Hi, I’m Steve, I’m 35, and am a Civil Engineer with a passion for all things related to infrastructure and major projects. As an engineer I am logical in my pursuit to understanding problems and how best to deliver solutions. My wife and I are expecting our first baby and although we are super excited, I recognized early on that this is going to be a challenge unlike anything I have experienced before.

My wife Emma is in her 2nd trimester and we are loving the adventure of her body transforming and becoming the vessel for our baby to grow and get ready for the big wide world. Although she is the one carrying the burden, I try hard to support her where I can as the physical changes take their toll on her body and become more difficult. I feel I have been able to support her most is through research and reassurance, that what she is going through is ‘normal’. Using the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker App (we find it easy to use), Em and I get weekly updates of baby’s progress and symptoms to look out for. This helps to reassure us the pains, aches, and discomfort is typical based on the timeline of the pregnancy and further reinforces our expectations that this is normal.

We find the Ovia Pregnancy Tracker App easy to use

Helping us along this journey are the women in our lives – mums, sisters, friends, relatives – who rally around Em and provide a constant network of support which is amazing. I’ve also noticed the genuine joy shown (on our behalf) by the dads in our social circle, albeit with less dialogue. The thing is, as an expecting father, I feel there should be a better understanding of what I need to bring to the table to ensure I am providing the best care and support for my wife during this time. I know it’s a personal experience but I’d love for there to be more knowledge sharing and encouragement for the dads, especially for first-timers like me. I feel the amount of information on the internet is overwhelming and I have no idea where to begin. I personally like hearing from ‘real’ people, learning from their lived experiences and sharing my own story which is what I get from pwrmums.

As I mentioned before, I’m a planner and I like to know what I don’t know. At this stage, I feel overwhelmed with what questions to ask or what to even write down – I feel entirely out of my depth. I’m not scared by this amazing new chapter...I just want to be able to provide the love, care and support I am sure you all do for your partners. Here are some of the things that currently boggle my mind:

- Before the baby is born, what are the 10 things I need to buy?

- We are setting up a nursery, what should we consider...cot, changing table, decor etc.?

- Has anyone read and recommend any books on impending fatherhood?

- I’m aware there are many parenting styles of which all have their own merits but can anyone share their experiences with newborns? Any lessons you could provide would be amazing. 

- Em and I are tossing up between She Birth, Hypnobirthing or Calmbirth prenatal classes. If any one is open to sharing your own experiences regarding these classes we’d love to hear from you.

In telling our story I hope more expecting fathers realize they’re not alone in their pursuit to understanding what it is to become a father. We all share an amazing front row seat to the incredible change in our lives and through shared experiences on the pwrmums platform I hope there will be more dialogue shared between all of us to help us prepare for this new and exciting challenge of fatherhood.

Feel free to reach out to me at steven.woodward@icloud.com

Update: I've had a baby boy!