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About 12 weeks the uterus rises above the pubic bone then women begin to show they are pregnant rather than just feeling ‘fat’. This also has an impact on men. By 24 weeks the uterus has risen to the belly button.

Men are ruled by their heart and their chest even though they’ve been told they are ruled by their …. (put whatever name you call it). During this early ‘showing’ men begin to realize they have impregnated a woman and feel ‘Now ‘I’m going to be a dad’. This does not mean that the early conflicting emotions and physical changes all disappear. They never do even when your baby is born!

This second phase of pregnancy for most dads-to-be is the beginning of reproductive pride … ‘I’ve gotten a woman pregnant’ (hidden language … ‘I’m fertile’). This is a huge, huge feeling inside of your heart. Getting a woman pregnant and seeing her belly grow is just such an amazing and often overwhelming experience. This is also the time when you really realize that there is a baby (your baby) growing inside. Even though you can’t yet feel your baby (12 weeks …nor can the woman) the uterus is growing and that connects you to your baby. You have made a baby. What an incredible, phenomenal and earth-shaking personal awareness.

Women are lucky they can now go around the world with their pregnant belly announcing ‘I am pregnant’. She can tell people that but imagine a dad-to-be saying:  ‘I’ve gotten her pregnant, that’s my baby’. That is definitely not on the cards for expectant fathers in most societies. Sort of sad really when you think about it.

This means you don’t have the same ability to shout to the world that you are reproducing. You need to find other ways to acknowledge this. A great idea for yourself or with your partner and maybe family and friends is to make some sort of ceremony! Perhaps get online and write about it. In fact, write to this blog and tell your story.

Touch and feel

At twelve weeks you should be able to feel the top of the woman’s uterus right above her pubic bone. It will feel about the size of a big orange or small grapefruit. Every week from now on the uterus grows. Every week your baby grows. Every week you are growing closer to ‘being’ a father. Every week you should feel how much the uterus grows. By touching the uterus specifically you actually get to know how rapid this change is. Just putting your hand on the woman’s belly is not consciously finding the top of the uterus and then learning about the oval shape that will have developed by 24 weeks.

At twelve weeks the pregnant woman in your life does not feel the baby inside yet your baby looks just like a human baby and the placenta (afterbirth) has fully developed. Keep going back to this website and seeing how your baby is growing each week. http://kidshealth.org/parent/pregnancy_calendar/week1.html.

Become inspired

When you keep track of how your baby is growing via the growth of the uterus at this point, this will inspire you to do whatever personal work you must do to grow yourself into your new roles as a man, partner, and dad-to-be.

Every pregnant woman and father-to-be has to evaluate many aspects of life … from work to income, health care, choices about birth, parenting, relationships, places to live, etc.

Becoming a father or mother removes you from being a ‘child’ in society. Being a child in modern society is very different from living in traditional cultures where children work as well as play. In modern societies, childhood is often a time of no or very little responsibility. Whew!

Any child can be brought up in any culture and the only way a child knows what is expected is if they are taught. At the present time, modern children are taught very little about being an adult. If this is true for you or the woman in your life then you have a very steep learning curve over the next few months.

Your bottom line

One important thing for you to learn is this. You will not be raising a ‘child’. You are raising an ‘adult’ who is going through their child phase. How does a child learn to be an adult? They learn best by doing what is expected. When children only play or have access to money without any responsibilities they actually think that this is what they will do as adults.

Head to Udemy for all the Fathers-to-be Pregnancy Academy courses. Then at 24 weeks of pregnancy, come back here for the online birth classes and start with the birth preparation and birth-coaching skills … all developed by hundreds of dads and moms.

Birthing Better skills are housed in Common Knowledge Trust.