Welcome to Month 2 of pregnancy. Since this is the month when you first find out that she’s pregnant, it probably feels a lot more like Month #1. We won’t go over that all again, but read the Month 1 Expecting Father Guide post to get more clarification if need be.
She’s Pregnant Now What?
Who To Tell and When
As a man, it is likely that you haven’t given two seconds of thought in your entire life to who you would tell if you found out you were going to be a dad. You probably also haven’t thought about how you would tell them.
First, there are some things to consider.
- Do You Have to Wait for the Doctor?:
- Pregnancy tests are surprisingly accurate these days, and false negatives are much more common than false positives. No only that, but the doctor isn’t going to want to see her right away anyway unless there are some high risk factors. Basically, there is nothing the doctor can do or see about the baby until after some time has passed, so they essentially let the woman’s cycle tell you if she is pregnant or not. If her period comes, she isn’t pregnant. If she misses two in a row she is.
- Who Gets Told Right Away:
- There is the possibility that this pregnancy won’t work out. The chance for a miscarriage drops significantly at 12 weeks and then again at 16 weeks. Since she will obviously not be showing any outward signs by then, the only people who will ever know that she was pregnant will be the people you told. So, decide who goes into the tell right away category and who goes into the wait until 12 or 16 weeks category.
- Anyone you tell will eventually ask what happened. If something happens, this will be a very hard moment in your life. Certain people make those moments easier, and some people make them worse. So, only tell people that you want to tell the bad news to, or that you are comfortable with asking about it. Also, factor in who would be able to not tell others, otherwise, they’ll end up telling someone and then that person will come asking as well.
- Certain people, generally relatives and very close friends, will be hurt if they are not in the first group. This is way more about you than it is about them. However, you can choose to tell nobody until after the 16 week barrier and avoid this issue altogether.
- Who Gets Told After 16 Weeks:
- After 16 weeks, the chance for a miscarriage drops significantly. At this point you can tell pretty much everyone. However, make sure to get the order right. Family members especially have a habit of calling other family members to talk about the news and their order may not be the same as yours. So, if your Uncle Bob is closest to you, don’t call Cousin Ron first, because Cousin Ron just might call Uncle Bob to talk about the great news. That means that you lose the joy of telling someone close to you and he hears it from someone else. Feel free to tell people not to tell anyone because you really want to tell everybody yourself. That can save a lot of problems.
- Unless There is a Concern:
- If the first screening test turns up concerns about possible pregnancy issues, you may need to hold off a little longer. It can be difficult enough to learn about issues in the pregnancy without people calling to ask you how it’s going or if you know if it’s a boy or girl yet. So, wait until the screening comes back clear, and if it doesn’t sit down with her and talk about waiting.
- Who Only Gets Told When The See It
- The last group of people involves those who are not close to you but who do exist in your life. Co-workers that you only know by first name, guys in your pick-up basketball game, and so on. Eventually, they will see either your wife’s belly, or your new baby. Simply confirm that she is pregnant and offer up the due date. There should be no problem there.
- She may want your input on telling “others” especially if she works with other people who she doesn’t plan to tell right away. Waiting too long starts uncomfortable rumors and telling too soon maybe extends unwanted attention. Help her by honestly looking to see if she looks pregnant yet. When that happens will depend a lot on the type of clothes she normally wears. Fitted tops show off a pregnant belly faster than bulky sweaters.
- Remember the differences between men and women. By the time a man is 15 years old he has either, or heard of someone who did, asked someone about being pregnant when they weren’t and therefore implied that the woman in question is gaining weight. After that moment, every man errors greatly on the side of caution, waiting until long after it is obvious to suggest pregnancy (at least to the woman’s face). Women won’t wait nearly as long, partly because they are better at telling the difference between a fat belly and a pregnant belly shape.
Up next…Month 2 Tasks and Issues