A Nervous Dad’s Guide to Having a Baby

I’m confident in most things I do, but when it comes to having a baby, I am all over the place. I feel nervous, anxious and often very confused. I’m like a lion in most things that I do (well I at least like to think that I am), but in this part of my life, I’m like a timid, little, lost sheep… BAAAH!

A Nervous, Anxious, Confused Want-to-be Dad

Can anyone please give me some direction?

Of course, I’m excited too. Very excited! I love my wife and am committed to having a baby with her and being a good father… ahem, actually I will be a GREAT dad! That doesn’t mean that I know what I’m doing though. Having positive intentions doesn’t mean that I am totally clear about the whole process.

I started feeling nervous, concerned and worried about having a baby ever since the day we first started trying. I still actually feel a little of all of those feelings to this day.

But Having a Baby is Simple, Right?

At first, I didn’t think I needed to read up on having a baby because it seemed simple enough. “Why the heck do I need to learn about trying to have a baby?” I thought. I mean, I’ a man, and my wife is a woman, and we’re in love and ready to have our first child.

Boy, was I wrong.

After our first month of actively trying to have a baby, my wife still had her period, and I felt like we failed. We both felt like we failed. Not only that, we began to question whether we were good enough, and whether all our body parts were working correctly, and whether we even knew what we were doing! We were dumbfounded.

Failing to Make a Baby, Then Driven to Get It Right

My wife and I began voraciously reading up on the internet about how to get pregnant. We read forums, blog posts and articles from medical professionals. It turns out that it takes on average 5 months to have a baby, if you are trying, and it may take even longer. *Phew!*

I guess our first month of failure was actually normal. My body wasn’t broken or damaged, and I actually should relax and take it more easy.

Honestly, I initially thought that it would be so simple to have a baby, especially when you are proactively trying to have one. It’s not really the case, however, and I think most would-be parents and wanna-be dads should recognise this.

Why we thought it was so simply to have a baby when trying?

For us, I thought that after 1 week or maximum 2 weeks, we’d be pregnant already, especially if we were trying regularly. I was really surprised when we discovered that on average it takes 5 months. Also, after hearing from other parents’ experiences, it can take years to get pregnant, and a friend of ours in the medical field even said that it took 10 years for a patient to get pregnant.

2 Reasons Why I Had So Many WRONG Assumptions About Getting Pregnant

When we realised that it was 5 months on average, my wife and I reflected on why we were so naive and uninformed. We concluded on 2 main reasons:

1) Lack of education of this from school and family

We realised that in our own schools and classes, in primary school, high school and even university, we were never taught about the specific details of how to try to have a baby. I guess it makes sense though, why we were never educated in how to make a baby, because I suppose it’s not really a school’s job to teach you that. Although we did remember how the focus in school was more so on NOT to have a baby.

That goes for parents and family too. As I was growing up, my parents and family often talked about warning us NOT to have a baby (well before my wife and I were married). So after many years of these warnings and lack of information from schools and family about “how to have a baby”, it was no wonder that my wife and I were so confused and lost when we finally wanted to try to have our first child after 1 year of our marriage.

2) Total misrepresentation of how to have a baby in TV and movies

Another reason why we were so confused about having a baby and what it takes to try to have our first child is because we based some of our assumptions on what we had seen on TV and movies. Now, I don’t base my whole life and my choices and decisions on TV and movies, but since my family and school hadn’t taught me much about how to try to have a baby, then I only had to base some of my ideas on what I had seen already on the media.

One of the most annoying assumptions we had was that it was so easy to have a baby. We thought it would only take perhaps a week or even two to get that positive result on the pregnancy test. I mean, so many movies and TV shows make it seem like the process is so rapid and so easy. We thought that we would consciously and proactively try to have a baby for a week, and then boom! We would be parents and I would be a dad. Sounds easy, right?

I think the problem with TV and movies is in the editing, and then our perceptions of how easy it is to have a first child, since the editing makes it seem like you would get a positive result in the pregnancy test right away. Heck, I thought that we would try for a week or even a day, and then my wife would do the pregnancy test after that week or day, and then I’d be a proud, new father. This is so wrong.

So this was my reality check. It makes sense though. I mean TV and movies have to distill the whole process of having a baby in only a few minutes, whereas the reality of trying to have a baby is that it will take months (or even years) before you see that positive pregnancy test result.

Not Enough Resources… Especially for Guys wanting to be a New Father

Since my wife and I felt so confused and lost when we were trying to have a baby, and there were very scarce resources available especially targeted for guys, I thought it was so important to write this up to help you. I also want to give you some specific tips for you as an aspiring dad when you are trying to have a baby too with your partner.

6 Tips For Men Who Want to Have a Baby With Their Loved One and How to get Pregnant

1) It takes 5 months on average to have a baby, and may take even longer

Don’t feel inadequate if you’ve been trying to have a baby for only 1 week or 1 month, and you haven’t been successful yet. That’s how I felt after just 1 week and then 1 month of trying. I felt like there was something wrong with me and my body, and that I was inadequate. Even my wife began questioning whether we were good enough or healthy enough.

It turned out that it takes 5 months on average of proactively trying to have a baby before you’re successful. So that means that every month you try to have a baby when you’re starting out, you have about a 20% chance of success or 1 in 5 chance. And don’t forget that 5 months is just an average so it will take longer for some couples to be successful in having a baby.

On the flip side, this also means that you have an 80% failure rate per month of actively trying to have a baby. Remember that.

Therefore, don’t put unnecessary and unrealistic expectations on yourself and your partner. We did this. Also, don’t put schedules and timelines of having a baby too. We were guilty of this too. We actually had a goal and plan to have a baby within our first month of trying. This failed.

