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Survival Tips for New Dads

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2021 6:00 am

Survival Tips for New Dads

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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March 22, 2021 6:00 am

Aaron Sharp offers first-time dads encouragement and practical advice in a discussion based on his book "You Got This, Dad: The Expectant Father's Guide to Surviving Pregnancy." Topics include dealing with stress, overcoming insecurity, and keeping your marriage strong through this major life transition.

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Build your child's faith with clubhouse junior and clubhouse magazines from Focus on the Family Boys and Girls Club just 3 to 12 will enjoy all the faith building activities from fun crafts and puzzles to character building fiction and powerful Bible stories investing your child's faith all year long. Subscribe bags clubhouse and clubhouse Junior award-winning magazines full of games of stories and God find may when I first found out my wife is pregnant has five most exciting moment of my life.

I was so taken on emotions. I think I started crying and I just can't stop hugging her.

I was just so full of joy as the pregnancy got into the third trimester and I saw the babies arm move under my wife's belly. I thought there something in there.

My wife loves Chinese food. But when she got pregnant she couldn't eat it just didn't sound appealing at all.

She suddenly craved Mexican food and it was kinda fascinating to like okay will think that now.

Generally speaking, I would serve your wife starts to act a little crazy, don't take it personal because she's having a baby.

Great comments their reflections from dads about pregnancy and their wives carrying babies.

It's a beautiful, overwhelming, often confusing time debating on Focus on the Family can help new dads embrace their roles with their wife and maybe even understand or bit better during this exciting time. Your hostess focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John, I think today would sound like a bunch of girls get together talking about their experience. Having a baby, but working to different the guy's perspective today I can remember Troy at my number two son when he was born, I knew we had no gene had a knack for starting labor like it one or two in the morning.

That was her her pattern and I can remember. She woke up and she said can you just massage the base of my back and I was doing that she can push harder because it hurts and I'm I literally had my feet up against the wall pressure and she was saying. Can you do it harder because really it's not making a difference. I went are you in labor and sure enough she was her water broke.

I did the two in morning drive through the red lights. They deny one of a competent bully overwrites a lead us to the hospital but we got there at the hospital and like the door was shut at the maternity wing and I'm banging on the van and nurses in there.

It's okay. We got plenty of time to do the paperwork and I went back out to hand my number one son Trent off to my sister again to the morning and a nurse comes running out and only been like seven minutes in this nurse came out to the parking lot yelling. If you want to see your baby born you better come and now it's coming right now. I made that within seven minutes. I was crazy so we had one are our oldest daughter, our third child, first pregnancy here in Colorado and we were taken to doctors advice on timing contractions were were talking the doll through Dean is in labor for a while and she gets up and I go to the other room and I hear this John.

It's the baby and I run into the bathroom and behind the baby is drowning, and so later I'm holding my daughter was born at your totally unexpected K that tops that I was a nice homebirth. It's amazing it was a good time were you cool and collected through our day. I was actually fairly call when get your juice night that hospitals make new accounts.

That's crazy. Well, today we want to spend some time helping new dads know how to support their wives before the baby is born.

Have your plan understand what's happening. Don't be surprised, and for the women in the audience. This may help you understand what we as husbands are thinking and feeling during your pregnancy doing this together right, we are yet it's a team effort, and we've got a pregnancy survivor with us Aaron Sharp. He calls himself four-time pregnancy survivor to heal his wife Elaine have four kids ranging in ages from 3 to 9 is written a book called you got this dad be expectant fathers guide to surviving pregnancy and I we got copies of that here at the ministry link is in the episode notes and welcome to Focus on the Family thinking that you guys okay let's kick off you get your story heard that John and I explain ours. What was your story for kids and with only when we have really a story on is the first one because the second to involve bed rest and in the last one was an induction and so that's what we have is from our very first thing most people that's where the story comes from its true.

It was a normal Wednesday morning Alayna was, you know, very pregnant at this point, but we weren't was mostly time. Yet the is my first the first book I ever wrote the manuscript is due May 1.

In our first child was due May 15. Good timing. I thought this is perfect.

When I wrap up my book I send it off I got two weeks to finish preparing this is wonderful.

So then, on April 20 Wednesday morning just normal.

