The wife's pregnant (YAY!). What are some things we should talk about?

So my wife of two years and I are with child. It’s still early in the pregnancy but we’re both really excited.

I created this thread to ask for things we should be talking about, but my not think. One thing, which I’m having a difficult time getting her to give me a straight answer, is what she wants me to do should there arise a difficulty in delivery.

Not everything needs to be that heavy, but I’m sure we’re missing something.

Well, you might want to discuss the pros and cons of circumcision.

ETA: Congratulations. Kids are fun.

First, congratulations!

For me, I didn’t really know enough information about what was supposed to happen during delivery (specifically, I mean – other than that “the baby comes out”) to have a productive conversation about what might go wrong until much later in the pregnancy, after getting a lot more information from my doctors and especially attending the birth class offered by the hospital. It was much clearer to focus on specific delivery-related issues after we had both attended the class.

Names were pretty hard for us. I really had no idea we were so far apart on what makes a good name. Even names that we both somewhat liked verbally we ended up being far apart on spelling (I learned that he thinks creative spellings of names are cute and individualistic! WTF?!)

I would also talk about whether or not you want to tell people the name in advance (we did, but always said we weren’t 100% sure just in case we went with a game day substitution), and if you want to find out the gender, and if so, if you want to tell other people (we did both).

I would talk about who she wants at the delivery – not just in the room, but around in general. I had my mom come stay with us the week prior and the week after my daughter was born, this was like HEAVEN for me (I really needed the help) but I know for some people, this would be HELL. There was a thread a while back that got a little heated about whether the input from husband and wife about whether mom/MIL comes to visit should be 50/50 … I came down strongly on the side that the person who experiences the most medical duress during the birth process gets to decide.

I’m trying to remember what else we talked about … we were mostly just spazzy. :slight_smile: And a lot of it ends up being completely different when you get handed your own personal baby at the end of the process.

Congratulations. You’ll want to make a decision about who’s going to have the baby - you, or her. :smiley:

Are you asking her to decide now if you have to save one of them which one should you save? :dubious:

I think that given the odds you can safely shelve that conversation.

You should talk about if you want to find out the sex before birth or not, names, dreams, future aspirations. A little time before you deal with unlikely life or death situations is probably a good plan.

Congrats to you both.

Conversations on child rearing philosophy…sometime during pregnancy getting on the same page regarding the influence of your mother and hers, some of that first stage thinking, like cosleeping…most of the hard stuff comes later but you start laying the foundations for “how are we going to handle breaking curfew” with “how do we handle a toddler who gets out of bed” and start that with “how do we handle putting the new baby down.”.

At some point there will probably be a sonogram and you should consider whether you want to be told the sex of the baby. Also you may have the option of a test for things such as Down syndrome. When my daughter was pregnant she and her husband decided not to have amniocentesis done as they both firmly agreed that that regardless of what was found they would continue the pregnancy.

I strongly recommend childbirth classes and Lamaze or similar coaching. There’s of course no guarantee all will go as planned but IMHO it’s a huge help.

I also think it’s a very good idea not to tell anybody too early. If [heaven forefend] something goes wrong, it’s much easier to deal with if the whole world doesn’t know.

Budget, budget, budget. How much is this going to cost (more than you think). Where is this money coming from? Who is going to cut what? What is worth spending on and what isn’t? This isn’t just for the initial outlay (though that is considerable), but a steady on-going thing. Start talking about childcare: it is by far your biggest expense, whether you pay for it in forgone income or paid care. It’s really easy to either end up feeling like the one making all the sacrifices, OR end up terribly in debt because neither person makes the sacrifices.

I don’t know how, exactly, you prepare for this, but understand that having a baby will completely rewrite your marriage agreements. That’s not a bad thing, but all the little patterns and conventions of what needs to be done, who does what, how it gets done, and what counts as “done” get blown sky high, and you can’t even start to rebuild them because the baby is changing the rules all the time. It takes a lot of giving each other the benefit of the doubt and trusting that both people are doing the absolute best they can and need to just feel happy and grateful for one another.

Related to that, all your best laid plans will almost certainly go awry. So while you can talk about things, you have to keep a certain flexibility: the baby can be a month early, or not come home right away, or your wife could have a c-section, or breastfeeding may really not work at all as you both hoped or any number of things. Keep your mind flexible.

Late in the pregnancy, your provider will urge you to take childbirth classes together. You can learn about labor and delivery, and iron out questions about them, at that point. Right now let the poor woman concentrate on keeping her saltines down.

My daughter had half the Universe in the delivery room with her, and she was NOT happy. Her husband didn’t see a problem with it, and that caused contention later.

One thing I was TOTALLY surprised about when i had my first: I always thought that contractions were in the ENTIRE uterus. I expected my whole belly to be one gigantic tooth ache.

Imagine to my surprise to discover the contractions are like really really REALLY bad menstrual cramps, very low in the pelvis, and UNDER the belly. And the contractions are only PART of the “discomforts” you feel in labor. Hey, if it were ONLY contractions, trust me, labor would be a BREEZE!

Just that tiny tidbit would have made such a tremendous difference in my entire anticipation!

By all means, ask others for their opinions about names. And then feel free to ignore everyone else and name YOUR kid what YOU want to!

Back in my machine shop, Valerie popped pregnant - both she and her husband worked at the company just different shops =) Knowing their relative incomes I am amazed at how they handled it.

