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First Time Dad

(416 Posts)

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DC905210 Sun 14-Jun-15 08:06:15

Hi everyone, sorry to invade Mumsnet, I can not find anything of much use on the Dad's side of things.

My wife is 4-5 weeks pregnant, and she does not want me to tell anyone until the first midwife appointment I understand the reasons for that (lots of people to tell if something goes wrong etc) but there are two elements of it I am uncomfortable with / frustrated at.

Firstly I work for a very small company where you can just tell if something is on someone's mind there is a calendar month today before the appointment. Is it normal to sit in an office with two other people (who incidentally I 100% trust to keep it to themselves) for a month pretending nothing is happening?

Paired with this the company is very flexible and such as the first midwifes appointment they would almost certainly let me work for home and fit around it but instead I will have to take a day off (which I assume for a new Dad could come in handy later on) to pretend I am doing something else. For what?

Secondly, she does not want to tell any family.

Between us we don't have Dad, they have both passed away and we do not speak to her Mum. My Brother has a two y/o little girl and a little boy due in November and I have a lot of stuff to ask him, my Mum as well will be our overriding principle support in everything we need help with, it is reasonable that I should accept not telling them for another month? They too are 100% guaranteed to not tell a sole.

It is not like (god forbid) if something did go wrong we would not bother telling them, the point is just lost on me.

Please don't take this as a moan of like "poor men" or anything but we don't have the support that woman have. I have read frightening sounding things about labour for example and I am anxious about it. I don't want to start adding to the pile of worries that my wife has about it but I am just expected to live with it for a month.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 14-Jun-15 08:13:54

Well neither I nor DH told anyone until after our 12 week scan, I think that is fairly common. We then told parents/close family and friends. I can understand why she wouldn't want you to tell work colleagues at such an early stage (I don't actually think DH told anyone at work until I was past 20 weeks!).
I understand that you have questions/concerns etc but pregnancy is a pretty long slog and there will be plenty of time/opportunity to find out about labour etc later on (maybe look into antenatal classes?)

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 14-Jun-15 08:15:05

Also you mention men don't have the support women have, but she won't be telling anyone either will she? In which case you will be each other's support in the early days.

VashtaNerada Sun 14-Jun-15 08:18:17

It's normal to be excited and I can understand that 12 week appointment can feel a long time away, but I really would be careful before telling people too early. Not everyone knows just how early 5 weeks is and they might tell others which does make it more tricky if things don't go to plan. Having had two early miscarriages I'm glad I didn't have to cope with explaining to others on top of everything else. I did tell very close family at around seven weeks though, but not work.

Can you have a pretend doctor's appointment and explain straight after?

And congratulations flowers

mrsfazruns Sun 14-Jun-15 08:30:07

I got my first BFP last year and DH and I decided not to tell anyone!! I then miscarried and I needed a lot of support so had to tell people anyway!!

I am now 10 weeks and all is going well! After an early scan at 6 weeks DH wanted to tell people! This is his first and he is so so excited when we saw the heartbeat that I agreed to tell a few use people!! Family, friends and work colleagues have all known from 7 weeks and the support has been incredible!!

It's a personal thing as I know many couples keep it from everyone untill after 12 weeks! Maybe speak to your wife and come to an agreement that you feel more comfortable telling work and your brother and the reasons why! If something does happen then you will need their support anyway!! Good luck and really do hope you have a sticky baby .... Congratulations

DC905210 Sun 14-Jun-15 08:49:42

Mrs Fazruns,

That is exactly what I means I have two work colleagues, one of whom is the MD of the company, who himself has two very young kids who will support us from the point I tell them (and I know will not tell a soul - I also work 50 miles away from home and the have not yet even met or spoken to my wife).

We get private healthcare through my work too, I can't ask about the pregnancy support for that until after we have got a scan that we could probably have done quicker or more conveniently privately? It's bonkers.

And like you say what happens then if someone bad does happen? You start asking people who are not engaged until the point you tell them something is wrong at whatever time of the day the thing happens?

I simply can not fathom the point.

Minor on the scale of things but we are off to Mothercare today to buy a load of books my brother will almost certainly have. I am not on about telling the word etc but I can not think of one rational reason why I would not tell my immediate support network.

DC905210 Sun 14-Jun-15 08:51:20

Oh and congrats Btw :-)

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 14-Jun-15 08:53:19

Well then if you think it's irrational you need to be talking to your wife about it, not mumsnet. We can't change her mind for you.
On the work colleague front, many pregnant women don't tell anyone at work until they're past a certain point. I'm sure if they can manage not to give it away while going through morning sickness/fatigue/body changes then you can too.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 14-Jun-15 08:56:27

I agree with you on telling family. We told family at 6weeks, I'm just approaching 12 weeks now.

I recommend the book commando dad, my husband is finding it very useful.

PotteringAlong Sun 14-Jun-15 08:57:27

You sound a bit intense here. Your mum and your brother are not your main source of support, you are each other's main source of support. You have got a long long way to go before this baby arrives, you need to take a few deep breathes.

