Before my wife and I decided to start trying to have a baby, there were plenty of worries and fears that came up. Most of these fears mainly existed because we didn't have any children yet, so we weren't sure what to expect.
While people usually figure the woman is busy worrying about everything—after all, she is the one who carries and delivers the child—many assume the man has very little to worry about. Which isn't true!
This is a brand-new experience for us men, too, and it can be pretty intimidating and nerve-wracking. I know I worried. Most likely, your man is a little worried, too.
These fears could have easily overwhelmed my wife and me, but with enough communication, we were able to overcome them together.
Here are the 6 things I worried about the most during our conception journey.
1. Is it my fault that she hasn't gotten pregnant yet?
When we were trying to conceive, we knew there was a possibility that it may take a while before my wife actually got pregnant. After each month of not being pregnant, it became easy to start blaming myself for the reason that she wasn't pregnant. Eventually, I started to wonder about the possibility that we could never get pregnant because of me. This thought terrified me because there was nothing I wanted more in life than to be a father.
My wife and I had to communicate about how I was feeling because she was thinking the same way too. It was a relief to know that we were both feeling the same way because we were able to comfort each other and be more open to each other about how we were truly feeling during this time.
Of course, this fear stopped existing the moment we found out that my wife was pregnant.
2. Can we afford the hospital bills?
My wife and I agreed before we were even married that she was going to be a stay-at-home mom. Her mother was one and there was nothing she was more excited about than being able to raise our kids and homeschool them. This, of course, meant that I was the one to provide for the family. Being on a single income can put a lot of stress on me, but not as much stress as the hospital bills that were to come.
We knew that hospitals can be quite expensive, and our budget was pretty tight during this period in order to pay the bills. I knew there was going to be a lot of overtime I would have to work to save up for these bills, but the uncertainty of it all was a constant fear of mine. If we had any sort of emergency, I knew we wouldn't be able to stretch our budget enough to pay for it all.
3. What if she has a miscarriage?
When we first found out my wife was pregnant, we were so excited! But along with that excitement comes an unfortunate reality that happens to a lot of pregnancies: miscarriage. We knew a few friends who had had miscarriages, and the possibility that it might happen to us was overwhelming.
We had plenty of talks with each other about how we would respond if it ever happened. However, if it did happen, we knew there was no way to be truly ready for it. We eventually reached a point where we were going to be excited about the pregnancy and our future child, no matter what. No one ever knows what the future holds, but we have to keep living. Thankfully, my wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl!
4. Will I be able to emotionally support my wife during her pregnancy?
Before my wife ever was pregnant, I knew that being pregnant causes huge hormonal changes in a woman's body. I heard plenty of stories about the emotional roller coaster women go through during pregnancy, and it would be ridiculous for me to assume my wife would be any different. This made me unsure of what she would need from me during this time and whether I would be able to provide her with the support she needed.
I soon realized that my wife indeed went through the emotional changes, and I was nowhere near ready for it. (And I'm sure she wasn't either! Let's be honest.)
Eventually, throughout all the crying and late-night food runs, I realized that I just needed to roll with the punches. I knew my wife was never really mad at me during these times, and all she really needed was someone to remind her of the bigger picture: She was going through all this to bring our beautiful daughter into this world, and that I was eternally grateful. That constant reminder was the main thing that helped me support her during the craziness of it all.
5. Am I ready for a baby?
As we came closer and closer to having our baby, the fear of fatherhood started to loom over me. Am I truly ready to be a father? This question haunted me as we got closer to the birth. The only thing that calmed me during this time was accepting the fact that I knew nothing about fatherhood. I accepted the fact that it would be a learning experience as I went through fatherhood, and that was a good thing.
It was okay to not have all the answers or to know how to respond in every situation. I was going to be a new dad, and I wasn't supposed to have all the answers. This fact still gets me through the day when I make mistakes as a parent and as a husband.
6. Can I support a growing family?
Experiencing all of these fears made me a much stronger man than I was before we had our baby. Being on the other side of these fears made me realize that it doesn't matter in the end because we were going to get through it no matter what—together.
That is, until we start trying to have a second child. Then I'm sure all these fears will come right back into play!
But the next time we go through this process, I'll have the benefit of having already gone through it once before—so I'm thinking (hoping?) the fears won't be as great. The thing we have to remember is that there will always be something to fear or worry about as a parent. And most times you just have to find a way through it.
Cody Haines is a loving husband to a gorgeous wife and a beautiful baby girl. When he is not writing about them in his blog, he is either working as a civil engineer or spending much-needed time with his family. You can find Cody's blog at DadsDailyDiaries.com.