comox valley pregnancy

D is for Dad's - Adjusting to Fatherhood

Jace Pierson reflects on the wonderful + overwhelming adjustment into fatherhood, and his advice to other dads on how to survive, support, and savour each moment. 

When my wife was pregnant I forgot to imagine what it going to be like once this tiny human would join us. There was a lot of fun stuff like shopping, planning and pintrest-ing. Prepare yourself to spend some money! But as much as we planned, we found that we were heavily uninformed and unprepared. We had little in the way of friends with kids to ask, so making a birth plan became an intense few months of research. The first year has been a whirlwind of wonderful and overwhelming, so let me share a bit of my experience with you….

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Once our amazing baby girl was born, Meal planning quickly became the bane of our existence. It always seemed like we just ate but now we were h-angry at each other again. We ate a lot of take-out for the first while. (that's how I got this epic dad bod and mildly depleted savings). 

Sleep patterns were out the window and stress coping and memory becomes difficult when you're always tired and h-angry. And guess what? There are no more time outs, it's 1st down with 6 months to go!  It was overwhelming at times, but the amazing parts truly outweigh the hard times; like that first smile, and the pure joy of making your little one laugh for the first time. (I recommend tickles)! You start to see things in a whole new light: your kids light, and it’s almost as though you too are seeing it for the first time. 

For the year to follow the birth of my daughter I saw my wife more than the years she was not pregnant. Yet I found myself distanced and I missed her very much even though we were always together. As a husband, I found this to be one of the greatest challenges; I love my wife beyond belief and I live for time we spend together. 

As men when faced with difficult times, we tend to put our heads down focus elsewhere and push through until it’s over. Those first months of parenthood are no different.

 

If I could offer any advice to new dads its to stay present, and stay the course. 

 

Your child might not want that much to do with you for the first while and demand the attention of your partner, and that's okay. So what are you supposed to do? 

It’s your job to be there for mom; she needs you to be present, to be attentive, to fill in the gaps of what she no longer has the time or energy to do; this was the best advice I got from a good friend and I pass it unto you. 

Get your hands dirty! I have heard a few dads complain about changing their kids' diapers, how gross it is "I have a bad gag reflex and cant handle it". It’s time to MAN up friend (or should I say wo-man up, mom just birthed a human. If it comes down to who is tougher... She is). With the exception of breast feedings your roll and responsibilities are as equals.

Does this change when mom goes back to work? Sort of. 

Now that my wife is back at work, we are continually striving to find the balance between being a parent and maintaining our former life. Some days it works, and other days are a just a mess. It's constant growth, and as long as the communication stays open and you continue to have each other’s back, you will make it through in one piece.

Good luck & Have fun, it does go fast!

Jace is a father and husband, passionate about his family, friends, and the beautiful community of the Comox Valley that he calls home. Jace works as an advisor with Sunlife Financial, and is a warm and enthusiastic resource for individuals and families exploring their options for investments, education saving plans, and much more.

For more information you can visit his website, or contact him directly at jace.pierson@sunlife.com.

 

5 Early Signs of Labor

Early labor can be an anxious and mysterious waiting game - Is this it? What was that? Does this mean it's happening?!??! There has been many a mother who has made herself mad, questioning and googling every twinge and change in her body in the days leading up to labor. When the time finally comes, you will know, just like they say you will! There are, however, some tell-tale signs that labor has begun or is just around the corner: 

Why 'Doula' Is What I Do

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I remember the first time I was exposed to the world of “doulas”. It was before any of my babies were born, and I only hoped to be an expectant mother some day. A friend of mine had just given birth, and I was introduced to her “doula” during a visit at the hospital with her new baby in arms. The brief conversation we had about the support she provided left me believing a doula was a labor masseuse! Who wouldn’t love that?! I didn’t realize the extent of what a doula actually did, and why my friend was raving about the incredible help her doula companion was, during what had turned out to be a long and complicated labor.

Fast-forward a few years; my husband and I were preparing to meet our first child, doing what most pregnant couples do – childbirth education classes. The prenatal instructor teaching the class was an informative and passionate doula. She prepared us for birth in a way I don’t imagine all prenatal instructors would. I remembered seeing in her in action during my pre-labor hospital tour, and admiring the job I knew she was there doing. My interest in this profession grew over the years, and I became convinced that this was important work that I was created to do, and needed to do.

Doulas are nothing new to the birth scene; their work is a centuries old practice. They’ve been getting more attention and exposure in recent years, and for good reason. Historically, this type of continuous support through labor was a normal event; it has now become the exception. Parents and health professionals are rediscovering the benefits of doula care both through personal experience and research. The Cochrane Review is one of the largest studies, which uncovers the huge benefits as result of continuous support in childbirth. The outcomes of doula supported birth include reduced rates in length of labor, higher rates of spontaneous vaginal birth, reduced chance of cesarean birth, and a greater satisfaction with the whole birth experience. 

My own passion comes from my experience and understanding of the positive effect a doula can bring to birth. Many women have incredibly supportive family and partners who can and will provide irreplaceable care through the birth process; others do not. My role is to compliment whatever circle of support that exists, share my knowledge about birth, and prove continuous physical and emotional support throughout labor. My role is very different from that of a primary caregiver, whose utmost focus is to ensure a safe birth for both mom and baby. I get to help hold the space in which life is being welcomed, fostering a supportive atmosphere where the mother and her partner are honored in their wishes for this experience, and made to feel safe, capable, and cared for. 

This is the work I love; using the hands and the heart I’ve been given to care for women in the ways they need most, helping them to see they are strong and able as they bring life into this world.