Even if you’ve been trying for a long time, getting a positive pregnancy test is a huge deal! It mean’s your wife is pregnant. You’re excited. You’re nervous. You really have no fucking idea what to expect! That’s great and exciting. You’re in for a wild ride.
Here’s the next steps on what to do once you find out your wife’s pregnant, and what you can expect as a husband or partner.
Is This For Real?
Your first instinct may be to dismiss the positive pregnancy test for a bit. Guess what – there’s really no point. In fact, these test are 99.9% accurate, especially if it has been a few weeks since your wife’s missed period. These tests are over 90% accurate even before she was supposed to have her period. The bottom line is that if you took a home pregnancy test and it was positive, you’re pregnant.
The big if is this – the test simply detects the hormone her body emits when there is a fertilized egg. Her body starts producing it very early on, and there is still a chance it won’t be a viable pregnancy. That’s why you still need to go to the doctor to confirm.
Setting Up a Dr. Appt
Once you get a positive pregnancy test, you should setup a doctor appointment between 6 and 8 weeks (or 2 to 4 weeks after her missed period). During this time, the doctor will do a trans-vaginal ultrasound to confirm the pregnancy (yes, that is an ultrasound where they stick the wand up the ho-ha). The cool thing is that this will be the first glimpse you’re going to get of your baby!
It’s going to look like 6th grade biology – a little round circle of a cell, that has a little flutter in the middle – your baby’s heartbeat.
However, this appointment may not be all good news. Many early detected pregnancies are not viable – upwards of 33%. In many cases, you’ll never know – it ends like a regular period even though the egg was fertilized. However, some can go longer, and you may make it to this point. That’s why confirming the baby is essential when moving forward.
Telling Your Family
For all the reasons above, the standard for telling people you’re pregnant is 12 weeks. Once you get past the 12 week mark, the odds of having a miscarriage are extremely low – so it’s safe to let people know. It’s also the time when you can be a little less worried about whether everything is okay, and start worrying about what you’re going to do when you have a little one in a few months.
You just need to be supportive during the whole process. Your wife’s body is going to be taken over by the little guy or girl, and hormones are running wild. You’re in for a wild ride, and you’re going to be surprised by it all. Just be there, as best you can.
Finally, you just need to have a basic level of education about pregnancy and child rearing. Pregnancy is a time of extreme change and its going to impact both your current relationship and your future with your partner. The best thing to do is pick up a copy of Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care. Its a classic that’s had something like nine revisions in the past 60 years, and its sold millions of copies. Get it in paper back on amazon for like $6 bucks.
For help on what to teach your children as they grow check out these articles.
If you’ve been through this with your wife or husband, what advice do you have?