Life as a pregnant father is a little scary and a lot wonderful. On one hand, what's going on seems totally out of your control. On the other hand, there is such joy in knowing that you helped make a baby! And, as a man, people expect you to be strong and macho, but there's so much to worry about and so many feeling that you'd like to share. There's just so many emotions to go through - not too stereotypically manly, I guess.
When I found out that my wife was pregnant, I went ballistic. Even though we'd been trying for two years to have a baby, and even after all the miscarriages, I was mad. Real rational, huh? I just wanted to give up after all we'd been through so far. It took a few days for it to sink into my oh-so-very thick skull that this was a good thing. Then I was happy. Well, mostly happy.
Then, I had to worry about things like, "Gee, is it okay to have sex with my wife, or is it going to hurt the baby? If I wasn't careful, would that child be born with a dent in the top of it's head?" Well, fortunately, common sense, and plenty of reading assured me that this was not going to happen. Which brings me to my next point.
Men: Do your homework! Read pregnancy books, and attend childbirth classes with your wife. My personal recommendation for a good book for the men to read would be The Birth Book by William and Martha Sears. It's pretty neutral about how you should have your baby (natural or not; in a hospital, birth center, or at home) and will certainly give you an better idea about "what to expect" than a certain other book.
Childbirth classes really helped me a lot. It helped me be more in tune to what's going on. And, they gave me more of a clue about what was to be expected of me at the birth. All my wife really wanted to share with me is how much she wanted to puke all of the time, but when we got to class and could focus more on the pregnancy, I did get a better feel for the whole process. It really feels good to be a part of your child's life, even before it arrives.
I don't know about other men, but I spent entirely too much time worrying about everything. Robin was ready to kill me every time she ate. She knew I was thinking about how much protein, vitamins, minerals, and fat she was getting. I couldn't help wondering if she was getting enough fat and protein to grow the baby's brain. Okay, so I worried too much. That's part of being the daddy.
We just want the best for our babies! They're a reflection of who we are. So, even though we might drive the moms a little crazy sometimes by being the "food police," it's only because we care. The moms can live with that, because the daddies' hearts are in the right place.
When it comes to the actual birth, just be prepared and educated. Of course, you should be prepared for just about anything. There's no telling what might happen. But, remember that it is important for you to be strong. You can be most helpful by being supportive. Make sure that you and the mom discuss, in great detail, how you want the birth to go. If she tells you beforehand that she doesn't want an epidural, even if she's in pain and screaming, "Give me drugs now!", then you will know not to grab the anesthesiologist at the first sign of discomfort. Even better, write down the intentions you two have in a birth plan. If it's in writing, and your doctor approves, you'll be much more likely to get your way in the hospital or birth center.
Oh, and when the mother of your child looks at you with a hateful look and screams, "You did this to me, it's all your fault!" just remember what she really means is, "I love you and I'm so happy to be having your baby!"