- the next generation - the next generation
Week 30 Week 31 : What does Daddy do? Week 32

"I'm just going to zone out for a bit. If you want to show me something, pretty much anything directly in front of my face I'll look at." -a.

So far, so 'spensive:
Current size: 3.2 pounds
Spent on baby clothes: 140 pounds
Spent on baby goods: 380 pounds
Cost of baby: 162 pounds a pound.

Things that arrived in the post this week: Car seat, bouncy chair, bottle sterilizer, breast pump.

Aimee's thoughts:
I don't understand why Kev is going on about not knowing what to do, and I certainly don't understand why he's asking the midwife about it. Unless he's trying to show the other pregnant women in our antenatal group how he is the Ultimate Sensitive Man who is Always Looking to do Best by his Lady. Show off.

In my opinion, Kev's pretty on the ball when it comes to taking care of me and I'm sure he's going to be absolutely brilliant in labour. In fact, I'm much more sure of his performance than I am my own!

However, since he's ASKED, I thought I'd take it upon myself to help him out by providing a detailed list of every way that a husband can help his wife during pregnancy, birth and afterwards. Here's my version of The Supportive Dad's Guide to Genuinely Helping Your Partner Through Pregnancy.

Let's start with the advice the midwife gave...

Listen to your partner.
This means listen, but also translate. When she says she's fine, this usually means she needs a hug. If she says she's tired, that means that she's never felt so tired in her life and she could really use a warm bath or to be tucked into bed.

Do what she says.
This means, do exactly what she says, immediately. Not after that round of MarioKart or after getting off the phone. Do it now. Pregnant woman minutes are measured in a different dimension than normal woman minutes and you need to be sensitive to this.

And now, onto some of my own advice...

Clean the house and make dinner.
Sure, you may do this normally, but now is the time to make sure that you do an amazing job at these tasks. This is especially important if she's still working. By the time she gets home, she will want to do nothing but sleep, so it's up to you to make sure that the baby gets a proper dinner and mom isn't annoyed by mess or a sink full of dirty dishes.

Do everything she would normally ask you to do before she asks you to do it.
If you're unsure of what needs to be done, discreetly make a list throughout the week of what you're asked to do and then, the next week, just do it.

Initiate conversations about the baby, read to the baby and just generally be as engrossed with the baby as she is.
This one will be easy, because you will be.

During labour, don't fuss, and constantly tell her how fabulous a job she is doing.
You could also let her know that she's your hero and you could never do what she's doing. This will make her want to show off a bit and is much better than telling her that it can't possibly hurt as much as she's saying it is.

Go to all the antenatal appointments.
She's not the only one who's having this baby - don't leave the administration of it to her.

Give as many foot rubs and backrubs as you can possibly stand.

Just love her.
Up your love levels to maximum for the full nine months and you'll be doing just fine. Everything else will really flow from there.

Kev's Note: See? Aimee couldn't even
fill up a single page.
Kevin's thoughts:
Aimee and I started our parenting classes this week. I know what you're saying: "You? Parenting classes? But, you two are intelligent and well read and quite obviously going to be excellent parents... what could YOU ever learn from a parenting class?" I know I know, it's shocking, but I'll admit, we don't know everything. Okay, maybe we do.

Actually, I had a little bit of this attitude before going in. I thought it was going to be some sort of Babies 101 class where they start you from absolute scratch; hard hitting issues like, "Babies need MILK to grow, not PEPSI," and "Yes, smoking causes small babies, but PLEASE DON'T SMOKE thinking it will make your labour easier."

In actuality, it was very informal, and very informative. We could ask whatever we wanted, and the midwife would do her best to answer it as openly as possible, while at the same time, trying her best not to scare the absolute shit out of the pregnant women. Opening with the line: "I won't lie to you; giving birth is the worst pain you could ever imagine," wasn't a really good start, but hey, at least she's honest, and now in the delivery room if the pain is slightly less than the worst pain imaginable, then I guess that's a good thing, right?

Besides me, there was one other dad in the room. Gary. Gary was smart, funny, supportive, well-informed, and eager for as much knowledge as he could sponge from the midwife in a two hour session. A dad like me. We could have been twins, except that he looked almost exactly like hit comedian Martin Lawrence.

The midwife seemed slightly surprised that she had ANY dads in the room, let alone TWO. And when we both asked the same question - what can we actually do to make the labour go smoothly? - she was strangely stumped. She actually said she'd do a bit of research and get back to us. Until then, um, er, just listen to your wife and do what she says.

