They Don’t Joke About Pregnancy Blood Pressure

My wife and I had an appointment with our OB yesterday. 34 1/2 weeks and super excited to hear nothing but amazing news of how great our daughter sounds and how healthy mom is doing. I didn’t consider any option other than that. In typical fashion, with the doctor’s appointment scheduled for 3:15 PM and I not getting off work until 2:45, I was rushing to get there on time. Pulling in, jogging down a few flights of stairs and into the office, they said she had already been taken back. “Through those doors, and the nurse will meet you,” the receptionist told me. I smiled, said thank you, and headed back.

The nurse directed me to the room where my wife was sitting. I walked through the door and said “hey babe,” but I could see concern on her face. “So, my blood pressure’s a little high…” she said. It was somewhere in the ballpark of 150 / 90. Too high. This hasn’t been an issue at all throughout the pregnancy – actually, her blood pressure has improved with being pregnant. Typically she has been running at about 120 / 80. Just about that time, our OB came into the room. She started asking a couple questions, then reached for the blood pressure thingy (super technical term, I know) so she could take her own reading. She didn’t like hers any better than the first one.

They sent us across the street to the hospital to get my wife and baby hooked up to monitors and to do some blood tests. After a couple hours, the blood work came back fine, but our doctor still wasn’t liking my wife’s blood pressure.

So, here’s the plan – bed rest until the baby comes, and coming back into the hospital this Saturday to do another blood panel and check her blood pressure. If it doesn’t come down, we could be looking at a C-Section to get baby out of there. My wife will be 35 weeks pregnant as of Saturday.

My mind and my heart both wouldn’t keep quiet in that moment. “IT’S TOO EARLY” my mind screamed at me. She can’t be ready yet. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Our little angel isn’t supposed to be here yet. She’s going to be so small!

It’s moments like these where I feel God working through my heart, telling me to rest in Him and find comfort in Him. He tells us “Be still, and know that I am God,” (Psalm 46:10) like a father putting his arm around your shoulder to comfort you and guide you. So, I look to Him. This is completely out of my hands, but rests entirely in His. I will trust Him.

 

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Man Camp, and Why it Was Awesome

I had the incredible opportunity this last weekend to attend Man Camp, a retreat for the men of my home church. This thing was stellar. There were epic battles of ping pong as well as 2 straight hours of at least 120 of the 170 men at the camp playing dodge ball in completely epic fashion. There were campfires. There was great food. Most importantly, there was incredible teaching and fellowship with strong, Christian men. 

Man Code #1: A Man Is A Teacher.

Man Code #2: A Man Keeps His Word.

Man Code #3: A Man Acts Fatherly.

Man Code #4: A Man Understands Husbandry.

Man Code #5: A Man Responds to God’s Word.

Man Code #6, A Man Ought Not Go It Alone.

How applicable was this to my life right now? What more do I want than to honor God in everything that I do, and to do so by being the greatest, most loving and respectful husband and father that I can possibly be? Ephesians 6:4 says it best – “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” It’s that simple. Love them. Do not push them away. Bring them up, as in teach and cultivate and raise them, in the discipline and instruction of the lord. 

This weekend was fulfilling to my soul. It charged my batteries and helped me reflect on the areas of my life that need improving. I’m so grateful to have had this chance to learn and build strong fellowship with me.

Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” 

 

10 Things to do with 10 Weeks to Due Date

10 weeks left. That’s all that separates my wife and I from meeting our sweet daughter. And that 10 week timeline is really just a best guest, because if she is anything like her mother, she’ll make her grande debut whenever she dang well pleases.

We’re in the final stretch, and along with this portion of the pregnancy comes other responsibilities and to-do list items. So dads, listen up – there’s plenty to do and not too much time to do it.

1) Get that nursery done. The nursery is an awesome opportunity to do something, to create something, for your soon to be child, and it also serves as a great moment of bonding between you and your partner. Painting, decorating and getting the crib put together are some a few examples of how you will be determing the environment that your little angel will grow up in.

2) Rub your partner’s feet. For some women, swelling hardly happens. For others, it sucks, a lot, and causes a tremendous amount of discomfort. Be the sweet man she needs you to be and give her a good foot rub to try to relieve some of that pressure.

3) Cook more. Time to learn how NOT to burn everything you touch. Look up some easy recipes, or just throw together a good salad and grill some chicken. Little things really add up, and especially if your partner just got home from a hard day of work, let her relax and put her (potentially swollen) feet up and make her dinner.

4) Clean. Dishes. Laundry. Tidy things up. I don’t care how much you hate dishes – and lets face it, nobody really likes doing dishes – it’s time to suck it up and get it done. Make sure things are clean. Make sure she has clean clothes to wear. And just pick up around the house so she doesn’t have to stress about the clutter. (Still working on that one…. sorry baby.)

5) Register for birthing classes. Are you ready for child birth? Because I’m definitely not. Lets face it, it’s terrifying for us men and we aren’t even the ones doing the work. For you and your partner both, it’s an excellent idea to take a class that will help you both learn what it’s going to be like and help you mentally prepare. Check with your OB or the hospital where you will be delivering to get a handle on your options.

6) Start checking off big ticket items. Crib. Car seat. Stroller. You know, the BIG stuff. If you feel you don’t have enough blankets or “oh he/she would look so cute in that” pop into your head, make sure you have those big ticket items in place. Babies aren’t cheap.

7) Put away those baby shower gifts. If you’re having a baby shower, you’re going to end up with stuff. Some of the stuff you will love. Some of it you will absolutely need. And then, sometimes, you’ll get something that quite frankly you just don’t want. Go through those gifts with your partner, decide what’s going where (and what’s getting returned).

8) Time to find a pediatrician. So, your baby is going to need a pediatrician. Save yourself some stress and find one now. Ask friends or family for suggestions of good pediatricians in the area and feel free to interview them. It’s a great idea to know where they stand on certain issues, how they approach things and what you could expect from them.

9) Start thinking about childcare. I know guys, that word is scary enough to make your skin crawl, but you have to tackle it. Talk it out with your partner. What’s the plan? Is your partner working? Will she be returning to work? Will you hire a nanny or go public child care? There are a lot of options, and quite frankly, hardly any of them are cheap. It’s an expensive process. Start talking about it now so you and your partner know exactly what to budget for.

10) Validate your partner’s fears. Fellas, you need to understand that as overwhelmed as you may be, your partner is going to be giving birth. And I have no idea how they do it. Your woman is stronger than she even knows, but she’s likely absolutely terrified right now at the prospect of giving birth. You need to validate those concerns. Talk it out with her. Come up with solutions. Figure out a plan. But don’t tell her just to “get over it.” In no way am I perfect – I’m definitely guilty of saying things of this nature at times. But I have to remind myself how big of a deal this is and how daunting the delivery is on my wife. It’s crucial to support her and be there for her, calming her nerves while still validating that her fears are very real.

So, there you are. 10 weeks left and a bunch of stuff to think about. Things are really starting to ramp up to D-Day now….