Starting as soon as she found out, they started buying extras every paycheck - ranging from antiperspirant and toothpaste, toilet paper, canned goods, diapers, baby wipes, laundry detergent … anything and everything that they tended to use or would be needing. That way, when they were down to pretty much one income they would not have budgetary issues [she was going to take the first 3 years off, until the kid got into preschool. He was getting snipped after the first kid.] They didn’t buy any clothing as they knew they would be getting stuff at the shower, and hand me downs from friends and families. They picked out one of those convertible crib-to-kid beds and other nursery furniture, stroller and stuff - the expenses they could get out of the way up front while they both worked.

It worked well for them. They have their single kid [it popped out a boy] and they have a very nice little family, in a small 30s bungalow type house, in small town America. Sprog is now 29 :eek: How time flies :stuck_out_tongue:

We did something similar, except instead of stocking up on stuff, we just accumulated a big pile of money, which is really more flexible and less likely to leave you with a box of diapers that never fit or $50 worth of detergent the baby is allergic to. If a couple doesn’t have the self-discipline to do this, pregnancy is an excellent time to start because you are highly motivated.

Don’t worry about the delivery room. She’s not going to know what she wants you to do until she’s actually in labor and it may or may not be what you learned in Lamaze class. I told my husband to stuff it with the breathing support–then I hit him.:smack:

Try not to overthink it–the pregnancy, the delivery, infancy. There’s so much stuff you don’t know–about you, your wife, your kid–until everyone is on the scene. The you go with what you’ve got.

I highly recommend that you don’t read pregnancy books like What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Just feeds the anxiety.

And congrats!!

I recommend this book: The Poo Bomb: True Tales of Parental Terror. Demystifies the whole new-parent experience with funny stories about what it’s really like to have a baby.

Hey **Rand - **

Don’t have any advice, but wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m happy for you!!

1st-Congrats on the babe. 2nd, I agree with everything MLS said!

Oh I agree! Just the diapers, assuming you are going with disposable, will break the bank. You are going to have new expenses that do not occur to you yet. Start buying things now.

Raising kids is a wonderful, rewarding experience, and a little planning can reduce the envitable stress. And money issues can be a big source of stress.

You’ve got some time to work out what’s going to happen during delivery.

Right now, work on some of the more immediate concerns:

Do you want a CVS or amnio? CVS is done between 10 and 12 weeks, amnio a little later. If you do want one, what would you do if the results were abnormal? You can also find out the sex of the baby from the CVS or amnio, if you’re too impatient to wait for the 20-week ultrasound (I was), since the CVS or amnio can get the sex from the chromosomes.

Does she have food aversions? The smell of certain foods can trigger food aversions, and your sense of smell can be more sensitive during pregnancy. When my sister was pregnant with her first, if her husband opened a jar of peanut butter anywhere in the house, the smell would make her feel sick. You might have to stop eating certain foods in the house because of her food aversions.

Morning sickness tip: go to a restaurant or party supply store and get a big sleeve of 32-ounce paper cups. She should keep one of these cups with her all the time. Especially make sure to keep one in the car. That way, if she vomits, there is something to contain the vomit, and she can throw the cup away (ideally in an outdoor trash can) after it is used. There’s nothing to wash this way. I’ve found that 32-ounce cups are generally big enough to deal with any vomiting I’ve had. Keeping a roll of paper towels in the car would also not be a bad idea.

She’ll need to avoid alcohol, eating certain fish (swordfish, shark, tilefish, mackerel, and some kinds of tuna), any products made with unpasteurized milk, deli meats, lunchmeat, smoked seafood, and raw seafood. She’ll want to avoid anything she has an aversion to. Does she have a problem with you eating those things when she’s around, or is she OK with that?

You probably already know this, but if either of you smokes, now would be a really good time to stop. Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke is bad during pregnancy, and it’s bad for the baby once it is born (increases the risk of SIDS, among other things).

She’s likely to be a lot more tired than normal. She probably won’t be able to get as much done around the house as she normally does during the first trimester of pregnancy. You might have to do some of that stuff, or you might have to live with stuff not getting done. If she’s too nauseous, you might have to do more of the cooking. She probably won’t want to go out as much as she did before she was pregnant, because she’ll feel too tired and/or nauseous. Adjust your expectations accordingly.

When do you want to announce to people IRL, to whom, and how? A lot of people wait till the first trimester is over (at about 14 weeks), because the risk of miscarriage goes down then. Some people want to announce earlier and get sympathy if they do have a miscarriage. Some don’t. Some relatives can be touchy about how and when they hear news like this. If she’s working, she’ll want to decide when she wants to announce at work. If she’s having obvious morning sickness, it might need to be earlier, at least to her boss. She should have at least some idea of what she plans to do, work-wise, when the baby is born before announcing to her boss, as that will be one of the first questions the boss has for her.

We’ve actually already started telling people. In fact, we told (certain) people the day we found out at home. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but we were excited. And no matter what happens I’m glad we did it that way. My grandfather, who I was incredibly close to, died two days after we found out and told people. So my last conversation I had with him was about me having a kid. There are worst ways to say goodbye, y’know?

But yeah, we’re going to find out the sex. I want a boy.

We already have a boy’s name down pat. If it’s a boy his name’s going to be David. It was the name of my best friend who was killed in Afghanistan a couple of years ago.

I told the wife that if things get too crazy I’m just going to sell him to gypsies.

Ah, to expand on Anne Neville’s excellent post: recognize that your wife isn’t a “little bit” pregnant. She’s fully pregnant. The first trimester is, in many ways, the roughest. She doesn’t look pregnant, so its a little hard to believe, but under the surface her body is doing tremendous things.