New Father of twins to be....

Molly - posted on 05/31/2016 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My wife Molly, has posted some of her concerns here and she and I read replies and look at posts to learn, gather wisdom and feedback. Since she and I have agreed to limit our social media to this site for now, I am choosing to post under her name for now.
I have yet to find "Circle of New and Nervous Fathers" so here I present my query to you mothers; Who seem to have wise words for my wife, and I trust you will have wise words for me.
Molly lost two babies before this, both around 11-12 weeks, so at 16 weeks we are hopeful that God will bless us with these children.
I have only sisters, I do have many male friends as I served in the Air Force and now I am a pilot with mostly male flight crew. I worship at church with a men's group, but none are fathers yet. I don't care to open my heart, or Molly's private life to my co-workers. I am feeling quite lost. I am a Lieutenant 1st class, a pilot, a soldier, a scholar, a man, yet I fear my ability to care for my wife at this time in her pregnancy and I am a bit uncertain of my abilities as a father. I do trust that Molly will be a wonderful mother, I watch her with our niece and nephew as well as the children from the base when I served she is quite obviously meant to mother.
I pose the questions below, be aware Molly will read the answers, but I would never keep them from her anyway.
At 16 weeks, does it hurt her or the babies, for us to be intimate? The doctor says no, Molly has never once denied me; yet I wonder if this is really the truth? Not that I could make her miscarry, but that I could hurt her? Molly is not a demurring, all consenting wife and I don't think she'd consent to relations is she felt scared, hurt or worried about the babies. But yet every time we are together, I worry I could hurt her.
Second, when I travel I find myself worried in an inordinate amount about Molly's safety. Is this typical for an expectant father? Men I trusted, like her coworkers, I now fear will hurt her. I recall the days she lived alone on the base and I did not worry for her safety, even with a lot of single men about. Molly is a capable woman and has reassured me many times of her well being yet I feel a sense of responsibility for her. I find if I return early form a flight the urge to visit her at work is irresistible. She seems not to mind but I never felt compelled to do this before. To go and wrap my arm around her and claim her as mine to the men in her office. In the past I would sneak in a nap.
Finally, any advice on how to remind her that she is my soulmate, she is first, she meets every need, that even without children I would be utterly content in my life with her. She fears losing this pregnancy, I know she does, she stopped playing in her soccer league, which she loved. She stopped working out. I don't frame this as critical, but I want her to be happy, enjoy her activities, not limit herself out of fear. I worry it is my fault she desires so to keep this pregnancy within her.
I know she will read this and tell me to stop, that she is fine, but why do I worry so immensely? I have faith the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, that our losses were part of His plan for us. Is this the typical rambling of a new to be father? Not to mention, will I parent well, will I provide enough, will I be able to protect my family? Any wisdom?
Derek

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Ev - posted on 05/31/2016

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Dear Derek--
I read the entire post. I am very impressed with your concern and worries over everything and how committed you are to your wife, Molly. She seems from her posts a wonderful person from how she comes across in her posts. I am glad she joined here to ask her questions and even respond to things too. We do at times have dads who post questions on various things concerning their children from simple things to complicated matters such as custody. So do know you are not alone in worrying over your family and their well being as there are several fathers in the past who have posted here with concerns. That being said I will answer your questions as best I can but note I am not the mother of twins but of two singles born seven years apart. One is a girl and one is a boy. My girl is 26 and has two of her own. My boy is 19 and just ended high school and is trying his own wings out in the world.

{At 16 weeks, does it hurt her or the babies, for us to be intimate? The doctor says no, Molly has never once denied me; yet I wonder if this is really the truth? Not that I could make her miscarry, but that I could hurt her?}-----Being intimate while pregnant is usually normal as long as everyone is okay and the doctor sees no problems. I think as long as you two are open about what you wish to do as far as being intimate then you should do fine. Also since you have lost babies in the past, it can worry you more so being expecting parents again because you do not want to cause any problems. If the doctor is fine with you guys having relations then do so as long as you are careful and listen to what she is comfortable with. Also keep communications open between you as that is the most important thing in a marriage or relationship. I hope I have somewhat answered your questions. As far as hurting her, again, if the doctor is fine with your doing so, she should be okay. Again, communicate your concerns with her and see what hers are and go from there.

{Second, when I travel I find myself worried in an inordinate amount about Molly's safety. Is this typical for an expectant father?}------It is common for a man who has a wife to be worried for her no matter if she is pregnant or not. Maybe a little more so since maybe your background has something to do with you guys wanting to do the right things to make it through this time. As far as the men---what are you worried about them doing to hurt her? I am not sure I understand that.

