities for myself. The mental strain of doing nothing for months must be tough and I feel for her. But I have to (want to?) look out for her health and our child’s. Last week was the first time I noticed her fatigue and low energy levels. She woke up at 8:30AM, said Hi, played one game on the tablet, all to just take a 5 hour nap on the couch. Please let our child inherit Sarah’s ability to fall asleep anywhere!!! But I question myself: Can I be effective at doing my part to get through this pregnancy without creating a confined atmosphere for Sarah? How can I take care of her without encroaching on her personality and individualism. Will this even help keep my aspirations in check and refrain from “fast forwarding”?
Alright, so to recap on staying in the moment: One way is to maintain the cleanliness of the house to help relieve any worry or additional stress, got it! I also need to commit to being consistent. Earlier I mentioned how we were eating better; we eat better when we make sure that there’s a food plan for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Too many times, even before the pregnancy, it was easy to just order Papa John’s or Chinese Food. But if I took it upon myself to consistently meal prep, I think it would allow me to stay in the moment of a day-to-day routine and limit my skipping forward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I shouldn’t be looking ahead towards our future family, I just think I need to find a healthy balance. One where I can be hopeful and excited for what lies ahead without compromising my need to provide the mental and physical attention to this daily pregnancy process. I need to relax, live in the moment, understand this is Sarah’s journey too, embrace pregnancy’s challenges, and be comfortable in Waiting…
*Editing Update: Right after my final edits, Sarah woke up experiencing weird stomach feelings. She spent more than the usual time in the bathroom that day….. Looks like the
morning sickness part of pregnancy has started. Time for lots of ginger ale (Seagram’s is the best and I WILL fight anyone on that).