Pregnancy For Dads After 40
Well some of you may be wondering why write about this, isn’t it the mother that goes through pregnancy?
Well, I’m about to have a new born (again) at the age of 44, I am already a Dad of 2 young adults, a 20 yr old and an 18yr old, both boys, and I’m about to be a father again to my third child.
While many “older dads” to be, or men thinking of becoming dads after the age of 40 may be asking themselves so many questions, one of those questions may be “is 40 to old to be having kids? I can tell you I went through all the same thoughts and concerns most of you (dad’s to be) are likely going through right now.
After getting together with my Partner I came to a realization very quickly, that my partner will be wanting children, and her clock was ticking ( so to speak) & she really wanted to become a mother in her life, (at some point anyway).
My first reaction to this realization, & in-fact, my partner asked me, (before we were actually partners) weather or not I would ever consider having more children again?
My fist thought (and I verbalized this to her) was, HELL NO.
But many thoughts entered my mind following this question of hers, and over a period of many months. (Now take into consideration, that at the time, my partner and I hadn’t actually started a relationship with one another as of yet, and we were only just getting to know one another) after getting to know my partner better, and before we, decided to make our friendship a bit more than just a friendship, I revisited the idea (with myself) about the possibility of having another child.
After several factors taken into consideration I came to the realization that not only would I consider it, but if I were to have another child I would only consider one with, my now partner.
In-fact I grew to love the idea about raising a family with this woman, and eventually even wanted it myself.
Questions an older dad needs to ask himself before concluding, he is in a position to have, or start a family, after the age of 40.
1 financial –
You need to have a decent and secure job. Or have won the lottery, or, you’ll just a decent income of some sort.
Make sure you have a retirement plan, of course benefits help but not a necessity, it’s just a bit of security, which doesn’t hurt to have. In 20 to 25 years you’ll want to be retiring and you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you have no choice but to work for the rest of your life (if you can help it).
Although these questions are always a good idea, and important as a father entering into a family type of life style, especially as an older dad. This should be one of the questions you must answer to yourself, and be confident you will be able to financially support a new family.
2. Being mentally ready.
You must think to yourself, that mentally, are ready to tackle the responsibilities that come as a father, husband,? and can you mentally overcome any obstacles that will arise by being a supportive partner and father?
As a father you are not the one that has to give up your body in order to create another human, that’s true! However you must realize that all your freedoms, and independence you have, right now, prior to children, will come to a standstill.
All your efforts will take a 180 degree turn and all of your efforts will now turn to supporting your partner, her needs and wishes.
Mentally, you must prepare yourself for this.
If you have been in a previous relationship and have other children like I do, you must come to the realization that you are going to have to let your family in on your plans at some point. This includes, parents, siblings, and other children you may have, not to mention your close friends as well.
Be prepared that you may not have the support or reactions you were expecting from every family member, or friend , that you were hoping for. Count yourself lucky if you have the fairytale announcement your mind tells you it will be, but just be mentally ready it may not be all peaches and cream.
You may tell yourself that you don’t care what anyone else thinks, but the reality is, that most likely, you do care, and that others opinions, will actually matter to you, as they should.
Take others opinions to heart, listen closely. I’m not saying you have to do everything other people are telling you to do, or take all of their suggestions, but people that are sincere with you may be telling you things that you don’t necessarily want to hear, because they care about you, and they are probably thinking of the child’s best interests as well.
Before you start asking for people’s opinions tho, try to think of anything negative they might say beforehand, and see if what you come up with yourself, are things you’d be willing to change about yourself first, and even maybe change those things before you try starting a family.
For myself I needed to change many things about myself and my life.
For example, my credit was poor, & I mean piss poor, I was over weight, & I mean, like, crazy fat, I had health problems, like Diabetes, and high blood pressure.
I didn’t even really like myself as a person, Oh, & I had a hernia too.
All I was, was in love, and I wanted a family, (again) with this wonderful woman I was now with.
So with all of my problems, I asked myself “was I willing to change”? Well not only was I willing to, but I was even willing to change other things that my partner didn’t like about me that I never gave any thought to, like my snoring lol.
