I'll never know what it’s like to hear the words, “I’m pregnant!” out of my partner’s mouth. I can’t imagine what that must be like, or what thoughts must race through the mind. Each time I’ve found out I was pregnant, my reactions have been rather mixed. I’d initially feel afraid and anxious, then, depending on whether I wanted to keep the pregnancy or not, frustration or excitement. I spoke with a few dads who described the moment their partner announced their pregnancy, and their answers were even more varied than what I’ve experienced, or even expected.
I believe it's vital that everyone — from romantic partners to friends to family members to politicians to society at large — defer to the partner that is actually pregnant as to whether that pregnancy will continue. However, I wouldn’t say dads' opinions and feelings aren’t valid (once the decision to become a parent has been made). As a partner, either romantically or simply as a co-parent, I believe the non-pregnant person's opinions and feelings are definitely important, especially if they plan on being heavily involved in their future child’s life.
In listening to the following dads' initial reactions to the news their partners were pregnant, I found it extremely interesting that many dads' first concerns were financial. For me, personally, the realization that I was going to lose complete control over my body trumped any thoughts of my bank account. Still, there's one reaction I think everyone can relate to, and that's that overwhelming feeling of, "Oh, sh*t." Because, well, I don't think a single person, regardless of gender, doesn't get overwhelmed when they realize they're going to be responsible for another human being.