The Pregonaut

A non-breeder's journey into the unknown

Including Dad (or Partner) in the Process November 4, 2009

Filed under: Captain Bob909,Ground Control — anditron @ 4:16 pm
Tags: ,

BabyaI will be the first to tell you that I’m a control freak. I get an idea in my head and go into “DO” mode faster than the Duggar’s mom can change a diaper. Our wedding is a perfect example. Once we decided the date I had the venue, catering, menu, bridesmaid gowns, DJ, stylists, theme and dressmaker booked and sorted by the end of the 3 day weekend.

My husband probably deserves a medal for dealing with me, to be honest. But I suppose this is why we’re a good match for each other. We understand who likes to do what and how to let the other one take control when necessary.

Knowing I’m a control freak, I wanted to take extra steps to try and include Bob909 in the craziness that is being pregnant and planning for a baby. After all, he’s suffering by scooping 3 cats worth of litter every day for me. It’s the least I can do. He makes it easy to include him, too. He’s a guy who really wants to be involved in what is normally considered “girls” stuff. He put together many of the decorations for the venue – everything from assembling them to setting them up the day of the wedding. Here are a few of the things we’ve done to make it more us and less me.

The baby’s room. I’m a design centric person and he’s a professional retoucher with an incredible eye for color. He let me go crazy with ideas then we narrowed them down by talking through them. (I can tell you now the Discworld nursery is being put on hold to be a Discworld little girl’s room for various reasons – watch for a post about “don’t make rash decisions” in the future.) Once we decided on the theme, I picked the color I wanted to paint it. Then I got samples in a few shades I liked and he made the final call.

The baby furniture. I searched out styles of furniture then shared my favorites with him. We never really came to a final decision on aything I found through websites and at BRU, not for not agreeing but because aesthetics and function were very important to me and I couldn’t find anything that fit both sufficiently. One day we went to Ikea for a coffee table and decided to check out their baby furniture. Bob909 pointed out a nice set to me. It was perfect, not the color I originally planned but I could easily picture it in the design we had decided on.

The stroller. I already wrote about choosing our stroller. But Bob909 was heavily involved in that decision. While I did most of the initial foot work; he made the final model and color decisions. I certainly wouldn’t have said “this is the one” if he didn’t agree.

The baby bike transport. I left this completely up to him. It’s right up his alley and lets him enjoy all the techy geekery that he loves so much. Once he found a couple he preferred, we discussed it and made our final choice. It’s not something we’ll buy until after she’s born though, since she can’t ride in it until she can hold her own head up.

So now you’re thinking, great but that’s all material stuff isn’t it? How is that really involving your husband? Here’s where we really let dad-to-be connect with our impending doom… I mean daughter.

The Name. We have picked our daughter’s name. To be revealed later, maybe. Bob909 suggested it and as soon as I heard it, before we even knew what we were having, I heard tinkling bells and saw stars. We created a list after we knew we were having a girl anyway, so we didn’t make any rash hasty decisions, but no other name compared to it and in less than a day she was named.

Belly Rubs. My skin is super dry and all the books tell us moms-to-be that we need to lotion up. Rather than just making it another preggo task, we make it a chance for Bob909 to spend with his daughter. Usually before we go to bed, after I’ve had my bath he rubs the lotion on my belly and he talks to her too, I also tell her that’s her daddy.

Playlists. I let him choose songs and make playlists for her to listen to. I try to tell her when his choices or favorites come on. Somewhat embarrassing when walking around in public, but with my DIY mommy & baby speaker/iPod holder we both get to share the music and learn her dad’s favorite tunes.

Belly Kisses. First thing in the morning, when get home, and before we go to bed I have him kiss my belly and tell her hello. It’s the greatest thing in the world when he kisses me all over and then says her name into my belly. I love hearing him say her name and that translates into good energy that feeds into her so she knows how much she’s loved.

Laughing. Whenever he makes me laugh (and it’s a lot of the time) I’m sure to tell our girl her dad is funny. Laughter is an important part of our relationship, and I hope it will be for our daughter too.

Spooning. Once a day we spoon for a bit. Instead of him spooning behind me, I spoon behind him, putting the belly in between us, touching his back. This way, she gets some extra heat from a side other than me for her to move towards. If she’s being at all active then he can feel her move (sometimes). This is probably my other favorite time of the day. It’s just a nice quiet moment with the three of us that makes us both smile.

And that’s how we try to share being pregnant. I’d love to hear how you do it, maybe we can try your ideas too.


6 Responses to “Including Dad (or Partner) in the Process”

  1. ariel Says:

    Andreas likes reading the same bedtime story (the classic “goodnight moon”) to my belly. The theory is that the fetus can hear him and gets used to the sound of the story and then will extra love it after he’s born.

    We also do the belly lotion. I’ll call to him after my shower, “do you want to rub the lotion on its skin?” And he usually responds with, “I don’t want to get the hose again.”

    He’s also helping by doing moxabustion on my feet to try to get our breech baby to flip.

    • anditron Says:

      I keep trying to get Bob909 to read like you mention but he feels self-concious about it. I’m not sure why, we’re at home, no one’s around. But for whatever reason he’s been hesitant. I’ve tried to get foot massages too but he hates feet, so I try and pretzel up to do my own.

      When did you find out your baby was breech? Have you known for a while and how does the foot massage help?

  2. Ariel Says:

    The baby has always been breech — even way back to the week 13 ultrasound, he was in the EXACT same position he’s in now — head up by my right rib cage, curled up with the left side of his face on the placenta like a pillow. Sounds pretty comfy to me, I guess. But UG!

    So, moxabustion is this crazy acupuncture/chinese medicine. No one understands how it works (not even my acupuncturist!) but even my OBGYN’s nurse recommended it. It’s been studied extensively and it’s shown to be as effective as manually trying to flip the baby via external version. More info:

    It’s totally a weird mystery. It hasn’t work for me yet, but we keep trying. 🙂

    • anditron Says:

      Hopefully at the least it feels nice and relaxing. And I’ve got my fingers crossed the massage technique works. I’ve caught some not-to-pleasant baby stories on TLC where they had to manually flip. I guess as long as he’s happy and healthy in there, that’s the most important part (and he does sound comfy)

  3. shanghaicowgirl Says:

    My man sang to both our in-uteros (uteri? uteroes?) He started when they could “technically” hear outside voices. They each got their own song. Some nights I just wanted to drop into bed, but he’d insist on singing the song. But then, when our first-born popped out and started screaming, he sang her her song, and no-freakin-way, she stopped crying. Cold. These days, that’s their bedtime song.
    We also did a LOT of talking re what we’d be doing the last week before D-Day (we spent a bunch of time together), and specifically what we were going to do during L&D, and practicing that when applicable.
    Also – your blog rocks.

    • anditron Says:

      I love that he created songs for each of your kids while they were baking. That’s a wonderful way for him to be involved and to create a lasting bond.

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