So, for myself, (and I believe the changes you make need to be for yourself, you cannot make life changes for anyone else, it must solely be for you)
I took it on myself to loose a crazy amount of weight, well over 100lbs, something I should have done years ago. I started getting my credit in order, and to date my credit is considered to be good credit, it’s not the best, but it’s in a good enough state now that I’m not worried about it anymore, and in fact, I actually have gotten a handle on all my finances now too. I unintentionally knocked out Three birds with one stone, by loosing all the weight that I did, I managed to completely cure both my diabetes , and my high blood pressure, Like completely disappeared.
I booked myself in for a hernia operation. It took 6 weeks for recovery, and then, I even got my sleeping disorder fixed
I had done almost all this before we decided to even try for children, or let others in on our plans. These things all take time, time that when your younger may not be too much of a problem to overcome, However as a potential older dad, these kind of things can be critical in your decision to becoming a future father.
By wanting to take care of another child I realized I’d have to be able to take care of myself first.
These are not just physical changes but you must overcome the mental part of the decision process to get yourself prepared.
Having children is a life style change, you need to be ready to do a complete turn around in your own life, and give your family everything you have, because it will take all the energy you can muster up to take care of them.
3. Be absolutely sure this is what you want for yourself.
Make sure that when you are thinking about creating a family with anybody that you are wanting it for the right reasons. Do not have a child just because you love your partner and you know it’s what she wants. Be %100 it’s what you really want as well.
4. Be aware
Having a newborn and creating a family with your partner is one of the best feelings in the world, this I know is true. But as an older dad even if you’ve had children previously. Don’t be a fool and think you know everything. It seems almost every day there are new medications, new do’s, and dont’s to parenting, new laws you may not be familiar with. Make sure to do your research.
There are so many (APPs) out there now and they are all good, but my advice is, to make sure to use them, they will tell you what to expect before things come to fruition. They help you cope with your partners pregnancy, and they will help you and your partner get through the rough patches by keeping you informed. If you are well informed then you will be better prepared.
For example I read prior to almost every stage of our pregnancy, for example,
“The dreaded, first trimester”. A-lot of women get extremely tired, as most of us know, but do you know why? I’ve had 2 children and never knew the reasons behind why my ex got so tired. Well now I do. The blogs in the APPs explained, that alot of women can get heartburn and feel nauseated in the morning and that certain foods will help her cope with this part of her pregnancy symptoms. So personally after work every day, and I would get off work at 1:30am, bed by 2:30am, my partner would need to be up by 5:30am in order to get ready for her job. So I was up at 5am, getting breakfast ready. Foods such as fruits and yogurt which seemed to relieve the nausea were a blessing, and by doing this, it allowed her to get her day started. If I did not do it, then it was a 50/50 chance weather she would make it to work on time, or even at all. This theory was tested ha ha ha,
So I did this for 3 months until the nausea subsided. But beware, this can go on the entire pregnancy so just be prepared.
4. The Apps I used during this pregnancy incase your wondering were the following
1. The Bump
3. What To Expect
4. Baby kicks
5. Baby tracker
Number 4 & 5 I used only in the last 2 months of the pregnancy. There are some great articles along with tips and tricks that you’ll find in all these apps and I highly suggest using them.
5. being prepared for anything. And support your partner.
Prepare yourself to support your partner through the entire pregnancy, with everything. Even if you do not agree with everything your partner says or does. I’m not saying to lay on your back and let her walk all over you but keeping her calm and as stress free as possible, this allows your unborn child to be stress free as well. So be prepared to do everything you can to make her comfortable and as stress free as possible.
A baby born with less stress, is a happy baby, and happy baby’s will sleep and be less colicky. Believe me when I tell you, this is the best case scenario.
Be prepared that your efforts will go unnoticed. Being the dad in this pregnancy is a thankless job. Do not expect a break. It takes work to make sure the dynamic of your relationship runs smoothly.
Your partner will do and say things that hurt you and you need to shrug it off and continue to do your best.
