A friend told Julie and Tom about Life’s Options, Julie scheduled an appointment and reluctantly Tom came with her. Julie had kids from a previous marriage and another baby wasn’t in the plan when she and Tom got together. It definitely wasn’t what Tom wanted; not now, not ever he said. He didn’t have any intentions of taking the chance of recreating the kind of relationship he and his dad had. However, here they were with a baby well on the way and their own relationship on shaky ground. The truth of it was their relationship wasn’t built on much besides physical attraction and that wasn’t proving to be a solid foundation on which to start a family.
Tom was blunt. He didn’t want to be a dad, he wasn’t sure he wanted to be in the relationship with Julie long term but he couldn’t just walk away at this point. He was angry with the position he’d gotten himself into, a position that would change the rest of his life.
Tom and Julie come back in the months that followed. We discussed issues they were dealing with in coming to terms of having a baby together, parenting, expectations, fears, and relationships among other things. They gained knowledge about infant temperament, fostering good sleep habits in an infant, how to deal with a crying baby, and even practiced bathing, diapering, and dressing a baby with life-size baby dolls. Julie confided that she had struggled with postpartum depression following the birth of her other children so we were able to watch and discuss a video regarding that concern and encouraged her to speak with her physician as well. Tom listened intently and asked for ways he could help Julie. His heart was softening. They took advantage of childbirth classes taught by a licensed childbirth educator through the pregnancy center and felt prepared as the time approached for the baby’s birth.
Their baby came a few weeks early but was healthy and thriving. They called from the hospital to give us the news and days after being released they stopped by for us to meet the baby. Tom carried the tiny bundle in the palm of his hand, snuggled on his shoulder. His smile said it all.
He was an elated new dad!
Parenting isn’t easy and relationships can be difficult. Tom and Julie decided to parent separately but were committed to communicating effectively and providing a healthy environment for their baby as they figured out their future.
Life’s Options welcomes dads to participate in the pregnancy journey too. Education is a great way to bond with the baby and feel included in the process. We encourage you to check out all the free resources at Life’s Options!