Oh, and most private healthcare doesn't include maternity services. You can rung your provider and ask without having to ask work.

sianihedgehog Sun 14-Jun-15 08:59:57

It's a sort of tradition not to tell anyone until 12 weeks because of the risk of early miscarriage. Just to give you a sense of how common it is, 20 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage in the first 12 weeks.
That said, I told everyone straight away. I felt like you, I desperately needed to talk to people about this huge exciting and terrifying thing. And when I DID miscarry at 10.5 weeks, I was so glad I did tell everyone because I was a mess and really needed them to offer support and cut me some slack.
If your other half would rather not tell anyone, I think waiting at least until the first midwife appointment at 8 weeks is actually a good compromise. With this pregnancy I didn't want to tell everyone, I felt like I'd be pushing too hard for sympathy if it went wrong again. So I waited until we'd had healthy scans showing growth and a heartbeat, at about 8 weeks. The risk of miscarriage plummets after a heartbeat is seen. I also said that we could each confide in one or two close chosen friends so we weren't as stressed. Maybe your other half would agree to that, too?

MissTwister Sun 14-Jun-15 09:03:10

Private healthcare through work is extremely unlikely to cover normal pregnancy scans and often doesn't even cover pregnancy complications.

Have you also considered the fact it would perhaps feel a bit odd to your wife to tell two people you work with that she's never met she's pregnant when she hasn't told anyone close to her or maybe got her head around it yet? For the appointment just tell them you have a doctors appointment surely its not that hard?

It's very normal not to tell people until the 12 week or even 20 week scan but more importantly I think you need to talk to your wife. Pregnancy is a long and hard slog and you need to agree on some fundamentals as well as understanding this is about the both of you. Work colleagues just aren't that important. And she doesn't sound like she has a family support network - so you are it.

curlii103 Sun 14-Jun-15 09:03:31

I told my close friends and family straight away and regretted it. They were all too excited where as I wanted the scans and things over before I could feel excited....A month really isn't a long time you have another 30 to tell people!!.If you don't want to buy books get them out the library

SweetAndFullOfGrace Sun 14-Jun-15 09:10:18

It's completely normal not to widely announce until the first trimester is finished. About 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage and people really don't know what to say when that happens; from what I understand from friends who have been through it you only want close friends and family to know if you need support while grieving.

That said, telling close friends and family before that is normal but it is a personal decision when. DH and I wanted to keep it to ourselves for a while as we adjusted to the idea, some people tell the world as soon as the pee is dry on the stick. It's something you really need to agree with your wife. Just DO NOT make a unilateral decision on this - it's her pregnancy so she gets greater rights on this one re decisions.

You should be able to contact your private health insurance company without telling your work? It's basically impossible to get insurance for routine pregnancy in the UK though, so you probably won't be covered unless there are problems.

Congratulations smile flowers

chopsface Sun 14-Jun-15 09:10:30

Congratulations on the pregnancy by the way :-)

Your wife will be anxious at this early stage as the risk of miscarriage is still very high. Initially I was dead excited and wanted to tell my mum immediately but my hubby talked me down. We thought it easier just us to know if anything went wrong. We didn't want to break happy news only to replace it with sad news if the worst happened. We ended up telling our parents at 9 weeks after we had booked a private early scan at 8 1/2 weeks to reassure us everything was going well.

I do understand the excitement and I told my hubby, tough I'm telling my best friend ;-) Maybe she will come round and allow you to confide in your brother a bit earlier. But until you get permission just enjoy your news together as a couple. Good luck!

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 14-Jun-15 09:11:21

I know I sound like I'm being harsh but when I think back to how supportive my DH was of my wishes when I was at that stage and felt sick/exhausted/nervous/worried about the changes in my body, it bothers me to think about someone potentially being pressured into telling people when she's not ready.
40 weeks is a long slog (I am currently 37 weeks with my second and trust me is drags). When people knew, I felt like my body and my pregnancy became almost public property. It was nice to have a bit of time without people knowing and treating me as a pregnancy rather than myself.
The people you are talking about telling are support for you. You and your wife should really be each other's main source of support throughout the process.

SweetAndFullOfGrace Sun 14-Jun-15 09:12:07

Oh, and in terms of hiding it. You need a good poker face. It's not that hard. I hid being pregnant from my work colleagues for 20 weeks. And I was the one who was actually pregnant, not just a pregnancy I knew about.

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sun 14-Jun-15 09:12:26

Oh and there are plenty of free online resources you can access re early pregnancy, books aren't a necessity.

mrsfazruns Sun 14-Jun-15 09:15:34

I think every couple is totally different!! DH and I went to babies r us after our 6 week scam as I was so excited and there was a baby hat that looked like a fox (which is the mascot for the rugby team he plays for) and he "accidently" sent a picture of it to his WHATS app group of ALL the rugby lads!! I was mad for about 4 seconds then realised how excited he was!! And the lads have all been so supportive to him AND me!!

