Pregnancy: A First Time Dad’s Point of View

I love my 54-inch HD TV. Vibrant colors, excellent pixel quality, fantastic sound and complete awesomeness.

Still . . .  it cannot compare to my doctor’s black and white, poor quality, low-tech, 13-inch monitor on which my wife and I got the first glimpse of our growing baby.

That first ultrasound is the best show to watch, though you won’t find it on cable.

Pregnancy: A First Time Dad's Point of ViewIt is definitely the one episode no first time dad-to-be should miss – this is the moment pregnancy ceases to be an abstract concept, and you get to be part of your partner’s experience. By the time of your first doctor’s visit, she has already been carrying your child for a few weeks and may have already experienced the good, the bad, and the nausea… But for you, this will be the first of many great moments you will be able to experience with her.

Ultrasounds are far from HD quality. At first, you cannot quite make out what exactly you are looking at. But don’t worry, that won’t matter, because you’ll be amazed by anything you see. As your baby grows, it becomes easier to distinguish her/his body parts. During the ultrasound, your technician will look at your baby from different angles and measure her/his body parts and internal organs, including the brain and the heart.

Seeing the heart and brain for the first time is breathtaking.  It’s a very surreal moment.  If feels like the rest of the world fades away and you are caught in suspense waiting to see what the monitor will show next.

In this moment, you will have many thoughts running through your head, but the most important one, is that you are going to be a new father.

As the father, you don’t have much to do during the ultrasound, except watch, but you can still make yourself useful. A great way I found to do this was to ask questions about the ultrasound. And don’t worry – there are no dumb questions! To start, I just decided to ask the technician what she was looking for. I also asked about the development of our baby and how it would develop during each trimester. My questions were followed by some very interesting answers. Asking questions was a great idea and really helped to break the silence in the room. This can be very useful for parents, especially if it’s the first child.

If you are interested in knowing the baby’s gender, you will have to be patient and wait for the second or third ultrasound to find out. This was something my wife and I really wanted to know. We didn’t have a preference in gender, but we thought it could be useful in getting ready for the arrival of the baby.

Pregnancy: A First Time Dad's Point of View

I had read somewhere, that there was a slight chance that we could determine the baby’s sex at 13 weeks. I asked our technician if we could try and check, and I was told that it was too early for a definitive answer, but that she would try and look anyway. I guess the reading paid off, because we were able to make a 90% accurate guess, which was confirmed as the pregnancy progressed.

I will keep those of you who don’t already know in suspense for now. I don’t want to ruin the end of the story!

Your first ultrasound will be one of the most memorable moments in your life – especially as a new father. The most important thing is to remember to relax, have fun, and make sure your doctor prints out some pictures for you to add to your photo album.

What was your first ultrasound like?

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7 Responses to “Pregnancy: A First Time Dad’s Point of View”

  1. casher May 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Congrats Dad!

  2. Jess May 2, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    My partner almost missed our first ultrasound because his boss held him up when he was trying to leave work. The ultrasound was already underway and he walked in right after I’d already heard the heartbeat. Thankfully, the technician was nice enough to bring it up again for him. At 13 weeks, we asked about the gender also. We were told 60% girl/40% boy. The technician even gave us a photo that had “Girl” typed out on the screen. At the next ultrasound 5 weeks later, we learned that we were expecting a boy. Good thing we remained open-minded!

  3. Megan Roe May 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

    Adorable. Can’t wait to hear all about the up-coming firsts!

  4. Melissa Parlaman May 2, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    if you really want to see the baby in better detail, you may want to get a 3D/4D ultrasound. I did that for both babies & I now have it on DVD–so cute!

  5. Karen Hartzell May 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    Great first post, Dan! Looking forward to many more! Love reading about the dad’s point of view. :-)

  6. Pascale May 4, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Adorable post! I’ve always thought dads are born when the baby is born… but I see dads too, go through all the wonders, suspense and first moments that moms go through – well, minus the nausea. Keep writing papa!! :)

  7. The Leuthardts May 5, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Our first son, Howie, was amazing. We found out at 13 weeks that we were having a boy-very hard to miss the “turtle”. It was the most amazing thing we’d ever seen. He was born at 39 weeks and is now the most wonderful 3 1/2 year old little man. Due to a miscarriage a year ago (my 2nd one), we decided not to try for another one for “awhile.” Fortunately, God decided that 1 year was long enough and I am now 13 weeks pregnant. we had an ultrasound last Friday, but unfortunately, we didn’t spot the “turtle” or the “lines” of a little girl. But again, due to our loss last year, the experience was just wonderful. I had grieved for so hard for our lost little one that I forgot the joys of having a healthy happy baby and getting good news. The tech was hysterical as she poked and prodded our little Diva or Divo – because the little one just didn’t want to be on the little TV. I was made to walk around and do jumping jacks (I had even drank a can of orange soda before we went in to give the baby a sugar rush!) just so we could get better measurements. All normal, all healthy, all good. To the New Dad and your lovely wife (I miss you guys so much!) – congratulations and good luck!
    All our love,
    Leia, Rob, Howie and Baby #2
    P.S. Thank God that we don’t have film cameras anymore! You will literally take 1,000′s of pictures of your little one and thank goodness you can just empty the SD card!! We would have gone broke on film!!