Great news!! You just found out you’re going to be a dad! I am so happy for you but I would like to take a moment to explain something. Your wife is going to change into a she-beast and then back to her normal radiant self….several times a day. She is going to swell up and leak out all over the place. She can’t control any of this and may expect a lot from you. It’s ok! In this very special post I have teamed up with my hubby for some insight into the male perspective on this crazy journey. Here are some things you need to know if you’re going to survive this pregnancy with a sound mind.
1. PATIENCE. According to my husband, having patience with your wife is the most important aspect of getting through this! Your wife will send you 10 different texts during your own long and tiresome work day, each text containing it’s own extreme emotion, some of them might even be aimed at you. When you finally get home, none of the things that were bothering her are an issue now. The next day the same thing will happen only this time she is still crying over the cute puppy she saw and is upset that you would think she was over it by now. And on and on, for months. It can wear you down trying to keep up with her state of mind. But just when you feel as if you have had enough, remember that she is experiencing this too and has no control over the hormones driving her body right now. It was frustrating for my husband at times but it was frustrating for me too. I knew I was acting irrationally and I couldn’t help it. My husband was monumentally patient with me. He did not take things personally, he let me vent, and met me with positivity. For me specifically his patience came in the form of a long hug during a rough time. Maybe your wifey isn’t into hugs. Maybe for her it looks like making a cup of tea, or a long drive or a positive word. “You are an amazing mom” helps to calm the storm within a lot. Not only did my husband have to be patient with me in terms of my mood swings but he also had to literally slow down for me. My husband likes to be on time or early and is a big fan of efficiency. Unfortunately the inability to walk at even a normal pace came early for me. Taking stairs was an even slower process and this was endlessly irritating to my husband. He obviously knew that I was trying to keep up but it took time for both of us to adjust to this slowed down pace. One of the ways we helped to work around this is that I would get up earlier and get completely ready to leave before even waking him up. He gets ready in about 3 min flat so in the time it would take me to put on my shoes he would be ready to go. This worked for us because we were both able to go at our own pace. I never felt like I was holding him back and he enjoyed showing off his ability for speedy sleep-to-door times.
2. Your wife will undoubtedly get upset about really weird things. There will come a time when she will be raving mad about something you simply do not understand. For my husband this became apparent when I could no longer “perch”. Throughout my life I have “perched” on tables, chairs, and countertops. When I brush my teeth or put on makeup I sit on our bathroom counter with my legs tucked in fetal position. Of course getting a belly and losing my balance made this an impossibility and I was torn up about it. Having never “perched”my husband did not understand why I would be frustrated that I couldn’t sit on a counter. Your wife probably doesn’t “perch”, I know I’m an oddity in that, but there will be something that gets to her. Maybe she can’t wear her favorite nail polish, use her specific hair dye, run up the stairs, eat sushi, sleep on her stomach, whatever. It’s ok to let her know that you don’t understand but that you support her and are sympathetic to her woes. “I don’t get it, but I’m sorry” is a simple line my husband would use for me and more often than not it would make me feel better.
3. Cravings do happen. I was never quite sure when I was having a “craving”. Sometimes I would think “ice cream sounds good” just like I normally would but now that I was pregnant it was automatically categorized as a craving. For some reason this bothered me and one day when my husband asked if me wanting in-n-out at 1am was a craving, I exploded. I went on a several minute long rant with steam rolling out my ears and fire in my eyes about how I had no idea what qualified as a craving and what didn’t and what is a craving anyway and why does it only matter when I’m pregnant and how dare he ask!!!!! He was patient with me and then went and got my cheeseburgers. I was so very happy when he came back and I conceded that it probably was a craving. Your wife may be like me and understand that while she REALLY wants a food, she can go without. Or your wife could think that her life absolutely depends on eating a whole jar of pickles RIGHT NOW!! Wherever she lies on this spectrum be prepared to get your lady the things she wants and understand that her cravings may change. Most of my pregnancy I wanted fast food burgers but I also had phases of wanting ice cream, bananas, or pickles. That being said, it is okay to say “no”. Most people have told my husband that he is crazy or that he was mean by telling me that I could not have the grease soaked Mexican food I wanted. I would suggest that neither of these descriptors applied to him because his reason for denying me my craving, the health factor, is a good one. If your lady has a craving for sushi or alcohol, it’s probably best to say no. If your wife is struggling with this may I suggest you join her. She can’t have her six cups of coffee anymore? Try giving up coffee as well because nothing would be worse than seeing you indulge in something she so desperately wants. You could also opt to make these “no go” items a point of celebration by having a victory meal after your baby is born. I quite enjoyed my ultra-greasy food and horchata that my husband had some of his buddies bring me while I was still in the hospital.
