Next up in my ‘Let’s hear it for the dads’ series is Tim from Broken Thoughts. Here Tim openly discusses how he felt during his partners pregnancy and labour and risking an ass-whooping he admitted the one thing he would change would be ‘less complaining about feeling ill’ – got to love a dad’s honesty!
1. How did you feel during your partners pregnancy? In a word helpless, more so than when baby arrived. My partner’s pregnancy was far from the worst ones out there, but she did suffer and there was very little I could do to help her. I was also concerned there would be complications that I just wouldn’t know how to deal with, and this scared me. We’re currently in our second pregnancy and my partner is suffering more with migraines than the sickness she suffered with our first. But I feel just as helpless at the moment, I’m doing everything in my power to make things as easy for her as possible, but it doesn’t feel enough.
2. How did you feel during labour? Again, it’s a bit repetitive, but helpless. I saw my partner struggling with the pain (as she had done for a few days before hand), but all I could do was be there for her in the ward, watching over her when the pethidine kicked in and she got some sleep. There was some frustration as well, combined with the tiredness and waiting. There was some relief as the cavalry arrived (my partners mum) as it meant I could break out of the four walls of the ward, get sustenance for me and get some extra support for my partner.
2a. And how do you think you’ll feel at the impending labour!? I can’t know for sure yet, but as I’m generally quite laid back I think I’ll be better second time round, my partner on the other hand…
3. How did you find the early days with your newborn? I enjoyed the first few days when my partner was in hospital. I got some well need rest and recuperation, whilst I knew mother and baby were in the right place to get the initial care that they both required. When everyone came home, it was tiring as we both ended up just watching the crib as my son lay sleeping – no matter what the time of day or night.
4. What would you change about your partner during pregnancy/labour and babies early days? She’s likely to kill me for this, but less complaining about feeling ill. It made me feel bad as I couldn’t do anything to help her. Also, we really needed to get some nappies before baby was born, this was definitely an oversight!
5. What were your main concerns before you became a parent? Firstly the safe arrival of baby, anything after that could be managed. But I did have concerns about space in the house and whether we could afford baby.
6. How has parenthood changed you? I’m no longer fearful of other people’s children. Not having a child of my own, it felt weird playing or talking to friends children. Also, my son is my best friend.
7. What did you think of your partner’s body during pregnancy? For a number of reasons, it’s not something I really thought about. My partner had low body confidence going into the pregnancy, but it didn’t change how I felt about her. That being said, I did enjoy seeing a bump seemingly appear over night.
8. Did you support your partner in pregnancy- ie; stop drinking or eating things that ‘aren’t allowed’? I did all the things a good partner should through the pregnancy as I saw it (trying to keep my partners spirits up when hormones weren’t being nice to her, doing as much as possible to help her accommodate the baby she was incubating, etc), but I didn’t cut anything out to show solidarity as neither of us smoke, drinking alcohol is very rare and most things she couldn’t have weren’t missed as my partner is a ‘particular’/fussy eater.
9. Was there one thing that you were always in trouble for? I don’t think so in the first pregnancy, but this time round its snoring and stealing the quilt when we’re in bed.
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