Glimpsing into the Pregnancy Process Ahead
When you get used to the idea of being a father (which you hopefully will), you may wonder what comes next. For the uninitiated,
first-time dad, the nine months of pregnancy are a whirlwind of planning, worrying, parties, nesting, name searching, doctor visits,and information gathering as you move toward baby’s birth.
In this article we lay out what you can expect in each trimester (period of three months).
In the first trimester, which encompasses the first three months of pregnancy, your partner suffers from the majority of pregnancy
symptoms, such as nausea, intense sleepiness, unexplained tears, and the all-important cravings.
By the end of the first trimester, your baby grows to be about 3 or 4 inches in length and weighs approximately 1 ounce. At that time
your baby’s arms, legs, hands, and feet are fully formed, and your baby is able to open and close her fists.
The circulatory and urinary systems are fully functional. Secondary body parts, such as fingernails, teeth, and reproductive organs, begin developing.
During the second trimester, most of your partner’s early pregnancy symptoms disappear, but her body undergoes visible changes. She begins to look and feel pregnant, and may begin struggling with the not-so-fun aspects of carrying a child, such as weight gain and forgetfulness.
This is also the time when the fun stuff begins. Around week 20, your partner has the ultrasound that can determine the sex of the
baby — if you choose to find out and if the baby allows the ultrasound technician a clear view.
It’s also the time when you register for your baby shower, prepare the nursery, weed through countless baby names, attend birthing classes, and baby-proof your house.
By the end of the second trimester, your baby is roughly 14 inches long and weighs approximately 2 pounds. Her skin is still be translucent, but her eyes begin to open and close, and your partner likely starts feeling movements and even baby’s tiny hiccups.
Assuming all goes according to plan and your baby goes full-term (isn’t premature) or somewhere close to it, the third trimester is one of the longest three-month periods of your life.
Your partner begins to feel uncomfortable as her body makes it difficult to move and sleep in a normal way, and you both get antsy about the impending arrival.
To make the most of the time, you and your partner need to take care of business, mainly picking a pediatrician who you’re comfortable with and has a similar parenting philosophy as you and your partner, crafting your birth plan, hiring a doula if you want one, getting your maternity and paternity leave squared away, ensuring that you understand your insurance benefits, creating a phone tree to announce baby’s arrival, and finishing up any odd projects around the house that need to be done prior to baby’s arrival.
During the third trimester, your baby is fully developed and focused on growing larger and stronger for life on the outside. This is also the last time for many, many years that you and your partner exist solely as a couple, so be sure to take the time to indulge yourselves in the things you love to do together.
Life may feel like it’s on pause for at least the first six months of baby’s existence, so get out now and enjoy the freedom of childlessness. Soon enough, your life will be a lot more complicated and busy — and happy, too. Very, very happy.
While You Were Gestating
Because the first few weeks of pregnancy will probably be rather uneventful, now is a good time to start a time capsule for the year your baby will be born.
Many years down the road, when your child is an adult, it will be a touching, informative look back at the time when he entered the world. For you and your partner, it will be a fun, celebratory action to kick off the pregnancy festivities.
Keep movie tickets stubs, take-out menus, a newspaper from the day you found out your partner was pregnant (as well as clippings
of the most important headlines of the year), favorite ads, magazine clippings, and so on.
Make a mix CD of the most popular songs, as well as one of your favorite music.
As you choose names, add the list of all potential names into the time capsule. When you choose a paint color for the nursery, put
in the paint color card.
Any decision you and your partner make for the baby is a good candidate for inclusion.
It may seem silly now, but in 20 years it will be the best gift you can give your child.