Caveat: One person’s opinion – will not work for all.

Helping your wife to bring your child into this world involves more than one day. It is much more than building tree houses five years too early, anxious pacing of corridors or clumsy attempts at home videos in the delivery ward.

Pregnancy is a magical and priceless journey. If it is your first, you will never ever experience that same depth of joy and thrill, I reckon. Even if you are a confirmed atheist – there will be moments during this journey when you catch glimpses of The Light.

That marvellous journey ought to start, at the very latest, when she first breaks the good news.

Be there, for her morning sickness, her crazy craving for strange food during even crazier hours of the day or night. Hold her hands during the pre-natal classes. Be gentle and loving, kind and considerate – she is the mother of your child, and she will make you a father.

Show her how much you love her. Whispering sweet nothings help but by themselves, mean very little. Wash and clean, and take out the rubbish – and, put down that toilet seat! It’s not a man-thing, it’s an inconsiderate slob-thing.

Do all of this and more – without being told.

Oh, one minor reminder, for minor it is and take this from me, the quintessential workaholic and darling of employers – your work can wait!

Show her your love.

Now is the time to show her what it means to be – her man!

(And for mama-dramas, before you see this as license to go overboard – wait until next Monday and read what it means to be – his woman!)

Heh! Heh! Heh!

************ Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2014 ************

The Entomologist

*************************************

71 comments

    1. I knew it, Ian – I knew you were one of us hands-on guys 🙂

      A truly wonderful experience, as you say. Such involvement makes us respect the wife several notches up, I reckon.

      Hope that all is well,
      Eric

      1. I suspected so, Ian – when I noticed your absence.

        I appreciate you setting aside time for my posts.

        Take care and all the best,
        Eric

  1. This is sweet (and some good advice here.) Thankfully, my husband is one to put down the toilet seat (and puts the TP roll on the ‘right’ way). He was there for the births of both kids and changed his fair share of diapers. Unfortunately, chores rarely get done without a strong nudge from me, but hey, it could be worse 🙂

    1. That’s lovely, Janna

      You’re luckier than some women re your hubby.

      [She asked him to change the baby’s diapers and put out the rubbish. Intend on the World Cup he ignored her. She raised her voice – it was a crucial match – Germany vs Brazil.

      “Okay, hon,” said he.

      Fixated on the game, he cleaned the rubbish and put the baby out in the cold.]

      I don’t watch soccer, just so you know 🙂

  2. I recall a friend told me that on the day she goes into labor and her water bag broke, she calmly packed her bags, put in the necessary documents to check herself into hospital. She called her gynae so she can meet her at the hospital, then called a cab for herself. Gave birth, woke up and was breastfeeding the baby before her husband appeared. And that was her first child. I admired her but at the same time felt like kicking the husband.

    You are amongst the few men who had behaved ahead of time. especially in the Asian context. Fantastic!

    1. Hello Windy,

      That friend is remarkable.

      Actually the same thing happened when our son was born.

      I was busy at the Traffic Police trying to get an expat manager out of trouble. The Australian bloke had just arrived in Singapore a couple of weeks earlier. He had knocked down a school girl and was terrified. My boss, an American, called me – because I was the local manager and supposed to know everyone in Singapore from the prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew and right down to the road sweeper. Is that not what every local sidekick in Hollywood does 🙂

      By the time I got the Aussie out, Lisa had taken a cab to Mount Elizabeth hospital and checked into the labour ward. I still remember every detail of the day our son was born – 22 May 1987 🙂

      I didn’t consider what I did as extraordinary – still don’t – but am appalled that there are men who treat pregnancy as the wife’s responsibility alone.

      “Hey honey, I’ll take out the rubbish – yeah, you take care of all that child birth stuff will you!”

  3. Lovely experience for you to be there when the new born arrived 🙂

    I was alone when I got my first, I was 19 and I had no idea how to give birth, just sort of torpedoed him 🙂 Got me a second degree rupture. But he was fine. The 2 other births (at home) took longer and I did it more carefully. And their dad was there too. Not sure what he felt, I lived in my own world of pain. But the fact he was there, was a good feel afterwards. 🙂

    1. Hello Ina,

      Lovely of you to share your experiences.

      Gave birth at 19 (?!) and alone – good Lord! If you were my daughter, my heart would be broken in pain for you. So very happy that all went well for you and your child.

      Great that their father was there for your second and third children.

      A man can’t do much other than get in the way – but his very presence and loving (but perhaps bumbling) attempts to help means a lot for his wife – of this I’m very sure.

      All good wishes, dear,
      Eric

      1. And it helped he was a nurse 🙂 He did not pass out by the sight of blood! Good wishes to you too!

  4. Lovely post Eric, I’m lucky to have my husband around through my four pregnancies, it brought us closer! Thanks for sharing this, it’s always a pleasure visiting your site!

