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#6 – David Guigui: It’s Okay to Make Mistakes

Ryan interviews David Guigui. David is a former professional fighter and current professor of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He owns Gracie Barra Laval where Ryan and David met and train together. David offers unique perspective on parenting as he is a single dad and his son grew up 3000km away. David took advantage of every moment he has had with his son and shares his experiences. 

Topics Discussed: 

  • What David wished he knew before having a child
  • It’s okay to make mistakes in child rearing
  • The level of patience it takes to be a parent
  • The importance of being open-minded and open-hearted
  • Seeing his son so soon after he was born
  • Establishing a precedent of seeing him often
  • David’s advice for new and expecting dads

Gracie Barra Laval: http://www.gblaval.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gblaval.ca/

***

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For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast. 

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#5 – Brian and Jacob: Daddy Up!

Ryan interviews the creators of the Daddy Up App. It’s an app geared towards dads that is simple and easy to use. It gave me all of the information I was looking to find without overloading me with things I don’t need. 

Topics Discussed:

  • What is Daddy Up.
  • Why the Daddy Up was created.
  •  Coming up with the concept and story.
  • Making sure the narrative prepared dads for the journey of the pregnancy.
  • Developing the storytelling based on rugged-individualism and manly to the goofiest degree.
  • Avoiding the standard voice that speaks to the journey dads go on. 
  • How Brian and Jacob met.
  • Developing the app in Jacob’s grandmother’s house.
  • The app development timeline.
  • Reaction in the community when the app launched.
  • Stories on Instagram thanking the app.
  • Wanting dads to feel important in the process and the importance of the family unit.
  • New features and roadmap for the app.
  • Daddy Up website and Instagram. 
  • Users share their stories and tag @Daddyup on Instagram
  • Advice for dads and expecting dads 

Website: https://www.daddyup.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/daddyupapp/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/daddyupapp/

***

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

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The Birth of my Daughter

Birthing stories are often shared when you tell people that you’re going to become a parent. I think it is even more prevalent for women. For my wife, she heard so many birthing stories that she didn’t really know what to expect. As an expecting father, my expectations were based on what I’d heard from other dads. Most of the stories were positive because so many shared the sheer joy they felt when they first saw or held their child. Needless to say, I was excited for the birth of my daughter.


Back up a bit

Looking back on the pregnancy, we were very lucky. We had a pretty easy pregnancy overall without any complications. I count myself lucky. The last month of the pregnancy was probably the hardest part just due to the excitement that we were getting so close to meeting our baby girl. It got even more real when we were asked to consider an induction at 39 weeks.

I’m writing this in the middle of a pandemic that has had us confined to our home for almost 8 weeks. In order to ensure staff would be prepared at the hospital, the doctor suggested that we induce my wife at 39 weeks. It would give everyone time to plan. After some discussion, we decided to take the doctor’s suggestion and go for it. Induction should be on May 4. Yes, a chance at a May the Fourth baby! Key the Lego Star Wars shopping.


Induction

I got a little ahead of myself. We were instructed to call the hospital on the big day to know when to come in. To my disappointment, we actually waited 3 days before there were rooms and resources for us. May 6th became our new date.

For those wondering what induction means, here is my outline:

The process is done to artificially move the women’s body into giving birth. In our case, that meant breaking her water manually with a plastic hook. She was then put on a synthetic oxytocin drip to simulate the release of the hormone oxytocin which starts contractions.


The Story of the Birth of my Daughter

We woke up at 5am to call the hospital. We were given an appointment time of 7:30am. After packing everything into the car and saying goodbye to our dogs, we headed out. The hospital is about 35 minutes from our house so that gave us time to talk and listen to music. Admissions at the hospital were quick and before we knew it, we were in the delivery room. Luckily for us, that was a private room.


8:45am – Break water and start synthetic Oxytocin drip

With very little fanfare, Diana’s water was broken. Here we go! Diana was hooked up to a monitor so we could see the baby’s heartrate and her contractions. Contractions started almost immediately but the intensity was similar to what she’d already felt in the week prior.

Oddly enough, this was the hardest process for me. Diana doesn’t like needles and the drip uses an IV and catheter. Watching them put in the catheter had me sweating and made me anxious. Looking back, it was minor, but it was difficult at the time.

Dad – Ask questions. Be friendly with the staff. Make sure you understand everything going on. Communicate with your partner. Ask her how she’s feeling and be attentive to her every need. You are part of the staff. You are there to help your partner.


