My Pregnancy: Week 23

week 23Hubby is a fantastic dad to our boys. Pregnancy looks different for him though. This has been the case for all three pregnancies. Baby’s kicks are consistent and somewhat predictable but still soft and not predictable enough. We’ve talked about some of the struggles he’s faced in bonding with the kids and what has helped.

Feeling the baby move is “really cool,” says hubby, but it became something special in the final two months when kicks were strong enough to leave bruising on my internal organs (at least it felt that way). We’d lie down to sleep with my belly to his back which helped him, without effort, feel more of my belly until babe would eventually kick hubby. Cuddle time for us as we drifted to sleep and closeness with baby. Two birds with one stone.

Hubby went to very few appointments in our previous pregnancies and that continues with this one.  Taking off work for such routine visits seems unnecessary when we need to save those days for after baby arrives. He did have one day off though, and going to the appointment was special for him. Seeing the doctor and our routine, which is the same old routine to me, was special for him. Dads also have a relationship with the doctor or midwife that is unique and can be nurtured more or less depending on everyone’s willingness to participate. Hubby still recounts the moments before our previous babe’s birth where he and our doctor “psyched themselves up,” as hubby gowned up right outside of the operating room.

He’s taking note of the bonding he gets to do with our boys as I become more pregnant and continuing on after the birth of #3. I’ll breastfeed, just as with the other two, so his opportunities to bond while feeding are less often. With our first babe I attended a university class one night a week, so he always had that one night to one-man the evening. He still recounts it as a special time for he and our oldest. With babe #2 I took the effort to sometimes get up and pump in the night while hubby fed the babe a bottle. To me this appeared very inefficient as one of us could be asleep, but I recognized the importance of this effort to my hubby and babe. It was their time, in the quiet of a night or two a week, to get to know each other.

This time around we may build in a time when I get some special time with our boys out of the house while he gets to bond and one-man the afternoon with baby. Hubby will be bonding plenty with the older two, especially in those early weeks after my c-section and living with a newborn. The boys will get plenty of his attention while our baby girl gets mine. Me getting away from baby from time to time is important for our other children too though. Even if it’s just to the playground down the road or a trip to get an ice cream cone and laugh at silly conversation.

Last, I have spoken numerous times on the topic of sex and gender as related to this pregnancy and our baby. Now that we know she’s a girl, we both are processing the information in different ways. I’m trying to give him space to do that however he needs to. He’s nervous about having a baby “different” than him but also excited to have a little girl. For me, she seems so familiar but I am conflicted sometimes about the world I’m bringing her into (a sexist, misogynistic one) in a way that did not hit home when I was pregnant with our boys. We talk about these thoughts, fears, and excitement we both hold in different ways. The end result in almost all of these situations is more bonding with the babe, our boys, and each other.

Annie is a mom of a toddler and preschooler who like to give baby a hug and kiss each day. Meanwhile mommy is bidding goodbye to seeing her feet while standing up.

Tags: week 23, second trimester, pregnancy, baby bonding, dads, family, sex, gender 

Tags: bonding, dads, gender, pregnancy, second trimester, week 23

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