{{Finally, any advice on how to remind her that she is my soulmate, she is first, she meets every need, that even without children I would be utterly content in my life with her. She fears losing this pregnancy, I know she does, she stopped playing in her soccer league, which she loved. She stopped working out. I don't frame this as critical, but I want her to be happy, enjoy her activities, not limit herself out of fear. I worry it is my fault she desires so to keep this pregnancy within her.}}-----There are many things that you could do to remind her she is your soulmate. Write her letters and leave them in surprising places like under or on her pillows, in the bathroom cabinet over the sink, in the pantry, in the fridge. Leave her small gifts of things she likes--does not have to be expensive or you could make it yourself. Give her foot massages (I loved those when I was expecting and I felt pretty special when my kids' dad gave them). Take her out for a night time stroll. Just anything small and it does not need to cost money to do it. And the most important way to remind her she is the soulmate of your life is to tell her. Women love to hear things told to them. As far as giving up the soccer and other things she was very active at, she may be afraid that she could get hurt playing soccer and it can get to be a contact sport at times and might not be a good idea but check with her doctor on that one for sure. Other forms of exercise that she could be doing and has stopped also check with her doctor as she may find some of them are still fine to do and if not the doctor could recommend some that she might be able to do. Also, suggest she get into some hobbies if she is not sure about being active like at the gym or in a sport. She might find a book club, art classes, a mommy to be group, and just about anything you could think of. It could get her something interesting to do and keep her active and happy if other things are a big concern for you guys. Maybe she could learn to crochet some blankets for the babies!

{I know she will read this and tell me to stop, that she is fine, but why do I worry so immensely? I have faith the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, that our losses were part of His plan for us. Is this the typical rambling of a new to be father? Not to mention, will I parent well, will I provide enough, will I be able to protect my family? Any wisdom?}-----You worry because you care for her, you love her, you want this family badly, and you want her to be healthy and happy. It is not uncommon to be this way but in your case I can understand why you would be more so. It is good you have faith in God and will lean his way for all that comes to you. Is this typical of a rambling father to be....I do not know but please know you can come and ask any time questions you might have. There are some of us who are regulars and I have found a lot of them have some great advice and wisdom. AS for parenting well, providing well, and protecting well, all you can do is your best and if you do that the family will know it. You can not expect to have everything go perfectly but if you work at it should be just fine.

Final words: Again I am impressed with your concerns and asking the questions you have asked. It says a lot about the kind of man you are and the kind of husband you are. I would think any woman would be lucky to have a man such as you for a husband. Wisdom: Just do the best you can and let God handle the rest. Be supportive of her, love her, care for her, and communicate a lot. It is a day to day thing this life is. We never know what we are getting tomorrow. We have to make the most of what we get in the now.

Evelyn

Heather - posted on 06/01/2016

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It does not hurt her or the babies to be intimate. It actually (for me going on baby number two) is a great stress relief and makes me feel quite close to my husband and if she wants to be intimate then that's one of the things she needs at this time also. Being pregnant and intimate has always made me feel more relaxed about being pregnant. I am 7 months now and still intimate with my husband. Your babies are in a balloon filled with water so they don't feel any discomfort and if your wife is "happy" in all areas then she is less stressed which benefits the babies.

My husband felt like he would be the worst father on the planet! He felt like he would break our baby by accident when she came into the world. He never thought himself as a fatherly type and wondered if he could rise to the challenge. Trust me when I say that you will figure out what to do. Babies literally want to be held, want to be fed, and kept dry. (You can do that!) He learned to be a great Dad and it changed him in so many positive ways that he never imagined.

My husband becomes really attached when I am pregnant also- for a lot of men this is normal. Pregnant women produce different hormones that make the men in their lives more protective of them to assure the babies thrive and the mother lives. Your getting instructions on how to care for your wife and unborn children without even knowing it! You just have to keep in mind that nothing in her environment has changed on a danger level and to channel that feeling into love and intimacy. My husband also like to "claim me" in public by wrapping his arm around me and getting closer (I love this so there is no down side for us to do this. Just focus on her and how beautiful and attractive she seems to be to you...and be sure to tell her!)

If she was active before then she should at least go on walks or swim to some sun for the Vitamin D so she can keep feel good hormones up and stress hormones down. If she goes from being active to nothing at all she will be more likely to get depressed and form postpartum depression after the babies are born. Encourage her to may try belly dancing (it was used to help expectant mothers stay in shape and help strengthen the muscles we use during labor). I really helps and it's gentle.