10:30am – Regular examinations

The staff at the hospital were absolutely exceptional. They took such good care of both of us. I expected to be a spectator. The nurses often called on me to participate by helping Diana move, make adjustments, etc. I did take a second to think back to an episode of The Office US where Pam has given birth and Jim is astounded by the number of people seeing Pam’s naked breasts and touching her. It made me laugh. Examinations were done regularly to check dilation progress and both Diana and baby’s vitals. 3cm dilated!


12:30pm – Lunch

Like I said, they took care of both of us. The staff made sure I had something to eat at every meal. It wasn’t luxurious. Beggars can’t be choosers. My advice: Eat whenever you get the chance. And eat fast!

Dad – If your partner is hungry and can eat, then make sure she does. She’ll need her strength. You should do the same. Don’t miss any contractions, though. Be ready to drop everything and rush back to help her through it. Oh, and do not tell her when a contraction is happening. It’s fun to see the contraction coming on the monitor. She’ll know though. She doesn’t need Captain Obvious by her side. Diana asked me to tell her when she reached the peak of the contraction. Discuss how she wants help.


12:32pm – Contractions intensify

As the morning progressed into the early afternoon, the nurses continued to increase the volume of oxytocin in Diana’s system. With that increase came an increased intensity in contractions. For those keeping score at home, she was at 3-1-1. Contractions lasting one minute, three-minute intervals from the start of one contraction to the start of the next. This pattern lasts an hour or more. She needed to stand and walk around in order to deal with the pain.

Dad – Do what you can to help her through the contractions. Breathing, physical support, etc. Whatever she needs.


Giving Birth in a Pandemic

I was allowed to be present the entire time. Security measures in place forced us to bring everything we needed into the hospital and we could not leave the room. Protocols limited us to a room measuring about 150 square feet. We had to wear cloth masks anytime staff were in the room with us. That made breathing more difficult for Diana. I learned how clumsy I can be when trying to put her mask on. How embarrassing.


1:30pm – Time for the Epidural

Tea vs Coffee, Transmission type, and Epidural or not. Three debates that will forever rage. They are absolutely personal choices and Diana decided to take the epidural. We discussed it ahead of time and I supported whatever decision she made. The benefits outweighed the risks in our minds.

Contractions had become so intense that Diana could no longer speak during one. She was breathing through them. There are lots of things you can do as the partner during this process. As I’ve mentioned before, I found SupportingHer during the pregnancy and the content of the course really spoke to me. I printed a list of 10 ways to give physical support during labor and relied on that list. I like to think it helped. The key is to be supportive however your partner needs it.

The anesthesiologist arrived quicker than expected. The whole process is fairly straightforward. Essentially, the doctor is freezing a specific area on the back to insert a catheter that will deliver the epidural to numb the lower body.

Dad – Giving birth is quite an experience. Only your partner is equipped to know whether she needs an epidural or not. And she may even change her mind. It’s your job to support her.


4:15pm – 7cm

The nurses were happy to inform us of the progression. We were relieved to hear that Diana was already passed the halfway point to 10cm. Our nurse even told us to expect to meet our baby girl before the day was done. The excitement was overwhelming. The epidural was working. Diana was not feeling anymore pain during contractions. She could feel pressure but was no longer writhing in pain.

Dad – Breathe. Make sure you stay calm and breathe with your wife. Diana really appreciated that I breathe with her through the contractions.


6:45pm – Surprise!

Examinations were done almost every two hours. The nurse would check vitals and the progress of the dilation of the cervix. By now, Diana had been laying down for 5 hours because walking is not possible with an epidural. It effectively numbs both legs. She was encouraged to switch positions every so often to ensure the drug was distributed evenly in her legs.

To our surprise, she started feeling some pain from the contractions. The nurse examined her and called another nurse to confirm her suspicions. Both could feel the baby’s head clearly low in the birth canal. Diana was fully dilated.

Dad – Listen to instructions. Offer to help wherever you can. Pushing is important and you get to help out.


6:46pm – Game on!

Diana’s obstetrician was called in to deliver the baby. It went from sometime in the evening to definitely within an hour. The nurse coached Diana on how she would switch from breathing through contractions to pushing. We tried one trial of 3 pushes during a contraction to see how things would progress. The nurse was astonished and had Diana stop because our baby almost crowned.

We were instructed to go back to breathing through contractions as the staff prepared for baby’s arrival.


7:45pm – Doctor Arrives

Diana’s doctor arrived, wearing personal protective equipment head to toe. The nursing staff did the same. Everyone geared up. I was given my new instructions on how to help. We were told how everything was going to unfold.