I'm in the kitchen and also as loud banging on the wall coming from the bathroom and what was going on my water just broke it so you can buy but erratically we do what we do when we do get out once a week to the hospital and it is we spend all day there and it wasn't like 11 o'clock that night that we finally have our first child and he came out because he was just a little over 36 weeks heat up having to go the NICU and I have been told by Alayna after most wives and husbands at his conversation. She said I don't care what happens to me when that baby comes out.

That's your responsibility. She said I don't care what's going on in this for my mom will be there. My sister Mike, the family, your family laughingly when that baby comes out you follow that child that have been told by a very pregnant woman.

Under no circumstances did you leave this child site so we we get to the nursery and the doctor comes over and tells me. Hey, he's a little early with an act putting in the NICU, probably for a few days and so were to be taken into the NICU. So I turned my brother and sister-in-law's and is a hey I gotta go with the baby and he wanted to go back and tell Alayna what's happening in the early now I'm not going back in that room I've got a baby room to get Merck so I got one thing you I'm not the smartest person in the world but I know I got it all is maybe. So what if he's gotta figure out to tell Alayna where me and the baby are going.

Sometimes I wonder how many listeners at this experience are Gina told me you know I want to do this all natural on trip number one so she said don't give in to me asking Darrell just don't get in and I'm going this is a no and sure enough, you know she's in labor were at the hospital and she is screaming at me. Tell the doctor to get out and I said but honey that was not good.

Now you told me oh no no no, I saw something come out of her that Grau sounded like a bear and that boy she set me straight. I went running for the dog changing mine. So when you found out you wife was pregnant the first time you say you are like Spider-Man just after he got bitten by the radioactive spider. How does that contact what you think about it, you know, like your life at that moment everything is changed for you, but you don't know you mean like the world is completely different. It just hasn't hit you get how different it is and that it is different. As I think that's the moment you like Spider-Man going to buy this product, he doesn't know he's about to be Spider-Man but everything just changed for him. I guess the exact moment when we like to say were having a baby like there's a lot of emotions that have about think you quite understand.

Just you what's coming down so you cut your finger on something there. Aaron, which is that we guys tend to not really sure openly about our anxieties and or stresses when you found out you were pregnant.

Somewhere in there, you lost your job and that probably just added to the level of stress. A lot of people are in that spot. The absolute what we had to do get to decide if I was employed we were trying I lost my job and using do we keep trying them and the decision we made was it. We felt like this is what God had for us it was time to start trying to have a family and so I don't think God depending upon our circumstances for that. I think this is something we felt like God wanted us to do as a couple. So I think we should just keep trying with that and having no idea what that meant it was any get pregnant and everything okay now that were pregnant. I'm thinking maybe we should have changed my life is now the gravity is hitting as I was trusting God, but now really have to trust God right and what his plan for assistance. Again, that's very nerve-racking and I worked it out to me was perfectly in a way we could not even imagine. But there is probably a timer to where you were biting your nails thinking what in the world you will and the truth is I was biting my nails. I'm pretty sure my parents were biting and I am bothered by having everybody's biting your nails and have a job is baby on way when we can listen to the emotions of pregnancy and that reason or no don't do that, but that many husbands are baffled by their wife's emotions during the full nine months and I understand you and your wife had the biggest fight of your marriage and you can't remember the details per se which is funny but what happened so we this argument starts and it's over something stupid, you know, they all are young and very rarely are big arguments over something legitimate you know me and so the argument starts and and I'm realizing that I realize the time. I was later back on it was going on, but the hormones are just taking her for a ride and so were student and don't ever say that to her. That's very good at it in the recap. She says hey I'm sorry the hobos are taking me for a ride. If you say so here whatever you say but you know was where she's struggling to get this control of herself of her emotions and I am not understanding she's coming to me in a way that she doesn't was not normal human being. And so I was in and we have a huge argument and it's stupid and I realized immediately that this is on me your name. I'm a very pregnant wife is over here now and we've been going out each other. She's crying.

We got three kids in the other end of her this because you know we were in all the same house and you will live in a mansion. So they've heard us arguing and stuff and so we realize we have to either at this moment have to say listen kids dad was an incredible jerk to your mom or I can say hey guys mom is pregnant and so I chose the mob.

He was pregnant with his manly mom is bawling for one of two reasons either.