Mothers worry just as much as Fathers do, but together you both will be great. The fact you're worried at all means you will do just fine. You will be in tune with their needs and be eager to learn what the needs are. A father that puts in effort to keep his family happy, healthy, and safe is always a good father. Remember- God has a sense of humor and he loves to challenge you beyond what YOU think you can handle. It takes practice to be a parent and it sounds like you will try your best to be the best.

Your wife will feel the love and know she is much needed and appreciated as long as you keep patience with her changing body and hormones (another one of those challenges that you will have to keep patience with). =) This is new to her also- just remember to pray together often and to keep each other close to talk openly about any feelings (even if they seem silly).

As long as you both keep an open mind and heart to each other everything will be fine. Your feelings are 100% normal. Keep a calm head about you and you will learn quickly what to do for your family. Remember, your wife sees the things in you that you have trouble seeing in yourself and vice versa. When in doubt look to your wife and she will look to you when she is in doubt. It's a dance that takes equal trust and it sounds like you both have that foundation. No one is born a perfect parent- we learn to be the parent that's perfect for our children.

Michelle - posted on 05/31/2016

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As long as the doctor said it's okay then it's fine to have sex during pregnancy.
I guess most husbands want to keep their wives safe so those feelings are normal.

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Molly - posted on 06/02/2016

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yes that is his concern. he is quite frank and open talking with me about it but he is not the kind of guy who wants to discuss his body parts with other people. he asked is doctor who told him that unless i have pain-- don't worry. we had a pretty good laugh when he got home from denver- and we read thru everyones replies.
both feel a bit mixed about a doula and my doctor did not have an opinion on way or the other. so we still need to figure that out.
we went to soccer last night and i just meant to watch but i did play a bit-- it felt good to get out and move-- now that i am just over 16 weeks the sleepy feeling is lifting.

Sarah - posted on 06/01/2016

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So to more bluntly address your issue. Your spouse is well endowed and you are rather petite? And he fears he may injure you or the babies?
Your doc is correct that despite the difference in your physical size, sexually you are probably compatible. I think it very sweet that your spouse is so concerned for your comfort and well being. You, Molly, will know if sex is uncomfortable and you will be able to chose positions that suit your relationship better. Towards the end of your pregnancy this may prove a bit more challenging but I assure you that if you feel no pain, your babies are fine and even if you do feel pain, the babies are fine. If there is a risk of pre-term labor, the doctor may tell you to abstain from intercourse. Otherwise, continue to enjoy each other, that is what marriage is for! Talk to each other and your sex life will only be that much more satisfying.

Molly - posted on 06/01/2016

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This is Molly, thank you all for the advice and info about the doula--not sure how i feel about having another person at my delivery but we have some time to figure it out. derek is so good to me, and he worries when he should not. i am so fortunate. i have never felt smothered, never felt judged, never felt obligated to satisfy him within our marriage. i know am a blessed woman and i try to tell him that-- reading his questions makes me feel lucky yet sad for him-- i am completely confident in his ability to parent, provide and protect.
to help derek spit out his concern about our physical relationship-- i have only ever been nervous about intimacy one time, my wedding night. i know that this may not be the perfect place to voice this one concern but we really are not sure of the answer-- i am 5 feet 5 inches and not a big person, derek is 6 foot 4 inches. i ask this ever so delicately to any woman with a "big" (get my drift) husband, have you ever been hurt or your baby ever been hurt? derek is the only partner i ever had and vice versa, we don't have much a a knowledge base. derek is not going to ask his mother, nor will i, and my parents were a bit more equally matched so my mom is not helpful.
i asked my doctor and he just laughed and assured me that as a species we are designed to accommodate our partners. derek asks if he ever hurts me and while out first efforts were not without some discomfort, over the years we have been together, his patience and gentle nature have been appreciated. he worried a lot that he would hurt me earlier in our marriage and now that fear is renewed two-fold. i think he would go without intercourse for the duration of my pregnancy if i asked him too, but i don't want that. i do want him to relax and trust me that i will tell him if i am uncomfortable. Thank you Evelyn, Heather, Sarah and Michelle for the feedback. it helped a lot.
Molly.