Dad – The doctor is the coach. You are a cheerleader. Cheer your partner on. Don’t cheer louder than the doctor can speak.


7:59pm – 10 Pushes

Contractions last roughly 60 seconds. Diana was asked to push for approximately 10 seconds at a time, take a breath and start again. That would mean about 3 full pushes per contraction. I’ve heard of some women pushing for hours on end. Nope, that wasn’t in the cards for us.

After just a couple of pushes, our daughter was already crowning. What a surreal moment for me. It’s too easy to get lost in the fact that you can see your baby. If you’re unsure about watching your baby come out as I was, then you shouldn’t be. Do it! I was astonished. Blown away. Floored. What a moment. One of the most amazing things that I have ever seen.

The doctor made minor adjustments to baby’s position and out she came. With just 10 pushes, our daughter was born! She cried almost instantly and was put on Diana’s chest.

Dad – Watch your baby come out if you can. I loved the experience and have heard many dads say the same. It’s absolutely incredible. And be patient, you’ll get your turn to hold your baby.


7:59:54 – I’m a Dad

Officially becoming a dad is a surreal feeling. I wasn’t overwhelmed with emotions. Understandably, the baby goes on mom to bond immediately after birth. Cutting the cord is a great experience and I’m glad I did it. I went from coaching and supporting my wife to protecting the two most important people in my life. My protective nature kicked into high gear. The doctor and nurses were amazing. I found myself watching over everything going on to ensure my wife and daughter were fine. That was the only thing going through my mind.

I’ve heard it before and it is true: Instinct takes over. My protective instincts kicked into overdrive. This was the feeling I waited 10 months to feel.

After an hour or so, I was able to take my daughter in my arms and sit with her. I fell in love in that moment. In an instant, like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes. I didn’t know I could find more love, more space. I did. It feels so natural. She nuzzled up against my chest and wrapped me around her little finger. My daughter has claimed my heart and will never give it back. I told her and continue to tell her that I love her. Forever and always.

Dad – Cherish this moment.


10:30pm – Move to Post-Partum

She is considered a bit small. Her blood sugar was monitored over the course of the night and the new couple of days. We moved from the delivery room to the post-partum room where we’d spend the next 48 hours.

The birth of my daughter is one of the most important days of my life to date. I’m lucky that I was able to record it in text messages, pictures and now, in writing. My friend Alice suggested that I write this down before I forget it. I do hope that someone takes the time to read up until this point. If you have, then I thank you and I hope it has helped you.

I plan to read it to Baby I on her birthday every year.


Baby I, I love you to the moon and back.

Diana, you are incredible. You blew me away throughout this whole experience. I am in awe of what you and other women out there can do. Thank you for embarking on this journey with me.


#4 – Dave Barr: Awe, Dad!

Ryan interviews Dave. Dave is Ryan’s cousin and someone Ryan has turned to for advice on a number of different topics including becoming a dad. Dave has a 3 year old daughter. He has some great advice for dads out there who get too caught up in long-term goals and suggests slowing down. 

Topics Discussed:

  • Dave has been a dad for 3 ½ years and federal employee in learning and development
  • What Dave wishes he knew before having a child
  • Don’t panic and become overwhelmed, you don’t need to know everything
  • Time doesn’t move as quickly as you think and you have time to learn
  • Diapers aren’t as gross as you thought
  • No need to keep track of every developmental milestone
  • How Dave felt when he found out he’d be a dad
  • Most exciting time for Dave during the pregnancy
  • Expectations when having a daughter
  • First few weeks after the baby was born
  • Dave’s routine once the baby arrived
  • Dave’s wife working shifts and having to balance it
  • Activities that Dave shares with his daughter
  • The prospect of more children
  • Advice for expecting or new dads
  • Check in with your partner. You know each other best
  • Dave doesn’t have a good dad joke but he talks about some of his favorite goofy moments with his daughter. 

*** 

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit https://daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/ and fill out the form.

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#3 – Adam Goddard: “Just Keep Swimming”

Ryan interviews Adam. Adam and Ryan are related through Ryan’s cousin. Adam is a dad of two girls aged 8 and 6. Adam is an incredibly thoughtful person. This conversation inspired me and I’m sure will inspire others out there. 