Example: I worked around the clock to try and make my partner as comfortable as possible. One night, we were watching the tube and I leaned over to her and said how beautiful I thought she was. Her answer to me was this, as she started crying, she said, “she no longer found me attractive” As gut wrenching as that was in the moment, (I really was not expecting that) I had no choice but to laugh it off and I just asked her “if she would like me to make tea”
Remember her hormones take total control of her body and emotions, no matter what she says, remember she really does love you, just maybe not in every moment of every day, ha ha ha. Be ok with that, she will come around. For me I needed to remember that her body was changing drastically and she did not see herself as I do. Men will usually get even more attracted to their partner during pregnancy, as her body changes and grows, but many women (just plainly put), feel fat, and guess who they blame for that? (well you of course).
Be prepared that as you may be getting more excited by the day for your baby’s arrival, that your partner might just becoming more worried about every complication that can arise.
Be prepared that there very well may be complications during pregnancy and although you may think you have done, or are planning to do, “everything right”, that things just may not work out the way you imagine. Any complication can be devastating to both you and or your partner. You must stay strong during these times and be there for her in every sense of the word. You must be her rock, when all you may want, is hide in a corner. This is the mans roll.
⁃ Be prepared, (during Covid times), with doctors ,
that during your pregnancy, and although you feel you should have every part the same rights as the mother to be, that as the father you will be looked at as nothing more than someone the doctors will use as a consoling pillow. You may not be allowed into the hospitals or midwife appointments, although the rules change daily, this will suck big time when you know your partner is going in for that first ultrasound, and gets to see your soon to be baby before you. Unless there is something wrong, you won’t know that everything is OK, until your partner comes out of the building, or, you get a call saying they will allow you into the room to see her. They only do that if they need you to console your partner , (during Covid anyway)
⁃ Be prepared for expenses getting ready for baby. Make no mistake about it, as much as you may believe that all baby needs is mom and dad when they are born, think again. There are many things a baby and you as new parents are going to need, and want. Try to remember there are big differences between needs and wants and you’ll need to figure out what these are between you and your partner.
Read up on these items. There are so many articles out there describing the differences, also because each family’s financial situations are so drastically different, I will not go into what ours were. But be prepared to spend some money.
Are you physically fit?
I don’t think you have to be as fit as a professional runner, hockey player, or any pro athlete by any means. But do you think in the next 8 to 10 years you’ll be able to be in well enough health to be able to keep up with a few young children. Yes I said a few. Think In 5 years time, your bundle of joy wants to have a birthday party, he/she invites a few friends. Well of course that sounds great right? Well imagine 6 or 7 parents drive to your house and drop off their kids at your place, then leave. You are aware those other parents leave to have a nice day away from their children, or to have a spa day, or date day with their partner. Now you’ll have 8 rug rats for the day screaming and running all over the house, and guess who has to keep up to make sure they are not climbing on chairs, tables, laundry machines, grabbing a kitchen knife, or run out the back door, and down the street. All of this at once? That’s right. It won’t be mom lol. And then all the little rug rats want to go to the nearest park to play a game of TAG, and of course, “your it”. You’re the one running after 8 kids all day. Then when they are all picked up by mom’s and dad’s, time to rest right? Nope Wrong, you’ll be cleaning the house and probably have to make dinner for the family, do the dishes and get junior ready for school tomorrow, all before you have to leave for work at 4am , did I mention your sweet little bundle trips and needs a stitch just as your putting him/her to bed, yup off to the hospital for 4 hours back at 2am, no time to go to bed now it’s almost time to go to work, Think you can keep up? Lol.
Take into consideration, your partners physical condition as well, you do not want everything to fall onto your hands and responsibility, it is a team effort and your partner needs to physically be able to help.
So for me I thought it was a good Idea with my partner to give myself a timeline for getting pregnant. I had a plan that I wanted a family with my partner after weighing in on all my musts.
Once I decided that it was a good idea then I said to myself and my partner that we need to have our child conceived before my 45th birthday. I thought that this would be “my” cut off date (45) I believed (for me), and everyone will of course have their own cut off dates that make sense to them, that I am in good enough shape to be able to keep up with a child during my 40’s and 50’s and then when our child reaches teen years I would be slowing down just as he or she doesn’t need me to be as active anymore. I only knew this because I already have 2 kids with my previous marriage and have the experience to know what to expect.
