Looking back at the early days, and the pressures surrounding a high risk pregnancy it would have been too easy to have got lost in the stress of our situation. It was inevitable in what we were both facing.
Stacey was struggling badly from the first scan in dealing with the reality of our situation. The weight of the pressures we both felt was putting a massive strain on our relationship. It’s as if we veered off into two separate directions in our reactions. Me in excitement, Stacey into fear.
Knowing the damage that stress can cause to a pregnancy and the complications it can create to an unborn baby I had to take the the lead in practicing patience and tolerance at home. Yes I was overwhelmed with the situation we found ourselves in but I couldn’t allow myself to get pulled into my own fears. Two of us panicking would have complicated everything.
As strange as it may seem, and it really pissed my wife off, especially in the early days of the pregnancy, I felt a connection to the triplets from the minute they were discovered. There was a part of me that could intuitively see the bigger picture. They were a gift. To all of us as a family.
I know a lot of men don’t feel this way, but also many others do feel the purpose of the path they have been given as fatherhood. It’s an exciting, frightening and daunting realisation to feel the gravity of such a life changing event however you feel.
Feeling my purpose I knew that a show of my consistency to my wife would do more than any words of comfort would. I needed to show her I meant business. That I was up to the task that was coming and that worrying about my ability to cope and deal with multiples was not something she would need to be concerned about.
This meant action on my part. Which meant bonding with my unborn daughters. A show of affection and love that would benefit my wife, myself and my 3 growing daughter’s. I also got my step daughter Frankie involved. As big sister she was also feeling the uncertainty of our future relationships at home.
We began talking to the growing bump each night. I felt a bit stupid at first, but knew on a conscious level it was my duty to make the effort.
We would read stories to them. Play them music. I would tell them about the family they would be joining and how much love they would be born into. And I stuck with it. No matter how tired or irritated I felt.
It was a simple act that also kept my feet on the ground in the harder times. I never stepped to far away from the bigger picture and it paid off.
Once they were born, the first time I got to hold them, they knew my voice. The nurse in the SCBU even mentioned the calming effect I had on them. And it was only because I put the effort in from the start.
If you are taking care of a pregnant partner and struggling with the weight of the pressures you face. Take a little time with the bump each day and don’t feel embarrassed to do so. It will remind you of the importance of your role as a father. To bring a little emotional stability and calm to your babies in the most insane of times. A vital job of responsibility that will fall on your shoulders going into fatherhood. It’s a great beginning.
And it will be worth it.