Topics discussed:

  • Difficulty getting pregnant and how to push through.
  • How best to deal with the hardships together as a couple.
  • The panic that set in when they finally did get pregnant.
  • The most exciting times during the pregnancy for Adam.
  • Importance of spending time with your partner and connecting.
  • Adam and his wife decided not to find out the sex of their first child before birth.
  • Why they wanted to find out earlier for the second child.
  • Routine changes during the pregnancy. 
  • Practicing empathy when your partner describes the changes they’re experiencing.
  • First few weeks after the baby was born.
  •  Adam’s nighttime routine of watching the baby sleep while playing video games.
  • The dad-daughter bond
  •  Activities dads can do with their daughters.
  • Adapt to doing things together.
  • Hobbies Adam does with his daughters today.
  • 90s cartoons have aged terribly.
  • Advice for couples trying to get pregnant. 
  • As Dory says, “Just keeping swimming.”
  • Advice for dads and expecting dads.

*** 

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit https://daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/ and fill out the form.

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#2 – Mario Telaro: Into the Eye of a Hurricane

Mario is a professional drummer and dad of an 8-month-old son. Mario has the opportunity to work from home which adds another dynamic to the conversation. Mario offers a perspective that is different from other dads in part because of his career. 

Topics Discussed: 

  • What Mario wishes he knew before his wife got pregnant. 
  • The time it took to get pregnant and being surprised.
  • The book Mario’s wife bought him: We’re Pregnant! The First Time Dad’s Pregnancy Handbook by Adrian Kulp
  • His gig schedule during pregnancy including one-night shows and touring. 
  • Most exciting time during the pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy as a transitional phase.
  • Hearing a newborn for the first time and how Mario felt.
  • Adjustments Mario made during the pregnancy to reconnect with his wife. 
  • First gig after his son’s birth.
  • Adjustments to working at a rented studio so as not to play drums in the house.
  • How Mario made sure to be present when at home. 
  • Leaving to tour for 3 weeks.
  • Mario’s memories that he shares from the road.
  • Ryan’s travel schedule for work.
  • The upside of being home right now during a pandemic.
  • Bobby Bazini: http://www.bobbybazini.com/ 
  • Staying in shape since the baby was born. 
  • Mario’s workout routine.
  • Balancing your time and your interests with your partner. 
  • Mario’s father-son time in the morning.
  • Sympathy weight and how Mario tracks his weight.
  • Mario’s current projects.
  • Mario’s advice for new dads and expecting dads.

Mario’s website: http://mariotelaro.com 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mariotelaro/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thereadyroomstudio/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/mariotelaro

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarioTelaro 

*** 

If you enjoy the podcast, would you please consider leaving a short review on Apple Podcasts? It can help us reach more dads. 

For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

Interested in sponsoring the podcast? Visit daybydaydad.com/sponsor-form/and fill out the form.

Follow Day by Day Dad:

Twitter: twitter.com/daybydaydad2
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Effectively Working from Home

This week marks one year since I made the switch to my current job. With the obvious changes that come with switching jobs, my company is 100% remote. I spent the last 15 years working in offices. I traveled occasionally in the last 5 years which took me away from my desk. I did spend some time living and working from home in Toronto. It wasn’t the ideal setup for a home office. I’m still working on my new workspace and routine. Here are some tips on effectively work from home.


Designate a workspace

Laptops give you the flexibility to work just about anywhere. I see that as a negative because it means you really can work anywhere. It also means you can work anytime. The first thing any remote worker should do is designate a space in their house that is only for work. I purchased a Mac Mini for my office. I did it because I needed to upgrade my computer and installing a desktop computer meant that I have to work from my desk. I still use my laptop. I have designated the Mac Mini as my work computer. It makes it easier to enter the right headspace for work when I’m in my “office.” Give some thought to how you create your workspace.


Establish your work hours

When I worked in an office, we were expected to put in a certain number of hours per week. That can fluctuate depending on your job. I won’t prescribe a number of hours here. Whatever your work schedule, it’s important to stick to it. In my first remote work stint, I often found myself working all hours because I could work while I watched television in the evening. Today, I bookend my day with a morning and evening routine that takes me away from my desk.


Set a routine

My morning routine is similar to when I had a commute. I still get up, get dressed, workout and have coffee. The lack of an hour-long commute gives me the flexibility to add in reading and writing. My commute to the office is now upstairs and rarely do I run into traffic unless the dogs follow along. Reo, my Lab-Weimaraner mix, is so set in his routine that he will tell me when it’s time to work. He will stand at the stairs until I follow. Check out my morning routine.