    Love Blessings my friend. 🙂

    1. Wow! Four pregnancies and he was around for all of them – that is lovely, Seyi dear. Yes, after such a string of journeys, one can only get very closely bonded. Happy for you and yours 🙂

      It is also a pleasure to have you visit,
      Eric

  5. What a sweet way to put it for all those gushing, doting young fathers out there going through their own experience or the older ones like you that can share what it was like in yours. Your illustrations or analogies are right on. Having had two girls by natural birth and being a grandmother now of four, I can relate to your post and I bet you were/are one of those men or husbands your Lisa is proud to have found, a gem. Can hardly wait till next Monday to read the ‘His Woman’. 🙂

    1. Hello Joyce,

      Yes, I write from what we (Lisa and I) did and experienced. We also observed how ill prepared many young couples were – and the woman, most times, ended up with the short straw.

      Happy for you and your girls.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

    1. When pregnant – they need to be treated better, I reckon. Because, that’s what makes the journey special. Fire on all cylinders all the time – and it becomes mundane.

  6. I wrote a similar piece of advice on what to do when you hear that a loved one is dying – your post inspires me and I may post it.
    Right now I am wondering whether you wrote this column for your own children – perhaps the birth of a grandchild? I am happy to report that the sharing which you espouse was ours AND that of our two, now married, daughters, who are mothers in their own right. Our sons-in-law are both gems. Aren’t we lucky? I look forward to your post next Monday to see if I come up to snuff.
    Cheerio,
    Jane

    1. Hello Jane dear,

      I was about to log off (it’s 9.50 pm here on Monday 14 July) when I saw your comment.

      My eldest girl married in January but children are a long way away, I reckon. My son is busy with his bevy of girlfriends. A regular bee, he is definitely, my son 🙂 My youngest girl is a bit of a Amazon and I doubt there are anyone man enough in Singapore to handle her. Having said that – if my children do read my posts – just as well. I know that Lisa reads my posts – but she does not comment. At most, she rolls her eyes and ticks “Like”.

      It’s good to know that you and your daughters have had the same experience with the spouses. I know such men are in the majority but for reasons best known to themselves, many don’t openly speak about their experiences. Yes, your sons-in-law are true gems. Luck? Perhaps. But I reckon the best bring out the best.

      We older ones need to share such stories so they are seen as the norm and not some aberration in human behaviour.

      Next Monday – Oops! – Now the pressure is on 🙂

      All good wishes dear,
      Eric
      P/s Oh – yes, I would love to read your post. Cheers.

  7. I think many men will shy away going through the pregnancy stage with the wife for fear of being laughed at. Maybe they consider this the women thing. It must be lovely for both parents to anticipate the arrival of their newborn.

    1. Hello Jasey,

      I recall attending pre natal classes with Lisa. It was on Saturday afternoons and stretched over 3 months. It was not the done thing and Lisa and I were among a small group who forked out a tidy sum to attend this private institution.

      The first weekend, there were 3 men including moi – the following week I was the only man in the group of a dozen mothers-to-be. The last man standing. Except for one Caucasian woman who came with her mother, all the Singaporean mothers-to-be came by themselves.

      The men had no idea what they missed.

      It was great fun actually as Lisa and I would make it a point to enjoy a lunch at a nice cafe nearby before strolling over to the clinic for the classes.

      Yes, there is plenty of bullshit floating around even now about men and women “things”.

      Luv and hugz dear,
      Eric

    2. Ha, ha, I guess that’s how you got the excruciating spasms of labor pangs. You were so well trained on what to anticipate and how to overcome it during the classes. In the eighties, I don’t think many regard your act as “macho”, but I believe and hope that more men are receptive these days.

      1. Yes, Jasey dear,

        I had so much pre natal training – I really went into character there 🙂

        No, I did not speak about it other than with Lisa and only now – after almost 30 years have I publicly broached this subject of labour pains. LOL.

        Luv and hugz,
        Eric

    1. Thank you for the reblog, Doctor and you’re right – every young couple could pick a few hints/tips from those of us who travelled this road. I think more men should come out and share their positive experiences with child birth.

      All good wishes,
      Eric

    1. LOL, Doctor – I should start some sort of an agony aunt column.

      Thank you for your kind words, and I was relating my experience with Lisa. Back then, it seemed the normal/natural thing to do. Surprisingly, at this day and age, some consider such actions as extraordinary.

      All good wishes kind sir,
      Eric

    1. Gave me a chuckle, Jane

      Both the morning sickness and him passing out 🙂

      I think such transference – the morning sickness – says something about the bond you share.

      If I might share my experience.

      When Lisa was in the labour ward for our third child, I had to leave her for an hour or so to run some errands. I suffered excruciating spasms of labour pangs. I told her about it and we had a good laugh. But then her laughter disappeared when she realised during the time “I was in labour”, she had felt no pain at all. Now, is that cool or what 🙂

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric
      P/s I did not pass out in the labour ward when my baby arrived 🙂

      1. In fairness, he passed out because it was a difficult delivery (forceps) and we went to emergency stations with a whole team arriving to get the baby out before she died. They sort of forgot he was still there, and when the obstetrician chose her forceps…The last I saw of him was his feet as he was dragged out of the labour ward.

