Read Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad! Online

Authors: John Pfeiffer

Tags: #HEALTH & FITNESS / Pregnancy & Childbirth, #HUMOR / Topic / Marriage & Family, #FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Fatherhood

Dude, You're Gonna Be a Dad!

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DUDE,
You’re Gonna Be a
DAD!
How to Get (Both of You) Through the
Next 9 Months
JOHN PFEIFFER

Avon, Massachusetts

dedication

To Kaitlyn, Lindsay, and Zoey:
Find out what you are passionate about, and chase it with everything you’ve got. And know that we will always love you more today than we did yesterday.

CONTENTS

Introduction: The Evolving Dude (er, Dad)

Part 1: The First Trimester
Chapter 1: And We’re Off

When Conception Isn’t a Piece of Cake

Finding Out

When and How Do We Spill the Beans?

Time to Talk: Conquering Fears, Being Supportive, and When to Say Nothing

Dads Unite!

Get Into Bondage — No, Really

Chapter 2: Taking Care of Her

Handling the Hormones

You Versus the Hormones

Morning Sickness: Like a Really Long Hangover

Chores, Daddy Style

Helping Her Appreciate Her New Body (Lovin' the Curves)

Managing Weight Gain

Pickles and Ice Cream

Pregnancy Massage

Pregnancy Sex

Exercise During Pregnancy

Maternity Clothes

Chapter 3: Home Away from Home: The Doctor’s Office

What Kind of Health Professional Does She Want?

The Lowdown on Doctor’s Office Visits

Which Appointments Do I Attend?

Testing 1, 2, 3

What Do I Do If Something Goes Wrong?

Part 2: The Second Trimester
Chapter 4: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Even More Change

The Play-by-Play

Dealing with Braxton-Hicks

What Your Baby Is Doing

Chapter 5: Baby Stuff

Nesting

The Baby Shower

Some Assembly Required

Choosing a Name

What to Call the Grandparents

Chapter 6: Getting Ready for the Delivery

Hospital Logistics

Getting Your BS Degree (Baby Safety, of Course)

Birthing Class

Hospital Tour

Birth Plan

Cord Blood

Part 3: Third Trimester
Chapter 7: Things to Squeeze In Before the Baby Squeezes Out

Taking a Vacation

Exploring Paternity Leave

Making Sense out of Every Dollar

Finding a Pediatrician

Finding a Day Care

Birth Announcements

Do I Really Need to Buy Her a “Push” Gift?

Chapter 8: Babywatch

The Freak-Out

Packing a Bag

Dissecting Advice for New Dads

Preterm Labor

I Saw the Sign, and It Opened Up Her Cervix

Encouraging the Baby to Come

Chapter 9: The Birth: Special Delivery

Methods for the Madness

Bad Things, Man, Bad Things

Fetal Monitoring

Role-Playing During Labor

Post-Birth Hospital Dos and Don’ts

Start Spreading the News

Papa’s Got a Brand-New Life

Part 4: The Fourth Trimester
Chapter 10: Taking Junior Home

Real-World Bonding

Where Do I Fit In?

Visitation Policy

Bottle Versus Breast

Daddy . . . Nooooooo!

Letting Grandparents Lend a Hand

Common Baby Myths

Your New Schedule

Back on the Chain Gang

Is It Sexy Time Yet?

Getting a Babysitter

Babyproofing

Epilogue: Doughnuts for Dad

Appendix: Real Birth Story

Additional Resources

Copyright

Introduction
The Evolving Dude (er, Dad)

Pregnancy: the final frontier. It requires a total rewiring of your male thought process, which has been programmed since puberty to remind you to have sex responsibly and
not
impregnate your partner. So now that you’re having sex to
try
to impregnate your partner, it’s time to adjust to the idea of your life as a father.

As Dad-to-be, your primary job is to make sure Mom-to-be doesn’t see red during this stressful time of emotional and physical upheaval for her, and to do your part to make the pregnancy as successful as possible.

This next stage — after conception — is all about research, planning, and making decisions. It’s the way of nesting BMPs. What’s that? Not familiar with the term? Your BMP is your “baby-making partner,” that special someone you’ve chosen to embark on this journey with. And now that you have your partner, the challenge for you is to take an active part while all this gestating is going down. If you let it, the pregnancy game can swallow you up, leaving your BMP and her mother to make every decision. And you may think you’re doing the right thing, being supportive and nodding your head in a north-and-south direction to every question thrown your way. But this can soon become a habit and before you know it, “Yes, dear, whatever you think,” is your default setting. Until one day you wake up and realize you have a son named Percy and your wife is dressing him in a sailor suit. Your boy will already be off to a rough start — other babies will be plotting to steal little Percy’s lunch money. If you let it go that far, it’s extremely difficult to change things.

So the moral of the story is this: Give input right from the start. You need to carefully consider each decision. You have much to learn, grasshopper. Being informed and involved will make the process more fulfilling and less confusing, and of course it will help prevent the woman in your life from having to do all of the work. If creating a child takes two people, raising a child takes at least that many.

You need to stay on top of the ball and not get caught with your pants down — a position that’s perfectly acceptable during the impregnation phase, but not so much when you’re asked your opinion on critical issues like the color of the baby’s room, or if and when Mommy is going back to work after baby arrives. You need to score a name for your child that you like but that still pleases Mom
and
all the grandparents. There’s a lot being thrown at you and your BMP.

There are approximately 3,712 ways for a man to look stupid during the pregnancy, and I’m here to help you avoid (most of) them. Time is of the essence, and you need to prepare.

This urgency is caused by the fact that she’s arming herself, as you read this, with knowledge about pregnancy and everything it entails. She is nose deep in books you would never spend two seconds reading. She will be filled with facts and figures, while you’ll still be trying to figure out how Malcolm Gladwell gets his hair to look like that, and whether you could get away with that look.

If you don’t step up to the plate, it will quickly become apparent that you know nothing, and after rolling her eyes and exchanging knowing looks with her girlfriends, your partner will start making decisions for you. This will quickly lead to a pattern in which she’ll think that either you’re stupid and incompetent or you just don’t care about your child.

So although no man gets excited about getting a Brest Friend (it’s not what you think) or about choosing the color of the car seat cover, your BMP is excited about these things, and that’s what you need to care about.

So man up, get some knowledge of your own, and the entire process will go more smoothly for everyone. Arming yourself with this book was a step in the right direction. Now you have to finish reading it. If you do, you’ll be happy because you’ll know what’s going on and what mistakes to avoid, and she’ll be happy because her man cares so much about her and your soon-to-be-delivered boss.

Read, reflect, and evolve. It’s not just about you anymore. It’s time for you to turn into the leader of your pack. It’s time for you to try on a new title: Daddy.

It is much easier to become a father than to be one.

—Kent Nerburn

To be any good at it, you’ll have to grow and evolve, to change in ways that may not always be comfortable for you. As you experience these growing pains, you’ll gain knowledge and the parent experience will get a little easier. As the great Jim Valvano once said: “Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

PART 1
The First Trimester

The first trimester is a good time for both of you to mentally prepare yourselves and begin adjusting to your new lives as parents. Your BMP will feel changes in her body as pregnancy hormones begin to take effect. Her uterus will grow during this time, up to the size of a grapefruit, in preparation for the baby’s growth. This little human comes complete with the DNA blueprint to form all of his or her body parts, from the halo atop her head all the way down to her toes. This baby will grow faster than your student loans: between day one and the ninth week of growth, the little fertilized embryo will grow to about an inch long. While every woman and every pregnancy is different, your BMP may begin to experience symptoms, including heartburn, headaches, mood swings, and morning sickness.

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