My evening routine is more fluid. When my workday is over, I shut all of my work-associated programs down and head down to the living room to decompress with my family. We will take a walk together or just hang out and talk. I try to avoid going directly from work to some other task to avoid burning myself out.


Take breaks

You have the option to head to the water cooler or chat with others in an office setting. I have the luxury of my wife and two dogs at home. Although my coworkers love to sleep on the job, I can take a break to decompress with them during the day. I’m talking about my dogs sleeping, of course. If you’re alone all day, then make sure you have a way to break up the day. Take a walk, workout or just sit and read. Do something that takes your mind off work and helps you to recharge.


Manage inputs and distractions

It’s far too easy to turn on the television or watch YouTube videos all day. I like to work with music while I’m head down and in a flow state. My favorite playlist. Aside from the obvious distractions, I also like to manage all notifications. We use email and Slack. It’s easy to switch tasks when you are notified of something seemingly important. Here’s a secret: It’s not that important. Avoid task switching and try to only check those different apps a few times daily. This is called Batching. Suffice it to say, you’ll be much more effective if you can manage inputs. I go a step further and batch my email sends so that I don’t receive replies periodically throughout the day.


Enjoy it

I love working from home. I have decorated my office with lots of action figures, bobble heads, and LEGO.

My desk is clean and minimal because I find that helps to keep me centered. Whatever you do, whether you follow these tips or others, make sure you enjoy it. That’s the key to effectively working from home.

My Coffee Habit

Coffee and I have had an up and down relationship. I love the taste of coffee. I’ve used caffeine as a way to stay away through long shifts, studying and just simply as a crutch over the last decade. For a long time, it was my way of coping for other terrible behaviors like missing out on sleep. Today, my coffee has changed. It is no longer a reliance on caffeine but rather meditative. The act of making coffee can be meditative if you want it to be.

I’ve run the gamut of ways to brew my coffee including French press, standard coffee pot and espresso machine. The end result is often fairly similar, but you aren’t really involved aside from adding the grounds, water and pressing a button.

On a recent trip to Toronto to visit friends, I visited an amazing little café in the Distillery District called Balzac’s. They have a number of locations in Ontario. I really enjoyed the experience. I’ve always loved coffee shops. One of my favorite parts of visiting Paris.

 

But I digress… On to my coffee habit

They had a pour over coffee maker from Chemex. It’s a beautiful glass coffee maker that reminds me of a decanter. It intrigued me. I did some research on the coffee making process with a Chemex later in the day.

For anyone looking for a quick cup of coffee without any hassle, this isn’t for you. I have extra time in the morning because I work from home. I also like that it forces you to slow down and appreciate the process. It gives you another level of appreciation of the cup of coffee too. It takes about 10 minutes to make the coffee. I usually listen to a podcast while I do it. It really helps to slow things down and put me in the right frame of mind for the day. Much like a meditation practice.


What you need:

  • Chemex coffee maker – I have the 8-cup one
  • Coffee filter – I’m using the Chemex paper filters, but I want to switch to a Coffee Sock for environmental reasons
  • Coffee beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • Kitchen scale
  • Kettle – The purists suggest one with temperature settings because coffee should be brewed at specific temperatures. I have a Breville with the temperature settings, so I heat the water to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Optional – Tea pot – this helps me to control the pour over the grounds.
  • Coffee mug
  • Time

Process:

  • Heat the water to your desired temperature. I use at least 700g of water which makes two big cups of coffee.
  • Measure your coffee beans and grind to a coarse ground. I use about 30g of coffee.
  • If you’re using paper filters, then fold and place the filter in the neck of the Chemex.
  • Pour some water over the filter. This will help eliminate the taste of the paper from getting into your coffee.
  • Empty the water.
  • Add your grounds to the filter.
  • Here is where I pour the water into the teapot.
  • With the Chemex on the kitchen scale, add 100g of water, pouring slowly and moving in concentric circles over the center of the grinds. Be careful not to pour directly onto the paper to avoid getting any remnants of the taste in your coffee.
  • Set a timer for 90 seconds and wait for your coffee to bloom. More on blooming: https://www.homegrounds.co/coffee-bloom/
  • Pour the remaining 600g steadily over the grounds starting in circles and then pouring directly over the center.
  • Let the water go through the grounds. You should end up with a perfect funnel of grounds when all the water has gone through.
  • Grab your favorite mug and enjoy your coffee.

Like I said, this process usually takes me about 10 minutes. I have a podcast going and then I can sit down at my kitchen table to do some writing. My coffee routine slows everything down and relieves a lot of stress about what I might need to accomplish. It helps me to appreciate the process and my cup of coffee. Oh, and if your coffee gets cold and you’re using the Chemex, then you can heat it back up on the stove. Just be sure to follow the instructions!