Sarah - posted on 06/01/2016

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Derek, a doula can be very helpful to a new mother and father. They are very experienced in the routine of labor and delivery and can help explain procedures, help educate you on making choices in treatment and keep you and your wife company during her labor and recovery and even help her learn how to breastfeed and care for the babies. Since you are expecting twins, Molly may well need a c-section. The doula would not accompany her into the OR but be there to support waiting family and explain to them what to expect. If your twins arrive early, you can request the doula not come until they come home and help you both get used to caring for two babies at one time. It is a generous gift, but not everyone wants that extra person involved. IMO the best doulas blend in, and do what is needed; be it making a meal, helping the mom with post-delivery care, help babies nurse, letting parents nap together, set up a schedule for you. True, most doulas are involved in home births, so the benefit may be less with a hospital delivery (especially a pre-term, or surgical delivery. What may prove helpful to you both is to interview a few and get a feel for what they offer and if it is something you want, if not, you certainly don't need one. If you have good family support maybe the cost could go towards some of the thousands of diapers you will need.
Trust you wife to tell you if sex is bothering her. Each doctor visit she can ask if it is safe to keep on with intercourse, if the answer is no, no doubt you can be intimate in other ways. It probably won't be until her belly is quite large, or she has pre-term labor that sex would be taken off the table.
Regarding her physical activity, she may just be tired right now. Soccer is quite a vigorous sport and she may just not feel up to it right now. She can workout if the doc says it is safe. Even just walking or light weights will be enough to keep her fit, if she wants to try yoga, that can help maintain flexibility during her pregnancy. It sounds like she is a pretty fit woman and so if she desires to take it easy for now, I'd not worry. As long as it is what she wants and not out of fear. Maybe the two of you can kick a soccer ball around in the yard?
All of your parenting fears are perfectly normal and she probably has her own as well. Talk to her about it and you will figure it out together. Twins, especially for a first delivery will be a challenge, but many couples handle it just fine.
To desire to protect her from harm is instinctual, and that it is heightened right now is normal. Just don't smother her, or make her feel incapable of caring for herself.
Good Luck!

Ev - posted on 05/31/2016

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That is not something I am familiar with. I would like to know more about a doula and what that entails.

Molly - posted on 05/31/2016

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With God's Blessing we will make it until mid to late October. Per Molly's cycle her due date is November 1, per the scan it is November 16. Praying for anything past the first of October.
On a brief side note, my sister is offering the service of a Doula, she herself had home births and is quite enthusiastic in the use of a doula. Molly will not give birth at home and I don't have any experience in this area. Have you any knowledge about using a doula? My understanding is she would meet with us before the birth, be with us in the hospital and then help at home? I am not sure this would be help if my children need to be surgically delivered but I don't want to rule it out either.
Derek

Ev - posted on 05/31/2016

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Derek==
Thanks for the reply to my post. I am glad it was of some sort of help. I never lost any before they were born and I know it is hard. I have two sisters that never made it to live. One was miscarried and the other came at 7.5 months. My other sister and I were not told until we were much older. I remember all the times we had asked our parents for baby siblings. We never knew what pain it must have been for our mom to hear that. But of course, we did not even know what had been. I know it had to be heart breaking for her to have to hear us ask. I could not imagine being in that situation ever. I consider myself lucky that I got the two I have. I am hoping and praying you get these two. It would be so nice to hear that when the time comes. I wish you both the best and if you ever need to ask anything just do so. I will be glad to try to answer or find one. Or just share things. I wish you luck and well.
Evelyn

Molly - posted on 05/31/2016

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Evelyn, thank you very much! I do feel a bit more at ease. I know the men at Molly's work would never assault her, and she'd be fierce target. Fast and fierce for any man. She is one of a very few women in her office but she does have a good rapport with he colleagues. I suppose it is my own weakness, watching women in Bahrain hurt, raped, alone, without a man to save them or their children that cracks my conscious and causes me worry. I do suffer a bit a PTSD from that time and I have gotten so much help for this but certain things still trigger me.
I met Molly when she was just 12, and I was nearing 16, an impossible match. Waiting until we we both old enough to date was such a trial! I don't know many men who met their mate, their match as young. I can't fathom her injured. To watch her suffer the loss of two lives from her body was harder than any duty I ever performed in school or in service.
So, I will let her lead the way with intimacy, I will strive to protect her though she may not need me, I pray that she will always know how God led us to each other and how much I love her and together we will face parenting children together.
It is humbling to be a 30 year old soldier, to not have the answers to questions. I asked my mother, and she told me to ask Molly. I did and I always will but she is filled with her own worry right now and I don't want to add to her worry. She will no doubt see this but what else can I do? (I am safe in Denver for the night and I had her permission to post)
Thank you again, Derek.

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