Three Dads Discuss The Reality Of Trying For A Baby: ‘I Began To Question Whether My Tools Were Working’
The focus always seems to be on the woman when a couple make the decision to try for a baby, but we can’t forget men who make up half the equation.
Some men might become dads unexpectedly, yet others will be involved in the process of actively trying to conceive.
“My partner and I decided after 12 months into our relationship to come off contraception and ‘try’ for a baby,” Adam Hickmott, blogger at Stories Of A Dad told HuffPost UK Parents.
“I didn’t find it hard. The act of trying was easy, a walk in the park, but it was getting the positive result on a pregnancy test that was the anxious part.”
Adam felt anxious when trying to conceive his son Bobby
Hickmott, 25, who is dad to four-year-old Bobby said with negative test after negative test, he did question whether his “tools were working”.
“I was anxious at the wait when tests kept coming back negative,” he explained.
“I was beginning to wonder about infertility and things like that which made us both stress.
“But in reality we just had set our heart on falling pregnant after buying tests and wandering baby shops. I guess the stress was more about impatience, too.”
The dad-of-one said he didn’t speak to his friends about trying, but did mention it to his brother who was soon to become a dad-of-three.
Although the wait between trying to conceive and his wife falling pregnant was only three weeks, Hickmott admitted it felt like a lot longer.
For others, the act of trying can be a lot less worrying, but that doesn’t mean it’s without challenges.
Torsten Klaus, 37, author of The Empathetic Father is the father of three children – Janosch, seven, Marlo, four, and Junya Rose, five months- all of whom were conceived fairly quickly.
But – the birth of their firstborn was peppered with worry as Klaus’s wife previously suffered a miscarriage.
“It was a big shock when we went for the scan and we were told that the baby had died,” he told HuffPost UK Parents.
“We hugged each other and cried. Then we took a weekend off work and went to the seaside, spending all weekend walking by the sea, hugging and comforting each other.
“With the support from family and friends we managed through that time. We often sat down and talked about our ‘lost’ baby. It helped me to deal with the grief. Until the present day, that baby is still part of our family and always will be.”
Happier times were in store for the couple though. After the miscarriage, his wife fell pregnant within a matter of weeks.
“For the first three months [of the pregnancy] we felt very anxious and fearful,” he said.
“We tried to spend a lot of time together and looked after each other. We went for two scans and felt so relieved every time we were told that everything is fine and the baby was okay.”
When trying for their second child, it was just as quick.
“It was like our minds and bodies knew we were ready for it,” he said, explaining the whole process was “filled with emotions of that feeling of becoming a dad”.
“My wife and I spent so many nights on the sofa talking about it,” he added. “That was what helped me get emotionally ready.”
During the process, Klaus said it wasn’t just his wife he spoke to about it, but he shared his desire and excitement with his family and friends.
“Talking about it made it so much easier,” he added.
Speaking of advice he would give to other men preparing for fatherhood, Klaus said: “I would advise to go back to your own childhood and look at past conflicts, traumas and wounds. Work through your past and learn more about yourself.
“Speak to your own parents and find out why they made certain parental decisions, without judging them. Get emotionally ready to become an empathic father.”
For Nic Stevenson, 32, dad to Eddy, 13 months, actually ‘trying’ for a baby happened a lot quicker than he expected.
Nic and his wife changed their diets when they decided to try for a baby
“We talked about it quite a lot before we actively started trying,” he told HuffPost UK Parents.
“There wasn’t really any feeling of pressure for me. I’m a bit of a fitness and nutrition nerd, so we did both change our diet a bit beforehand which might have helped.
“We had only being trying for a week before my wife fell pregnant.”
Stevenson said he has previously spoken to a close friend about how he and his partner had argued for a long time about having a baby, causing his friend to feel forced into it and not enjoy the process at all.
“Thankfully, this wasn’t the case for us,” he added. “It was a conscious decision and a well-planned one.
“We even decided we’d like to aim for a baby who’d be at the top end of his school year (because I’d read that lots of successful footballers are born in September and October!).
“Eddy was born on 13 September in the end… what I’d not realised then is that means we’ll have another full year of nursery fees to pay before he starts school!”
Stevenson added throughout the process, he didn’t talk to his friends about it and him and his wife kept it to themselves in case there was a problem.
Luckily, a week later, they realised there wasn’t.
To blog on the site as part of Building Modern Men, email ukblogteam@Creativefitnessllc.com. If you would like to read our features focused around men, click here, and for more about our partnership with Southbank Centre’s Being A Man festival, click here.