There isn't a lot of information for dads out there. All the pregnancy books and periodicals are geared towards moms, which I suppose is understandable since the whole process lies on her shoulders. But you'd think in a 200 page magazine or a 500 page guide-to-pregnancy, they'd have more than two pages about dad's role. They don't.

There are three types of pregnancy guides. The first is the clinical: they tell you that anything you could ever do or think of doing has a chance of harming the baby. Doesn't matter how small that chance is, if there's a chance your baby could develop a syndrome or a disease from it, it's in the table of contents.

The second type is the feel good happy book. Usually very little doc-talk, mostly a lot of "Go ahead and eat a whole bag of fudge! You'll feel better!" type advice. They talk about twinges and aches and stretch marks, and a whole lot of personal anecdotes that makes moms say, "Thank goodness, I'm not the only one!" Dads can be mentioned from time to time, but usually in an "if he's ever around, sigh, men are all the same aren't they girls?" kind of way.

The very, very small third category (I think it contains as few as two books, but possibly as many as four) is the Guide for Guys. The reason you may not have found them, if you're looking, is probably because you've been looking in the Health section of the library, where you should be looking in Humour. Gives you some idea on how informative they are.

Guys Guides are loaded with the same old jokes over and over: beer, nagging wives, sports at the pub, porn, references to the movie 'Alien', and a running thread on the key benefit of pregnancy - the fact that your wife has bigger boobs. YES! SCORE! Let's see if we can squeeze one more big boob joke in here? No? Well, we tried.

Not surprisingly, Gary found the same thing. Dads like us want to know what we can really do to really help when it's really needed, not just the bare minimum to shut her up long enough that we can get to the pub before the game starts. What helps during labour? How can I aid in pain relief? What should I have at the ready? What's my role in all of this? Believe it or not, some of us guys would geniunely take the pain away if they could... we're not all callous, shallow, beer-swilling pigs who'd rather be elsewhere until our son grows up to be 14 and we can buy him his first Playboy.

We've got one class to go, and Gary and I are going to go off looking on our own to see what we can come up with. Sad to say, but I think I may need to write the book we've been looking for: The Supportive Dad's Guide to Genuinely Helping Your Partner Through Pregnancy. Catchy title, but from what I've seen so far, that title might be longer than the contents of the book.

Did you know?

During pregnancy, you can increase an entire shoe size. Unfortunately, unlike most of your other pregnancy symptoms, your shoe size will remain larger from now on!

Too bad the boobs don't work the same way! Har dee har! Whew, I didn't think it was possible, but we did it!
If only I knew then

This week: World's Largest Belly

Having a huge pregnant belly is NOT the same as having a beer belly. I think the difference must be that fat is malleable while baby is solid. This is what makes it so difficult to roll over in bed and bend over to pick things up. A beer belly is like strapping a teddybear to your tummy. A baby is like strapping bags of sugar to your tummy. Totally different.

And that, folks, is why fat men don't deserve seats on the tube.

Aimee's cravings

Nuthing. I'm really just thirsty more than anything, but I don't think that can really be considered a craving.

Oh wait, cheesecake is quite appealing right now too. Raspberry cheesecake. But that isn't about being pregnant, that just makes me a girl.

Everyone into the poll!

As we continue Dad Appreciation Month, let's hear what he's done for you lately.
Q. What's the nicest thing your partner did for you during your pregnancy?
Tell us what in a very small box:

Results next week!
Are dads as good as moms? I can't say we got enough answers from this poll to make a positive determination (if you want to vote, check out last week's page), but we did get a couple of interesting answers:

One mom said... YES!
"Dad was very comfortable sharing the childrearing duties....but in the long run the baby was lucky to have me around."

One dad said... NO!
"Mothers are natural care givers!"
Baby's Book of the Week

Bedtime Stories: The Fish Who Saw the World
By Terry Jones and Nanette Newman
This book is great fun to read aloud. It's a collection of seven children's stories by a British actress and one of the Pythons. The Fish Who Saw the World is all about a fish who leaves his home and swims all over the world (best read with a smarmy German accent, like Dieter from Sprockets). When he returns home, he is bored and doesn't want anything to do with the other fish because he's seen everything there is to see and knows everything there is to know. Little does he know that life has one more surprise in store for him.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

We've got mail...

Yes, I miss feel my hand on the stomach of Aimee!! :( jajaja
- Eunice
Stratford, ON

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
Olive oil?.