        You should have had a fourth baby to test out your theory of shared labour 🙂

      2. Oh dear,

        That was sad ——– (deleted).

        We experienced what happened – LOL – and there was no compelling need to test anything, I reckon 🙂

      3. Sorry to have upset you for nothing, Eric. We didn’t lose her. It was an emergency but the cavalry arrived just in time. Her heart had stopped beating so they delved in with the hardware without realising that my husband was still hovering in the background looking queasy.

      4. Oh god, I’m the one who completely misunderstood. I should have known better because you said it almost so casually. My apologies for having misunderstood – very very sorry.

        I did not want to mention it earlier, lest I came across as playing “keeping up” (or worse, one-upmanship) but Lisa had a very difficult and long labour for our first born. She is five feet tall in stockings and very petite. Alicia was a big baby and it took her about 15 hours before she appeared. Throughout the day, Lisa was adamant that it would be a normal birth. But past midnight, the doctor suggested forceps and so it was done. Obviously, I stayed with her throughout until the forceps came out. I walked out – they did not have to carry or drag me out by my foot 🙂

        It was almost 3.00 am when I returned home for a shower but was back at the hospital by 7.00 am – as no one could keep me away.

        The thing that stuck in my mind was – Mount Elizabeth Hospital was, and still is, one of the most expensive hospitals and right smack off the main shopping district of Orchard Road. Parking charges were horrendous even back in 1983. After the climax of seeing my baby, I gritted my teeth and headed for the parking lot. Guess what, the parking wardens had gone home and left the gantry up. I drove off without having to pay a cent!

        My little darling saved me money the day she was born – I took it as such 🙂

        LOL – the kind of stuff we remember 🙂

        Praise and thank the Lord that all went well with your child birth. Once again, my apologies to have misunderstood. I’ve amended my reply.

        Peace,
        Eric

      5. It sounds very like my own scenario. I’m 5’2 and though all my babies have been big ones, the first was the biggest and just couldn’t get out unaided.
        I’m glad you left before they brought in the heavy guns. I would have done too if I hadn’t been strapped down 🙂

    1. I know you’re not married but here is a snippet.

      Busy day in the office and my wife called to say she was not feeling good and wanted to go home to rest. This was when she was expecting our first child. Her kind boss had given her the afternoon off.

      I dashed off, picked her up and sent her safely home. A 45 minute drive. Then I returned to the office – another 45 minutes – got right back to work. I forgot all about that afternoon but years later, my wife recalled that day and told me how much she loved me.

      Believe me, my Nairobi friend – to hear that, was worth it 🙂

      All the best,
      Eric

  8. Lovely pointers Eric. I would have enjoyed something like that. My daughter’s father left me when I was 6 months pregnant. I’ve only ever known single parenthood. I’m not complaining, mind you. We did OK. I love my daughter with all my heart! 😀
    Diana xo

    1. Aha, Diana,

      Now I know and it adds to my weight of respect and regard for you. Your posts are so full of inspiration, love and understanding, I did suspect – here is a woman who has gone through much. Sadly, your note proved me right.

      It is my pleasure to know you on Blogsville,
      Eric

  9. He is a sort of Superhero..

    I would call him “He-Man”… Oh, the charming Prince! …

    Very cool, dear Eric.

    Best regards and wishing you a nice week ahead,

    Aquileana 😀

    1. Okay, Aquileana,

      If you say so 🙂

      But I would not put these guys, who do all this, up on a pedestal. It is something that any man ought to do for the woman he loves.

      By raising him up as superman or he-man, we perhaps perpetuate this myth that it is something extraordinary – giving lazy slobs more excuses not to pitch in and do their part.

      But then again, it is one man’s opinion and how one man treated his wife,
      Eric

    1. Hello Beth,

      You’ve been there, (done) enjoyed that – we (older people) share the same boat of experiences, I reckon.

      When we were living it, Lisa and I didn’t recognise it as anything extraordinary. In recent years, when we recount our experiences – some people react with disbelief.

      It’s one thing to watch the male/female stereotypes portrayed by media but to subscribe to it – that left us reacting in disbelief. LOL.

      Peace and blessings,
      Eric

      1. Dear Eric,

        Though it is an advantage to have live-in maid, I still need to supervise the maid.

        Cheers,
        Yoshiko

      2. We have been employing live-in maids since 1991. In most cases, after 3 months – they need minimal supervision.

        It all depends on the quality of the people and how well we orientate them.

        Maybe because Lisa and I are both business owners – perhaps it’s easier for us to train and motivate staff.

  10. This made me wish I’d been a man going through “the joy” of pregnancy…lol. I don’t remember it being all that joyous 🙂

    1. Oh dear, that’s unfortunate.

      My wife and I enjoyed it and went on to have three children. It brought us together and after 33 years, we share an intimacy that many don’t always understand.

      My earlier post – Show more than tell > http://wp.me/p1YE83-21i

      Peace,
      Eric

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