I'm a horrible jerk or because she's pregnant but I appreciate the honesty and that I think we really don't know what to do because were fixers we fixes you get a fix that. So you just got almost to say how. What's the best way I can respond to you right now. One of the first things I had to learn in marriage, and you guys before me.

One of things I had to learn was when I have a very different level of I would call emotional intensity. If they don't like the level of a car that idols eyes were vital like it. She idles like a four or five but just emotional she just is more there's more going on. I mean like my emotions are much simpler and everything I had learned very early in marriage, a big mistake for me was we got upset with each other. I would then match her level of emotional intensity and was a big mistake for me because I do edit to. I don't need to be jumping up and running likely jump up to three yummy but when I jump up but that's not a good situation so I had to live had to learn that I thought I have learned it until we get pregnancies and then I realized I had to go back and reload it all again because now her level of emotional intensity is so different because she's not even always understanding what's going on with her and so I'm having to thin deal with someone who doesn't even understand what's going on with themselves lectured out and so was it. It's an interesting dynamic to have to get control of yourself. There we are dealing with somebody that doesn't even understand is going on with them so good to remember this phrase. Can I just give you a great that's really good that mostly works you in the book compare hormones to fastballs now were talking guys, this is the to be helpful to every guy listening. So how are hormones in a woman's pregnancy similar to fastballs. So right after we have this amazing fight like total because mommy was pregnant. I watched this documentary called fastball and these guys have gone in and if they did a lot of research on Nolan Ryan and Bob Feller and all these famous passable throwers and they bring in these Hall of Fame batters in this huge documentary on what the fastest fastballs and what that is like physics again visited them. It's great to have George Brett on there and he's talking about when a fastball is over hundred miles an hour it's rising is it comes over the plate and they bring in his physicist that explained the best possible balls going down, and even as fast as it is it's losing speed so it can't suddenly do this is not physically possible. What happens is your brain because it's coming so fast doesn't watch the ball the whole way so it sees the ball, the pictures hand and in your brain looks at the plate and what happens is your brain basically fills in the blanks of what it thinks the ball going to do.

It comes in so fast it doesn't drop as much and it's higher so your brain thinks the ball went up as your brain was wrong about the flight path and I watch him watching this. I think this is pregnancy hormones because that would happen with that fight was I was used to. How we disagree with each other when were not pregnant. In a normal claim filed a flight plan of where little irritated.

This isn't a big deal in a minute will say were sorry move on. And that's not what happened. And it was that my brain was lightweight this is and how this works in the pregnancy hormones that fastball jumping from 95 to 103 and your brain. Your brain feels it a flight plan and it's wrong is that that's not what's going on here and in the end of the demo was like I wish I had seen this documentary before that fight that would've understood this right. You definitely don't want to lean into that pitch in and get hit by the ball. No shame with bailing on the plate went out hugs disregard here's a question for that the women listening so you can help them. What can wives do to help their husbands better understand their emotions and what they're feeling.

Sometimes it's hard for the women to communicate there just feeling it and they may even be embarrassed or they only know why I know I'm going from no enjoying this kind of food to this kind of food.

Just because an pregnant or whatever might be pickles with ice cream or more serious things emotionally. You know, just flaring up and yelling at your husband. You don't even know why but what instruction would you give to the pregnant wives to help their husbands help them yet. I think it was a lot of things in marriage. It always comes down to communication and I think one things wives need to do is to tell their husbands like I need you to talk to me about what's going on with you because of what happens to women.

A lot of times is they are nervous and I think you're the only ones because the future dad is over there being macho and saying what was going fine.

I got all this and if he thinks he's got it all together. He's either lying or he just doesn't understand what's going on and I think that what they need to do is encourage their husbands okay I need you to talk to me that's can help me to understand like myself, but as you know, I don't know what's going on with me if I realize, hey, wait a minute, my husband, who I think is you have married him for a reason and I realize, hey, he's nervous about this, too, and he doesn't know how to do this and that's can help me sell so coaches though Aaron because that sounds like a big pit of quicksand.

As soon as she asks me, I'll say something and then this emotional thing starts happening. So how do we do that well. I think one of the things this is for the couple to be specific about whether talking about you. I mean like not to say I'm nervous because that is quicksand. I'm nervous what is it you're nervous about what you think I'm nervous about paying for college okay let's start there, yearning for putting Morgan are established talk about that.