Maybe telling the world isn't the best option for you but talk to your wife and come to a compromise!! BUT be prepared to get annoyed that people actually know .... Some family members want to know every single little daily detail and update!!! X

LurcioAgain Sun 14-Jun-15 09:17:51

Congratulations to both of you, DC.

It's a difficult one. FWIW I felt as you do - if the worst had happened I knew I would have needed the support of those around me.

Unfortunately there are lots of these issues in pregnancy - to tell prior to the 12 week scan, to find out the sex or not, etc... The issue is not who's right and who's wrong, but who gets the "casting vote". Generally speaking, most couples I know settle on the woman getting the casting vote on the grounds that she's the one undergoing the physical strains of pregnancy (incidentally this was the rule of thumb two lesbian friends of mine, who've now had one pregnancy each, used - casting vote goes to whichever one of them is pregnant). And it is just a rule of thumb - if I for example, had a mild preference one way, and my DH had a very strong preference the other way then I'd definitely be open to discussion, and in this instance might well go with the stronger of the two preferences. Or external circumstances might dictate a differnent approach - if say, I wanted to wait before telling family, but we then found out one of my partner's parents had a terminal diagnosis and my partner wanted to tell them sooner rather than later, well obviously, I'd go with his preference rather than mine in that instance.

Of course this doesn't help you with your feelings of need for support, which are very real (and I do think we as a society do sometimes underestimate what men go through during their partner's pregnancy and birth).

TinyMonkey Sun 14-Jun-15 09:21:06

Sorry to sound unsympathetic, but I can't understand this desperate need to tell people right this minute, pregnancy goes on for, what feels like, forever.

My partner and I really enjoyed having a secret that only we knew. Maybe she's not ready to be seen as a pregnant woman yet, it takes a while to get your head round it and other people, no matter how well meaning, going on about it can get a bit much. The first trimester is a strange time when your hormones are doing weird things, you're exhausted, look like shit, may have morning sickness, you find it difficult to believe it might actually all result in a baby and you're painfully aware that it could all go wrong.

We had a missed miscarriage the year before our daughter was born, which meant that second time around we only told close friends and family at 12 weeks, and then made a bigger announcement after the 20 weeks anomaly scan.

As for needing support if something does go wrong, not everyone feels the need, we had only told a couple of people and I was glad. It helped me get back to normal life far more easily, without being accosted by concerned friends and colleagues all the time. Telling my parents I was pregnant at 8 weeks, only to have to tell them 3 days later that there was no heartbeat was dreadful, I wish I'd spared them the upset tbh. I probably still would have told them about the mmc once we knew, but nothing had been gained by telling them before we knew the pregnancy was viable.

Your work private healthcare will almost certainly not cover anything related to pregnancy.

If your colleagues don't know and have never met your wife, why not tell them in confidence anyway? What are the chances of her finding out?

I appreciate you feel a bit all at sea, but you and your wife can support each other through the next few weeks. Maybe compromise by paying for a private viability scan at 8 or 9 weeks and if it looks ok at that point tell close family?

Good luck.

ejclementine Sun 14-Jun-15 09:21:50

I don't really get your irritation about not telling work. Private healthcare isn't going to add anything to the wait for your first scan and as another poster said, it's a long slog and you'll have plenty of time for questions.

I think it's important to realise how much your wife's body is changing at the moment and to do everything you can to keep her stress levels down. Personally I would find it very stressful if my partner was on at us to tell anyone before the first scan - it's not just the risk of miscarriage, it's also coming to terms with the change (yes, even as a planned and happy pregnancy). As soon as people know they start to ask you all sorts of questions too; 'are you excited' 'what are you doing about work' etc etc. Its better to take a bit of time to get used to things before sharing the news in my opinion, especially as its your family. I'm not sure how close she is with them but it's your partner who is dealing with hormones, a changing body and a lot of questions too.

LittleBearPad Sun 14-Jun-15 09:22:38

You're sounding a bit intense. It's perfectly possible to sit with colleagues and not tell them private matters. I presume you don't tell them everything. It's also perfectly normal not to tell until after the first trimester.

Your private healthcare is unlikely to cover pregnancy but you could ask them directly anyway without needing to tell anyone at work.

This is the time for you and your wife to support one another and to be honest given in a few weeks she's likely to feeling fairly shit (morning sickness etc) it's actually time for you to support her. Maybe tell family if you both agree but not work!

Whatabout Sun 14-Jun-15 09:27:56

I'm not sure you need to go and buy any books, the nhs website has all the information you need and after you've had your 12 week scan you can borrow one if you wish.

You have up to 38 weeks left of this pregnancy to get through, calm down a bit, people have been doing it for all time.

LittleBearPad Sun 14-Jun-15 09:28:42

Finally you've read frightening things about labour... How will discussing it at work help?

You're worried - ask here.

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