How do first time Dad's handle the news?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2004
How do first time Dad's handle the news?
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 9:48am
Hi Everyone!

I'm very new, just confirmed my (first) pregnancy with an at home test and I'm in a bit of shock. This wasn't a planned event but I'm crosing my fingers and hoping for a happy, healthy pregnancy.

I need a bit of guidance and since its so early, we haven't told anyone about this pregnancy and probably wont for weeks. So, I'm going to have to depend on the kindness of others here to see my way through this brand new territory! Thanks in advance for any responses.

My question is, what are some of the reactions that any of you have experienced with your husbands upon hearing the news? I think his reaction can be summed up just like shock. We found out yesterday and he was in a bit of daze the rest of the day. I spent considerable effort asking him questions re: what he was feeling. We discussed what a big life change this will be and he never seemed to verbalize exactly what his concerns/feelings are. But - it definitely wasn't undeniable joy. AND....he's been the one to insist that he does want a child when I was ambivalent about it. Seems wierd that now that its here, I'm getting on board and he seems to be waffling.

I'm finding this reaction unnerving. Am I overreacting? Do first time dads react with shock, or joy, or a combination of this and other emotions??

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2003
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 10:14am
I think it's normal for men to react with mixed emotions.

When I told my husband he didn't say a word, just had this kind of joker-like smile on his face. And I didn't push him at first to talk about it because I knew he was in bit of a shock. So I let him sit with the news for a while. By the next day he was able to talk about it, and he was excited.

We weren't actively trying to get pregnant, so it was a wonderful surprise for the both of us. And now that he has heard his daughter's heartbeat and seen her ultrasound pics, he is in love. He couldn't be prouder.

Give your husband time, it'll slowly start to sink in. And just be there for him and understand his feelings, concerns, and fears. It'll take a little getting use to for the both of you.

But congrats on the positive test, and I wish you a very healthy and happy 9 months!
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-02-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 10:38am
I'm going to second the last poster's responses--and yours for that matter regarding silence. When I told the father of my baby he was also in shock, and silence is definitely a prevailing attribute right now. I can completely understand how unnerved you are, and it probably won't get better before it gets a little worse. My advice would be not to spend days at a time interrogating him, give him some absorption time in between. This has been effective for me in trying to determine what the REAL reaction is, since silence can mean so many things. Who knows, he may just be adjusting to the fact that you're finally getting on board and it's all really happening. Oh, and the ultrasound pics will help enormously. Even in a recent heated argument, the father of my baby recited my LMP date from memory--which tells me that that really had an impact on him.



edd 3-20-05

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 11:00am

My DH and I weren't planning to get pregnant either. He was ecstatic! Much, much happier than I was. I cried for a couple of days and he couldn't understand why. His confidence in me and sincere happiness was what made me move forward with only positive thoughts.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 4:39pm
I got the same reaction. I'm not married, but my significant other and I have been together for over a year and were talking about having a baby (I'm divorced and not really up for marriage again - phobia). I told him the news and it was like your guy - he acted completely shocked and although he said he was happy - that really wasn't coming through in his actions. As time has gone on, he's becoming more and more interested and involved and he's starting to 'look' happy. I think its just a natural reaction for them. He swears he was happy all along - but I didn't think so - now I think maybe I was just paranoid that he wouldn't be and because he wasn't ooozing out joy I felt he was less than supportive. Remember your hormones are off the charts right now and its easy to get upset and pick him apart. Tell him your concerns, if he says he is happy, try not to doubt it? Just a thought.


EDD 1/31/05

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 6:33pm
Thanks everyone. Your responses are much appreciated. (and congratulations to all of you, too!)

Your responses have put my mind at ease a bit. Maybe I've watched too many cheesy commercials made by those pregnancy test people! I did spend time yesterday trying to discuss his feelings because I didn't want him to think or feel that his thoughts are not a concern to me. We are both having a baby - and I don't want him to become overly concerned that somehow he now has to change but just to realize that he'll be someones father in addition to who he is....not a total description of what his life will be like. I might be crazy but I want our lives to change only as much as is necessary and now it will just be the three of us - not two.

I have backed off - I'll wait to talk about it when he brings it up. We both need time for the news to sink in and I expect that we will experience a huge range of emotions from here on out.

Thanks again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 7:42pm
Well, let me tell you about my hubby. Im 5 weeks and just found out 2 weeks ago. Anyway, I was shocked. I think all first timers do that. We have been trying for a year, so we are happy, but when you see the results you freak out.

Dont be a bit suprised if your hubby doesnt crawl into a shell and live there for awhile. Mine was happy but not over joyed. He acts as if its no big deal. Which is also the way he acts at Christmas time. Ive been having a rough few weeks bc of his behavior but I think I can deal. We all go through things diferently, and men dont always tell us what they feel. They are real bad about keeping it in.

As far as you. You are probably feeling shock and also a little "what have I done, "I dont want this". Im saying that and Ive been trying for a child. I dont take any of it to heart. I know that as the months go by I will feel better and be happier. Im real sad right now, but its just the mood swings. Its ok to not feel joy right now. Its perfectly normal. I bet if you ask around you'd find that alott of moms felt like that at one time.

As for your hubby, remember hes the man of the house, hes the protector,the provider. He probably feels like theres alott on his plate right now. Just hang in there.


29/NC/5th week

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 8:41pm
This is our first baby also. We were trying for only 2 months and BAM! A positive HPT. My husband Eli was surprised much like yours sounds like- he was definitely in a daze and shocked. Gradually though, he's become more and more excited and supportive. He looks at me for long, dreamy periods of time sometimes. It's pretty cool. In fact, this week he's taken to talking to my belly!

I bought him a book called "The Expectant Father" to help him understand what I'm going through and to also support his journey as a first-time Daddy. He reads it on his commute on the subway and says it's been really helpful. Anyhoo, give your hubby some time...I'm sure he will come around, especially if he wanted kids as you said. I think the "reality" of pregnancy is easier for us to feel as we women are the ones carrying the baby.

Take care,


EDD 3/12/05

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-14-2004
Mon, 08-09-2004 - 11:11pm
My little one was planned, so we were of course estatic. However, he was slightly less ecstatic that I had woken him up at 5 a.m. on the first week of his leave to take the test. I went in the bathroom and said, "Come get me in 3 minutes." 10 seconds later, both lines were pink. I sat in shock at first, then went back into the bedroom. He looked up at me and I said, "Well, I guess sometimes it doesn't always take 3 minutes." He smiled, and dragged me back into bed and said, "Good. Now go back to sleep, you're gonna need it." LOL! The first reaction really doesn't mean a whole lot. My friend's DH was not very happy when he found out about her pregnancy. They weren't financially ready, and now live in his mom's trailer, but they're happy! He ADORES his boy, too! Within days he went from shell-shocked to happy/excited. DH and I have met up with fears, also, as he's in the middle east. You take each one as they come; you cry about it together, and then support one another. You'll be fine!


Proud Navy wife to Reggie

Soon-to-be mommy to Annabelle Ivy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2004
Tue, 08-10-2004 - 8:27am
just one more to help you out hopefully. we weren't really trying either and i was so shocked when i found out. we both kinda looked at each other like, now what? i think we're still both in shock and overwhelmed by the whole idea of becoming parents. it's not that we never wanted kids, but sometimes we said we wouldn't. it's just so many things to take in at once. i think he's starting to warm up to the idea more, but i think it will be more real once i start showing and we hear the heartbeat, etc. seeing the tiny belly bean for the first time helped to make it more real too. i wish you the best of luck with your pregnancy. i'm sure he'll come around. just give it time to sink in :)