Written by Donat a/k/a The Vegan Hubby
The “horrors” of pregnancy are all well documented in TV shows, movies and even by family and friends. However, there is a side of pregnancy that seems to be completely overlooked and grossly underrepresented, the beautiful side.
As a first time father-to-be and basically the first one of my friends to have a pregnant wife, I did not quite know what was in store for me. My guard was up and I was getting prepared for the worst because the only information that I did have came from stereotypes and television. Common perception seems to be that I should have expected an overly emotional, unreasonable, demanding and half crippled pregnant wife. What I came to find was basically the exact opposite. These “common” expectations were so far off that it’s rather astounding really!
Considering the several billion people currently alive, I feel like there should be much more accurate information available for both men and women. Perhaps it is the small percentage of women who have a rough pregnancy whose voice is heard more often and more readily remembered. Maybe it just makes for better TV and stories if lots of drama is involved. It could be that people’s expectations are off going into pregnancy or even that some women just use pregnancy as a get out of jail free card and letting their inner child take over. Whatever the reason is, I think it would be incredibly beneficial for both men and women to hear a positive first-hand experience instead of the usual drama fest.
My wife has shown resilience, flexibility and incredible (physical and emotional) strength thus far in her pregnancy. There have been no emotional outbursts, I have never had to drive to the store at 2am to get pickles, in fact, there have been no incredible cravings and I certainly have not had to run around tying her shoes for her. She has been mindfully eating superbly nutritious foods and exercising constantly, which has only made things easier and more pleasant for her. She has been very level-headed the entire time despite the dreaded “pregnancy brain”. Yes the brain does get rewired during pregnancy but not in the way that most people think, there is no dumbing down. The pregnant brain gets a slight decrease in ability to multi-task but in return it gets a boost in emotional intelligence such as facial/emotional recognition, which is obviously super important for raising a newborn that cannot yet speak their needs. My experience has been a wife that is more caring, loving and supportive than ever before. The most recent complaint has been that I “do too much”. Yes, not only have I not become a personal servant but I have literally been asked to do less.
It should be noted that from what I understand, every pregnancy is different and what is true for one is not necessarily the case for another. I personally know someone who at less than 30 weeks refused to walk up one flight of stairs for her job and has had her husband put on and tie all shoes for her from about week 25. However, she has also been an unpleasant person at the best of times so I don’t think she is a good example to compare to. Pregnancy seems to bring out the inner truth from the person. Pleasant people get even more pleasant and for better or worse, the reverse also rings true. Quick tip/solution: Do not marry unpleasant people!
There is also, of course, the physical beauty of a pregnant woman. It’s not something that I expected beforehand about pregnancy but I regularly look at my very pregnant wife and am struck by how pretty she is, including all the new aspects of her. She is just as beautiful now (or more!) as she was before we got pregnant. It is understandable that women worry their husbands will not find them attractive and vice versa but I can safely say that is not the case. You two are on a wonderful journey together and the love only grows so be comforted in that regard as well.
At the end of the day, you just have to realize that it is a pregnancy and things are not going to remain the same… and that’s okay. Yes she has had some aches, pains and discomforts but that is a sign that her body is adjusting to growing new life within her and she has never let the nuances ruin her mood and spirit. And yes I have been on solo kitty litter duty since before we got pregnant. Sure I have had to pick up the slack in certain areas of our lives. There have been times when I finish work completely exhausted and realize that she is just as tired as I am if not more so since she works AND is growing a baby. But the beauty of it is that all of a sudden I would get a huge burst of energy and whip us up a delicious meal. Things like this have also given me a new understanding of what it means to be a man. Making sure someone is being taken care as much as possible is humbling and extremely rewarding. It is an exceptionally manly thing to be the protector and provider of your pregnant wife and it feels amazing. Putting someone else’s needs first is also great practice for when the baby comes because there will be a lot more where that came from.
There is no particularly good way of prepping oneself for what pregnancy may bring, but knowing that it will be completely different and probably much better than the social standard should be reassuring at the least. It is something that people have been going through for thousands of years and if it was really all that bad, people would have gone extinct a long time ago. Going into the experience with some faith, and a flexible, open mind is the best way to go. It’s going to be great!