Pick out something specific and can I go from there for you. You did the conversation sort of has a specific finger. Hey, I'm nervous by getting to get a bath near me and okay will we can, you know, and I think that helps to then each of you. Can I have something to where you're specifically talking about college and laughing going.

I don't really know how to change dirty diaper meeting and writing most ads are to give you an answer that is less personal. To start out with MIP for college because that sounds like there.

I think that's probably true. You start out with that because that will yet when people read about that most ads are to be sure I can handle diaper yeah until that happens, and it was okay, let's get to the nitty-gritty, our producer for the show Catherine is pregnant right now and we have a clip from her husband so this is the real deal. Let's listen. So I don't know if sympathy pregnancy symptoms are true, but the first time my wife got morning sickness and throughout.

I then proceeded to throw up 30 minutes later and then. Now times when she complains of being more tired.

I feel a lot more tired to have her back hurts my back hurts so I think there's something to it. Is there any truth to that. That's funny, I think it's a great excuse to get it.

Now, researchers have found that to answer that question seriously. They have found that there is some sympathetic symptomatic things that couples go through. Is it really true. I would think so, but there's a lot of things that like you said earlier, the two of you are experiencing this together and there's things that she's experiencing the things you're experiencing.

But as a team, you're both experiencing this together. So I think it's more than just she really wants Mexican food. Normative Mexican food.

I think there is something to this becoming one flesh.

I think there's something going on there. Were we as a team are experiencing your wife found that praying together really help you, and I think every wife is saying handle care if I'm pregnant or not pregnant. That really helps me in every way, speak to that spiritual intimacy of praying together and having that kind a level of connection and I think there's something about man belief you'd like to feel like were in control and that's why these me personally why struggle to pray. A lot of times, like where he got I got this I tell you I got it you know such a guy thing will yet it is it is not something intentional or just to write you Gideon, and I think pregnancy is one of those moments when you have to sit back and say I am not in control of this. This is a God thing. We got medical professionals, but even sometimes there there shrugging their shoulders about things and it's on those moments that really underscores for you as a man and woman to how little control you really have and how much.

If this is going to happen and go well, it's going to have to be God doing it because your part as a man is Don and this is all happening in her body and they're going to check ups and then there and sometimes doctors and only things great, sometimes not physically look at this and you know so that all these things combined think is a man is a slap in the face that hate. I'm not in control of this but I know who is slow.

In fact, that was one of your experiences and we been very lighthearted about these things, but you and your wife had some intense emotions as a couple you experienced a miracle in the ultrasound room.

Many people will connect with us what happened. So we started trying to get pregnant the first time is when I was employed.

We went for about six months and had a miscarriage and we had the miscarriage like the same week I lost my job and so that was just so this back in 2009. The economy was so bad I like it is now and so here we have is this intense moment of this miscarriage. We kept trying, and six months later I'm still looking for a job. We have a positive pregnancy test and so we have a positive pregnancy test. Linda, because the previous especially previous miscarriage. The doctor was get the test would check on these things in your there's always numbers are checking the hormone levels in all these things and those numbers are supposed to go up progress at a certain point analyte is numbers weren't going up and she was having some bleeding and some different things and so it was concerning service some more tests and then every distinctly was a Thursday night and the doctor called Elaine and this is the doctor my wife is heads and she was in high school so we season fantastic Christian lady life sooner. For decades, and she called Elaine and says listen with where things are at.

Here's where were probably headed were probably headed for another miscarriage. Not every time, but I've been doing this for a long time and you need to know most of the times what's happening to you. There's a miscarriage. On the way.

But there is hope that one should understand reality what we were good and then she said if you're still bleeding tomorrow.

I need you to come in. So given the morning still having these the symptoms and so we drive to the hospital is about a 40 minute drive from where we live, and I think this just somberly, others were going to be told. This didn't happen and you even in your mind like there's hope that you have to prepare yourself right you got to deal with both of these things, so we get to the doctor's office and the first thing to do is you go to sonogram women and we go in there waiting to be told I'm sorry this is not going to happen this time and date they put on their years of boom boom boom and this heart is just like being like crazy and we're just even now I'm like this. This moment of where we are waiting to hear I'm sorry what you hear is like this heartbeat. Every thing what God is like, listen, don't worry, forget the numbers you like.

I'm doing this and we had to spray session with her doctor.

