As an expectant dad, I sometimes feel left out of the pregnancy experience. My wife, on the other hand, as the mum to be, is getting all the focus and attention. So, I was looking for a way to reconnect with the entire pregnancy journey. I was thrilled when our gynaecologist prescribed the first sonogram in the pregnancy.
I’ve heard that fathers who are part of the first sonogram are able to bond with the unborn baby more easily. Up until now, I had created an image of my baby in my mind. This would mean that I actually get to see my child for the very first time. Hear the heartbeat.
So, on the appointed day, I drove my wife to the local diagnostic clinic. We waited for our turn for about 20 odd minutes or so. My wife was made to lie down. I made doubly sure that she was comfortable. The technician arrived and exchanged a few pleasantries with the both of us. I don’t even know what my replies were. All I could think about was my baby and what he or she was going to look like.
The very first ultrasound image of my unborn child is a powerful moment for expectant fathers and I totally bear witness to that. I was staring at the monitor and there my baby was. Possibly not any bigger than the size of a pea. I cried like a baby when I first heard the heartbeat. I couldn’t believe this was real. I couldn’t believe my wife was carrying around another human life inside of her. I couldn’t believe I was going to be a dad.
This was one of the key moments for me as an expectant father that established the reality of the coming child. It also reassured me that everything in the pregnancy was going well.
One of my friends who’d recently had a baby, had once told me about how he had felt seeing that first ultrasound of his baby. “My heart started beating faster just to hear a life – boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. It just felt like – the feeling’s indescribable, I was just blown away, like my eyes filled up but it’s like I won’t cry, I just was so happy to hear it… The heartbeat is like letting me know it’s on the way, get ready.”
Being a responsible parent meant that I needed to make sure that I have a steady job because my child’s eating depended on me. If I was going to be out of a job that would mean my child would go hungry and I’d rather my child ate before I did. While some may say that these are just drastic, random thoughts, but I did think of these things. Most dads have plans and dreams that extend beyond the immediate future of the baby and across the child’s lifespan.
As I drove home with my wife, I got some time to reflect on the role that I will be playing in my baby’s life. This was a key step in preparing towards serious parenthood.