4. Things get progressively worse. In the beginning of a pregnancy your lady may feel exhausted but by month 9 she will have been exhausted for ages which is exhausting in its own right, she’s no longer sleeping more than an hour at a time, sitting, standing, and laying down all hurt, a tiny human insists on jabbing her ribs, she can’t breathe, has to pee all the time, has severe “pregnancy brain”, etc. the list of symptoms just stacks up as you go. This may lead to a cranky or whiny wifey who isn’t that fun to live with. And if all that sounds bad, it is, but you get a kid out of it! A tiny perfect human. You get to feel those little kicks as your young one strengthens and coordinates its movements from inside the womb. You may get to feel it’s hiccups. You can hear a heartbeat and see the ultrasound. All of those things happen further along, not right in the beginning. And of course seeing your wife go through the months of slow degradation will remind you just how much of a B.A. lady you married.
5. You get to have sex! Apparently this was news to my husband and he’s not alone. Many men and women think that once you are pregnant you can’t have sex. You will NOT “poke” your baby. Your baby will not have memories of this. It will not start premature labor. Now whether or not your lady wants to have sex is a different story. Some ladies are so turned off during pregnancy you’d be a fool to get anywhere near her but other ladies are horny all the time. And of course this too could change depending on the trimester or even the day. You may have to change things up a little depending on how far along our wife is because of a giant belly or joint pain she may be experiencing but why not have a little adventure and fun in your life, right?
PAUSE: There are some specific conditions under which you cannot have sex while pregnant and your doctor will let you know if these apply to you. Depending on your circumstance it could be for a little bit or for the duration of the pregnancy. Sometimes doctors call this “pelvic rest” so if your doctor mentions this be sure you know exactly why and for how long. If you have questions about what you can and cannot do, simply ask.
6. Medicine gets intense. By this we mean that when your wife is pregnant you will be at the doctor’s office a lot. At first it isn’t so bad with month long gaps between visits but by the end your wife will be seeing her doctor every single week. Not only does the amount she is seeing her doctor pick up but the visits themselves may not exactly leave your little lady feeling great. The first time I ever had my blood drawn was when I was pregnant so tiny ol’ me sat down not knowing what to expect except that a needle was about to go in me. They took 6 vials of blood. Maybe not a big deal to some folks but you guys have to understand that I’ve never given blood before, go into shock pretty easily, and have fainted at the sight of blood before. Those few vials made me woozy so much so that I had to drink orange juice and wait 20 min before driving home. And what seemed like a big deal at the time, having any blood taken, was no big deal by the end because they were taking my blood so often (thanks anemia).She is weighed and vitals are taken every visit. She will leave a sample of pee just about every time she goes in. And I can’t even tell you the number of things that will get put up your wife’s vagina. Fingers, swabs, ultrasound wands, a speculum, etc. all the freaking time!! Then of course there is the grand finale of actually giving birth which is a whole other level of crazy. If you have questions about all that medical stuff, ask your wife and if she doesn’t know, ask her doctor. Note that it isn’t imperative that you are at every visit with her but agreeing beforehand on which visits you should be at might help later on. Figure out if you want to make as many of them as possible or if just seeing your baby on an ultrasound once is good with you. Run this by your lady so she knows what to expect from you and see if she is okay with it.
We hope that you learned something and feel more prepared to go through this pregnancy with your wife. Best of luck!!