In the eighth week of pregnancy we had our first appointment with the obstetrician. I had no idea what to expect the first time around and I was a little apprehensive, after all, I had never been to an obstetrician before. During this appointment we had our first ultrasound and were able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat; this is really when it all became real to me.
For any first time dad’s out there that are thinking that you don’t want to go to the doctor appointments with your wife, I have just one word for you: Go. And don’t just go and sit in the waiting room, actually go into the exam room with your wife. This is really the first time you have the opportunity to be involved with your new child. You may get a chance to hear the heartbeat, and you may also get a chance to see your little one via an ultrasound (although I must admit that my baby just looked like a little blob to me at this point). These are things you do not want to miss! Your wife will also appreciate that you are taking an active role from the git go.
As I stated, this first appointment was when the idea of a baby went from some ambiguous concept and shock and awe to something concrete and real; it was also the first time I felt some excitement. Up to this point I was mostly feeling just one thing, fear. As time goes on and we start going to more of these appointments (especially when we had our 20 week ultrasound, which I will comment on in a later post) the fear has been continually replaced with other feelings and emotions.
We are currently scheduling obstetrician appointments monthly, and I must say that I look forward to them every time. It is a chance for us to get updates on the baby’s health, hear the heartbeat and have our doctor address any concerns or questions.
Here are some tips (just from my personal experience):
- Just go.
- You will feel like you are just in the background, or maybe even in the way. This is ok, just be there.
- I usually leave the exam room when there is going to be an actual “exam”.
- Ask questions and listen to what the doctor says.
- Support your wife.
- Talk to your wife about working future appointments into both of your schedules. You will want to go to as many as you can.
I write about the rather unexpected journey of fatherhood, please join me!