Although we were successful in our second month of trying, nevertheless, after our first failed month, we opened our minds to the possibility that we would have to continue to try for the next 5 months or even longer. We also became more accepting of the failure rate of 80% per month. Being informed and aware of this makes you more calm and confident about trying to have a baby. I totally felt nervous and disappointed before finding this out, but after discovering this, I was more chilled.

2) Don’t do the pregnancy test right away – after you’ve been trying for only 1 week or 2 – wait for wife to miss her period

Also, after trying for just 1 week or 1 month, don’t be overly enthusiastic and then do the pregnancy test right away. It will be a waste of time and money to do it immediately. The reason is because you should wait until your partner misses her period. Wait for that as your signal to move onto the next step.

Only after you know that your partner has missed her period for a given month, then she can go ahead and do the pregnancy test.

This may seem like common sense to you, but it wasn’t for me and even for my wife. Why? I think we were uncertain and confused about how the actual pregnancy test actually worked. The only thing she and I knew about it was that the woman would pee on a stick.

Also, we thought that it should be taken very soon after trying to have a baby, especially because many TV shows and movies showed scenes of characters doing the pregnancy test the day after or very soon after they tried to have a baby.

3) Make sure you have healthy sperm

OK. This is going to be a little awkward to talk about but it’s important. Male fertility and infertility is a serious issue. I actually had to think about this myself, and I had to take responsibility for this myself, being the man in the relationship.

Increase your chances of getting pregnant by ensuring that your sperm is healthy!

Medically speaking, doctors say that the health of your sperm DOES affect your chances of having a baby. Also, the amount of sperm you produce will affect your chances to have a baby. Since you’re the guy providing them, you need to make sure you increase your chances by actually doing as much as you can to have healthy sperm and increasing your sperm count.

I kept this in mind during the time that my wife and I were trying to have a baby.

So, there are actually a number of things that you can do to increase your likelihood to have healthy sperm and raise your sperm count. Here’s just a few of the things that I specifically just before and during the time that my wife were trying to have our first child:

a) Get lots of rest and sleep: Ensure you get a good night’s sleep per night. In my case, I always made sure I had about 8 hours worth of sleep per night.

b) Relax & don’t stress out: Make sure you are not regularly stressed or under negative and stressful situations. This includes very stressful work and people or relationships that stress you out. Try and reduce or eliminate these from your life if you can.

c) Exercise regularly: For me, I was doing the Les Mills Body Combat DVD Workout on a daily basis at home. It’s great way to keep relaxed and increase your testosterone levels, as well as your endurance, which you’ll need to make babies.

d) Eat healthy food: Make sure you eat nutritious food. Don’t stuff yourself with fatty, oily, junk food. This will ensure you have healthy sperm. Try not to get overweight too as being obese or overweight can negatively affect your male fertility.

e) Wear boxer shorts or loose underwear, rather than tight briefs: This is a little awkward to talk about, but it’s important, and I myself did this while my wife and I were trying to have a baby. I wore boxers as much as I could, opting for loose underwear instead of tight briefs. Apparently, tight briefs can constrict your male privates which can lead to deformed or unhealthy sperm, or even lower your sperm count.

4) Use love-making positions that ensure your sperm goes where it needs to go, and doesn’t get wasted

OK this is another awkward one to talk about, but again very important. During our first month, especially our first week of trying, we were really nervous about how to actually try to have a baby. We weren’t sure what we needed to do specifically and what positions would be optimal to have a baby.

It turns out that some positions are better than others for making babies. It also turns out that sometimes your sperm can be wasted if you don’t handle yourself properly. You want to ensure the highest chances of having a child, so make sure you choose optimum baby-making positions, and you handle yourself correctly so your not wasting your sperm!

5) Try regularly – based on your cycle as a man

When I say “cycle”, I’m referring to your sex drive cycle as well as your cycle of energy recuperation. Of course, you should take into account your female partner’s cycle too. When we first started trying, we wanted to dramatically increase our chances of having a baby. So, it made sense to try every single day, right? Wait, not just every day, but maybe multiple times a day!!! This sounds just like the ultimate dream for a guy. =)

We tried this for a couple of days, but then we both started feeling incredibly fatigued. I would need long naps in the day just to recover! Haha. Also, since I was tapping into my sperm reserves so often, I think I was shooting blanks more often too. After a while, my sex drive plummeted and my body was just too tired to keep going. Too much of anything is NOT good for you.

So, we dropped it down to once a day, but even that was too much, especially when considering our work and lifestyle. My sex drive and sperm also couldn’t handle every day. However, I got in tune with my body and recognized that my sex drive and energy actually recuperated every 2 days.

Therefore, we tried once every 2 days instead, and it worked like a charm. It balanced our need to try as much as possible while taking into account my need to recover physically and sexually!

6) Be chilled calm, informed (because you need it to have healthy sperm and sex drive)

Overall, relax and get educated. When you chill out when trying to have a baby, you’ll be healthier mentally and physically and sexually. When you get educated, you’ll be more confident in the bedroom and with your approach over the next few months trying to have a baby.

The Bottom-Line for Guys Wanting to Have a Baby

While most of the information out there about trying to have a baby is targeted towards women, I still think it’s important for prospective dads to get involved too and to learn about what it takes. This leads to less ignorance, and also less nervousness about the whole situation. You don’t need to be one of those guys that chickens out at the thought of having a baby. In fact, I’ve got some guy friends who are totally scared to even talk about having a child.

Keep an open mind.

Getting yourself informed will not only be beneficial for you, but also for your female partner because then you can help to make informed decisions and give constructive feedback about having a baby. In the end, being a man and taking a lead on getting educated about this will also benefit your future child, because you increase the chances of having a healthy little bubs sooner and learn how to get pregnant with confidence.

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