This gave us 3 years to try and conceive our child. Get mentally and physically prepared, Remember that just because you want to have a child and you think it’s what you both want more than anything in the world, doesn’t mean it will just happen when you want it to.
For us we got pregnant last year and it ended up not being a viable pregnancy, that’s right, we lost our first child. Be prepared for this, it’s a reality. Be prepared for a miscarriage. This will take time to heal, both physically, and mentally for both of you. This could add additional time to your timeline. I hope for everyone’s sake this never happens but it is a reality. It can damage the most strong of relationships. I find that this is a topic that has not been openly discussed in past years, it’s not until recent years that miscarriages have been more openly talked about. Did you know 1 in 5 first time pregnancies end up in a miscarriage? That’s a %25 chance of a miscarriage in your first attempt.
As a dad you are expected to be your partners rock through it all. Remember I said being a dad is a thankless job. I wasn’t lying. I was only allowed into the hospital to be told our child was not viable and had died. I was brought into the hospital to console my partner just before they gave us the news.
Afterwards, everyone is so upset for your partner and not one person ever says to the dad to be, that they are sorry for your loss. They only console the mother to be.
Yet you (the dad) are the one that is there for your partner, mentally preparing yourselves for months, sometimes years, you get excited to be having a child, and starting a family together, you are the one beside your partner through it all, then you have to be beside her witnessing her excruciating pain both mentally and while the meds kick in to do their job.
In our case neither of us were actually told what to expect after my partner was given a few pills to take to make sure she had extracted our unborn child. I apologize for the detail here but as an older dad this was something that happened and was absolutely shocking to say the least. This is something that I personally did not prepare for. However, if you happen to be in this situation, please be prepared.
My partner took what was prescribed by the doctors and sent home to do it there. You need to be prepared to watch your partner in excruciating pain on all fours extracting your unviable pregnancy all over the floors. The medications made her vomit as well. We were never told this may be the case nor that there were meds like Tylenol or Advil that help with symptoms, especially if taken prior to taking those pills. There were other options such as an operation my partner could have done instead, however the doctors told us that by going that route there is a small chance we might never be able to conceive afterwards.
Then You (dad) are the one that needs to clean up the mess on the floor and the one that has to make sure your partner is ok through it all. No one is there for the dad that has to be there through it all. But after all of this, her family and friends say to her they are there for her how ever she needs them to be, as if you, “the dad” are invisible. It’s ok tho, she will need support from everyone she loves and are close to. But silently you know, you are her rock.
Being a dad, and partner, is not an easy job in any way shape or form. My only advice is to do your research and get yourself ready in every aspect you can. There will always be things that come up you did not research but if you learn as much as you can, then you will be ahead of the game.
My partner and I also went through extensive health testing with (our now, soon to be here) baby during this pregnancy to make sure our child will be healthy as well. We did this because I did not feel I was in good enough mental state to take on a child with special needs as they need even more active parents and I felt I was not in that good a mind set or physical shape, to support a child of this nature. However I am also prepared that if for some reason all the testing is wrong that I am in a position and prepared to take care of our child regardless of his/her mental, or physical state, and financially as well.
Preparing to be a dad is a tireless job it never ends. And the funny thing is, you won’t want it to. You will want to do all the research you can because you have this uncontrollable urge to be the best partner and dad you can be for you, your partner and your soon to be child. You find your not doing all this work for recognition but because you love your partner and your family as it grows. That is your thanks. And it’s quite satisfying to be honest. It really gives purpose in ones life. Not that you didn’t have purpose before but this is quite an unbelievable feeling. Indescribable really.
Creating a family is also maybe the most rewarding feeling one can ever experience. The excitement is incredible, and the bond between you and your partner will become so much stronger than you ever thought possible.
These are just some of the questions a dad to be must ask himself before the decision to bring a life into this world becomes a reality.
If you think you are ready then I wish you the best of luck and I would absolutely recommend becoming a dad after 40. Lol
James Mathias. (DAD)