She was just like you know it was fantastic to see this moment of like dreading we were so much dread and then it was just like the exact opposite well and I you know acknowledge the fact that some couples listening right now maybe didn't get that heartbeat that happens and I you know our hearts go out to you. Thank the Lord that the child is with the Lord in heaven. In my opinion you and you know the new try again.

Let me ask Aaron in the midst of all of it and this could stand some concrete this for the guys you encourage first-time parents to slow down and take it all in and give us couple examples of how you did that.

I like that advice because we get so caught up in the function and the plan and were going that we don't actually stop and really soak it in because it's only gonna happen maybe once. Yeah, maybe a few times, but it's not like an everyday event. Having a child yeah you do these things and you you don't know forever to do them again yearning prepare a nursery in Eagle register for baby showers and you do these things and you just don't know. We got four kids. We think were through, you know God may have the plans but that was we think were done. I'm an only child and my parents and tended to have more kids just never works. You don't know how many times you're going to go down this path. I just want dads and moms. There's so much going on, especially after working and you're doing all of this company and we both work full time, every pregnancy and you know all this is going on just treasure those moments ago on the nursery and just sit there and just look around and look at that nursery Delray.

Yeah, absolutely.

When you get to the hospital like take the time he ups if you're rushing to get her there do that. But once that's done, take a moment and just sort of like look around and just think about this moment that you're in the God is brought you to and you don't know if you'll ever be here again and just thank him for that, for being there and just, you know, and there's so much that that was your doing all these things, but take the time think what we need when you're telling the kids a mom is pregnant just treasure that moment were right here the end Aaron and I when asked this question as well. There's gotta be a man listening who, with all the brokenness in the world that we have maybe didn't grow up with the father didn't have a good model of a father and it was a disastrous example so he doesn't think he can be a good dad or he has questions about whether not he could do because he didn't see it. He didn't have it model to what are some things that you would say to that man that you can break the curse. Basically you can change things.

United there's two things I would think about a meeting I had a great example of the father, but I think there's two things that have proven to me to be something that I need to always do with my kids. One of them is to be honest I didn't want this to say I'm sorry, like there's no tomorrow you will be our kids. Like I blow it over this last year during this pandemic time with kids at home. I'm working at home and it is been crazy and there's been so much that I wasn't ready for your me like always before. I would go to work and come home. I was a dad and work for great organization that wants to maintain that. But now I can work in and were all there together were doing this that I think telling your kids taking a what, here's the deal. Sometimes daddy struggles to be patient when I'm working I need to be patient with you and sometimes I'm not and I'm sorry about that.

I think every time you apologize to your kids.

I think you just grow you great allegro and they grow and I think you go in there Isaac Basey hey dad is not perfect.

Dad knows he's not perfect and dazzling to own it and I think that's that's a pattern for them.

I don't need to be perfect. I seem to be willing to own up to my struggles and work on the young second oldest is nine and he sees the first child. Perfectionists were always worked with him on that. I want him to see that example I'm not looking for perfection. I just want you to own where you need to work God needs to help you grow was to get air that is such good advice all the way around, and this is been terrific. I've really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure that I would to be honest at that. Okay talking about pregnancy, but this is been good. It's been really enlightening. I hope the listeners have been able to take nuggets away from this that they can apply to their lives. And really, if you know somebody who is a first-time dad or even going through at second third time.

This might be the book for them.

Or maybe here in that spot. Get a copy right here Focus on the Family the title again as you got this dad. The expectant fathers guide to surviving pregnancy will make that available to you. If you can give a gift or focus of any amount will send it to you as our way of saying thank you and let me remind everyone that in the past year as you've supported Focus on the Family. We, together, have helped over 300,000 parents and expectant parents through those transitional phases and that's a great achievement.

I'm so grateful to the Lord for allowing us to be a part of that journey with those that are in that giving birth statements wonderful and the Aaron again, thank you so much for being with us. I really appreciate it to be okay will encourage you to get in touch as you can get your copy of this great book you've got this with the link in the episode notes or call 800 K in the word family and be sure to join us next time we hear powerful stories to people who struggle with gender identity. You can't affirm somebody in a different gender. Without it, the very same time saying there's something wrong with you the way you really have a Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back is more help you and your family thrive in Christ. Good parents aren't perfect and that's okay but there are ways you can grow every day.

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