Coffee may not be your thing. In my case, coffee brewing is a reminder to appreciate the little things that seem routine and mundane. Slow down and smell the coffee.

Feeling the Baby Kick

The mother’s life changes drastically from the second you have the positive pregnant test. She now has dietary restrictions, can expect to limit her exercise routine, and she’s incubating your future baby. As a future dad, I was elated. My life didn’t change much. I could not wait to start feeling the baby kick. As I soon found out, that takes time!

Your new reality will become more real throughout the pregnancy when you get to see your baby during ultrasound exams. Your partner’s belly is also going to grow as the baby develops. For me, the second ultrasound was the most exciting time. The next most exciting moment was feeling the baby kick.

There is so much emphasis put on feeling the baby moving. The mother will start feeling flutters as early as Week 20. It could take another 8 to 10 weeks before you’re able to feel anything. In my case, I wasn’t able to feel her until Week 28. Even then, it was light movements that feel like muscle twitches. Oh, and you’ll miss them if you’re not concentrating.

Going into the third trimester, I had felt the baby kick a few times. They were still faint. After Week 30, I can say that I can feel each and every movement. It’s like clockwork! As the baby gets bigger and bigger, there’s less space for her to move around. I can see exactly which way she is leaning in my wife’s belly now. We’re in Week 35 and she’s the length of a standard 18” tent stake, according to DaddyUp. We measured it and she’s longer than our Chihuahua!

Chip is a 2 year old Chihuahua weighing 7lbs.

Feeling the baby kick - Chip

We confirmed with the doctor last week that she’s moved to “head-down” position. It’s self-explanatory. She’s prepping for her trip through the birth canal to make her appearance on center stage. She’s not rolling around like she used to. You can feel distinct features now like what I assume are her feet and her little bottom.

Feeling the baby kick and being able to discern her specific body parts has made everything more real. I catch myself getting more and more excited each day.

My advice to you: Enjoy each and every moment. Commit them to memory. Writing this post has brought an incredible level of joy to my morning. I’m excited that I can share them with you.

Preparing for the Baby’s Arrival

I’ve already shared my thoughts on nesting and preparing the baby’s room. In the last few weeks, I’ve been mentally preparing for the baby’s arrival. Within a few weeks, we’ll have a new person living with us who is entirely dependent on us for everything.

I often compare babies to puppies because my experience up until now has been with bringing home a puppy. I remember the level of excitement with both of our dogs when we got them. I distinctly remember the first night with each of them. It hit me that I would not get a full night’s sleep for 6-8 weeks. I committed to take them out in the middle of the night to avoid any accidents in the house. Let’s face it, peeing and pooping in the house are the hardest part with a dog. Unless you’re terribly unlucky, that ends quickly.

I bring up the comparison with a puppy because I am so excited for my daughter to be born. Since I’ve been able to consistently feel her kick, I’ve been seriously counting down the days. Labor is not going to be easy for my wife and I will do my best to support her throughout. I found a great resource called Supporting Her to prepare myself. I’m also well aware that any “training” will go out the window when the urgency sets in. I’m as ready as I can be for all of that. I’m working on my preparedness for taking the baby home.

I’ve heard a few dads describe the feeling of leaving the hospital and driving home with their new baby. The consensus has been one of being dumbfounded that they now have a baby to take care of. Within a span of a couple of days, they went from just being a couple to being parents. It sounds similar to that feeling when you get home with the new puppy. It usually came with the thought, “What did we do?” Obviously, I know that will subside and I will trust my instincts.

There is this excitement that my daughter will be here so soon and potentially born on my birthday. It’s easy to get lost in the thought of what is to come. I’m working on taking stock of our here and now. Making sure that I am as ready as I can be without trying to overthink and over prepare. You know, like a Boy Scout of sorts.

For the first time since my wife got pregnant, I’m sitting here with a nervous excitement. It’s now real. I understand that it gets real for women almost immediately when they find out they’re pregnant because there are so many changes. I’ve asked other dads about when it got real for them and there are differing answers. For this future dad, it is now real. At 36 weeks and 3 days.


To My Daughter:

We’re so excited to meet you. I’m going to take the best care of you that I can. I’m going to make some mistakes because to err is human. I will remind you of this so you never forget it, I love you. We love you. Having you is already the best decision we ever made. See you soon, little one.