April 21, 2014

I'm the one giving birth!

     Sometimes, I feel a sense of entitlement comes with my pregnancy. I did it the first time around, and am finding myself falling into similar habits this time as well. I feel I have the upper-hand since I am the one having to deal with the emotional upheavals of pregnancy. I have to finish the conversation. I get to watch my shows first.  I have to eat steak when I want steak. You get the picture.
 In short, I am always right. I am the victim. I need tending to. After all, I am the one who is pregnant!


Just kidding. Kind of. 

I don't think I'm really that bad, but giving myself kudos for self-realization. Hey, the first step is acknowledgment.


       The other day I came across this article. It states that young Dads are at risk for depression from birth of a new child - until kindergarten. The actual number has not been determined, mainly due it not having been reported. The root causes are unknown, but I can speculate some contributing factors. Bottom line- it's a serious issue that needs attention

 It raised awareness in my mind, and it helped me understand this: I'm not the only one involved in the nitty-gritty of a pregnancy. The person by my side everyday has been through it all as well.  The good, the bad, and whatever else comes in-between. That person is my one and only.

 My husband. 
He is right there with me, going through the whole process as well.  He stayed up the entire time during our 12-hour labor, held my hand while I was pushing, brought me pizza after delivery, changed baby's first diaper. The list goes on. See? I can be thankful at times. But, in all seriousness, I realized the current state of affairs needed to modified. I had to reach out.  

         To be honest,  I hadn't even asked him how he was handling the birth of our baby 9 months ago, or how he has been feeling about the impending birth of our new baby. I was so  focused on how I was dealing, and how my life was affected that I didn't stop to think to check up on my husband. It never even occurred to me. Maybe, just maybe I could take a step back from myself, and look to my right-hand man. All entitlements aside. 

       So, I sat down, and asked him. He was surprisingly candid, and shared his anxieties of financial stability, and his need to be a good father. He had felt overwhelmed in the first months after birth, but that feeling has subsided as Baby Z gets older. He was overjoyed to hear the news about our 2nd pregnancy, and looks forward to expansion.  

So, it's true - Dad's need attention too! No, they aren't giving birth, or breastfeeding, but play a significant role in child-rearing (in-home or not).  There is significant research that indicates this as well.  Acknowledgment, and understanding is paramount. If not, something can slip through the cracks. Take the time to check in. 

Depression is a serious issue whether it be in male or female, and in this case mother or father It should be addressed.  In most cases, new moms get the majority of attention during and after child-birth. Additionally, moms may have more resources to get depression diagnosed through frequent doctors visits, etc. New Dads, however, may not get the proper attention needed to ease their tensions as well. We can change this. 

 Stressful situations can additionally lead to depression. For example, the arrival of a newborn. I know my husband has been a lot more focused at his job than he was before when it was just the two of us. We had a little more freedom with our careers. We could be a bit more wasteful with our money. Things are different now. 

 We just have to be more careful with our familial decisions now that we have a little being to take care of.  The pressure to keep a job, have a steady income, provide for a family becomes very real during the first few years of baby's arrival. We sure feel it. 

But, this is a process all new parents must go through, the key is to stay healthy through it all. Stress management is so important. We can help each other navigate these waters. This is our time to make of it what we may. Stay involved. Check in with your partner periodically. 
Don't wait!

(The above is a painting in our room. It has a soothing quality to it)

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