The one person who tends to be forgotten during this is the father of the child, the husband, the man who started the whole journey if you know what I mean ;P It annoys me when people say mom and baby are doing well. What about the dad? He is an equal partner in the whole journey. And even if he was not in the labour room during the actual delivery process, he does go through a myriad of emotions. Every check up, every scan, the father of the child is as invested as the mom.
Here is the thing right: throughout your pregnancy, when the baby is growing and living inside you, you are fortunate to feel him move and kick and turn. The father does not get that blessed experience. So it is up to you to make him feel involved (if he isn’t already). My husband loved to be around us, and I think he spoke to bubs more than I did. My man took insanely good care of us while we were preggy, and continues to do so now.
In the hospital, he had to actually see me push a baby out. I did the pushing yes, but I didn’t have to witness it; and this was not at my behest. He wanted to be there for the birth of his child. He saw me, the love of his life (I hope :P) go through immense pain for so many hours, saw me getting cut to get the baby out, saw me get stitched up. And through it all, no one really pays any attention to him. At least at Cuban, the nurses and doctor did try to keep him informed and involved but that isn’t always the case. He hadn’t eaten anything the whole day because he didn’t want to leave my side. He too was exhausted and overwhelmed but people tend to forget he even exists and I find that extremely unfair.
Nowadays, every night, for every feed, he wakes up. Does he need to? Of course not, but he does, because he wants to check on us, and check if we are okay. At least I have the luxury of sleeping in because I don’t have work, but he still needs to be up early to go into work. Yet, I have always been astonished as to how less people ask about him, or check on him.
With a baby in tow, even me as his wife has less time to shower him with TLC. In fact, he is learning to cook food I like to eat, just to keep me happy and full. I get massages and hot baths everyday, even when he carries my bunny for most of the day. Yet, why are husbands/fathers considered to be less of a partner in parenthood?
I believe it is extremely important to keep them involved, and to constantly let them know that you do love them and cherish them more and more each day. Don’t let them become an unsung hero in the background. Remind them that each day he proves to be superhuman, and never fails to surprise you, and that you both are equal partners in the parenthood journey.