It has been said that that being a father is the most important thing most men will ever do in their lives. Only a few select individuals will be President of the United States or rescue a stranded family from a burning building or sink the winning basket with time running out in the seventh game of the NBA finals. But many men will become fathers, giving them the opportunity to become everyday heroes to their children.
This second edition of The Everything® Father-to-Be Book is intended for new fathers and fathers-to-be. It is designed to guide the new father through the ups and downs of pregnancy, taking him all the way through to the birth of his child and the days and weeks after he brings his son or daughter home for the first time. While the focus is on first-timers, there is plenty of solid information here for second- and third-time fathers who may need a refresher course on how to be a labor coach, how to introduce the new child to siblings, and other baby-related issues.
Many men are not sure what to think when they learn, for the first time, that they are going to become a father. Panic is one reaction. Another is, “How can this be happening to me?” After the initial anxiety passes, many new fathers get totally into it. They become curious about this new thing they have never experienced and they want to learn more.
Not all new fathers are like this, of course. Some are more reluctant participants. Because the baby is developing inside their partner's body, and not theirs, they may feel uninvolved or cut off from what's going on. These men may have to go through the birth itself and see the baby before they finally feel connected to the drama that has been unfolding around them for the previous nine months. The goal of this book is to speak to all types of new fathers—those who are into it from the get-go and those who may need a little nudging here and there—and to introduce all of them to the wonder of this experience.
Men tend to be mission-oriented. Give us a job and we will go out and do it. The problem that some new fathers have with pregnancy is that they are not sure what to do or what their job is. This book will show you the jobs that you can do during this time, including, most importantly perhaps, how you can support your partner.
Ah, but there's the rub. This may be an unfamiliar position for many men. They may not be accustomed to playing second fiddle in their family. But interestingly, a man shows leadership by supporting his partner and the life developing inside her. He recognizes that something is happening that is larger than himself, and he does some growing up during this period. He becomes a father.
Nothing physical happens inside the body of the man during pregnancy (although some do feel sympathy pains when their partners are going through morning sickness), and yet he is being asked to make the journey from not being a father to being a father. Is it any wonder that some men stumble along the way? Fathers-to-be experience emotions they've never had before—fear of fainting in the delivery room, worry about the health of the baby, money pressures, concern over how a child will affect their relationship with their partners—and they're not quite sure how to handle them. Some are embarrassed that they have these emotions at all.
For new fathers and their partners, pregnancy is a trip into a vast, unexplored territory. And just like any good adventurer exploring the unknown, you will need to have the right tools. Let this book serve as your compass and map as you discover the new world of fatherhood—and become an everyday hero to your family.