Your Husband Will Never Understand Your Pregnancy


Pregnancy, for a dad, can feel like an awkward office-party where you're the new employee. It's as though you have to paste on a forced smile that you have to wear for months. Not fake, just forced. The feeling is completely sincere -- you are genuinely pleased and happy (if you like your partner and want her to be pregnant, that is, and even sometimes if not) -- but you feel the need to show it outwardly in ways that don't feel natural. 

Unlike the interactions with the actual baby, which come as natural as scratching yourself from the very beginning, at least they did for me, pregnancy is so hard for a man to get his head around that we feel insufficient. And it can make for some marital strain.

Take the kicking.

When first asked to feel the thing -- and really is there a more awkward human interaction than one person's hand on another's stomach? -- you go through several rounds of forced "I think I felt something!" It's like looking at one of those Magic Eye drawings from the '90s. "I see it! I see it! It's penguins, right! No? Crap."  

The upside is, just like the Magic Eye, it's unmistakable when you finally get it. You can feel it in your bones and your soul, just like the joy of finally seeing those 3-D palm trees. But it's fleeting. Because we don't live with it all day and all night. And we have to start forcing that smile again.

Strangely enough, it almost feels easier to relate to the misery of pregnancy than the joy. I'm not talking about the misery of actual birthing, which I long ago stopped trying to even imagine, though I think I came closest when I pictured being repeatedly kicked in the huevos by steel-toed skinheads for 30 hours straight.

But I'm sure pretty sure I've had horrible hangovers that felt very much like morning sickness. The same helplessness, repeated vomiting, I know it well, ladies. But instead of it pleasantly ending six hours later when the third round of Excedrin kicks in, it lasts months and months and ends with a bunch of skinheads kicking you repeatedly.

And there's so little you can do to help your lady, really. Late-night runs to Jack in the Box, where she would never dream of eating when not pregnant, or whatever random-ass spot her cravings take you. Beyond that it's largely words of sympathy and IKEA assemblings, which I suck at. The IKEA thing, not the sympathy. At least I hope not.

I had it easy in one case. I truly found my wife spectacularly attractive throughout the whole baby-belly run, and never had to lie about a thing. All the "glowing" cliches proved true. For men not so fortunate, it adds another layer of awkward when they have to skirt the questions. For me it wasn't fake. Not even forced.

How is your husband dealing with your pregnancy?


Image via popculturegeek/Flickr

pregnant sex & relationships, fathers


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betha... bethany169

He basically doesn't deal with it LOL  He was up front and honest from the first moment with the first baby that it was hard for him to get excited about it because he didn't feel like it was real.  I get that, and I was glad he was honest with me.  My dad has often said he felt the same way.  But DH fell in love the second our son was born, and has been an amazing dad and to me, that's what matters in the end :)

35nma... 35nmama2b

I think sometimes my husband understands what's happening with me far better than I do! I think he's secretly read every pregnancy book out there (and talked to a lot of dads) . He just listens and tells me that I'm completely normal, whilst I think I've lost my damned mind - which I likely have. Maybe he's just faking it, but regardless I love him for it. There's no way I would've made it this far, month 9, without him. His enthusiasm keeps me going some days! Dads, don't underestimate your power, even if you don't get to experience this mess we call pregnancy!

nonmember avatar Allboys

My husband could have written this blog. He felt the same way and I didn't take it as an insult because he also was there for me as much as he could be.

DebaLa DebaLa

Since mine already had 3 children previously, it was old hat. His experience was a great comfort to me. And since we were older (38 & 49) we were a lot more relaxed about it. We'd joke that we could claim we were the young grandparents of our daughter, just for laughs. He didn't love the idea at first (thought he was done with having kids), but fell in love with the pregnancy and baby without all that pseudo-sympathetic mood and weight stuff you hear about. He's a proud papa of what he called his "brood."

Salem... SalemWitchChild

I feel sorry for the women who have donkeys for husbands. Dh is wonderful and his favorite thing at night is to put his hand on my stomach and wait to feel kicks. Wild horses couldn't keep him out of the delivery room. Late night munchie runs, he's not so good at. But then if I really want it I can get off my lazy ass and go get it myself. ;)

nonmember avatar Allboys

Samelwitch, why would you call other women's husbands donkeys, in essence calling them an ass. Not everyone experiences pregnancy the same way. Not every couple has the same dynamic. Who even brought up the delivery room. Though I do have to say the Wild Horse did keep my husband away from our fourth child's delivery due to deployment but I can't fault him for that. I will also say he never once refused to go out and get me a snack.

Salem... SalemWitchChild

The reason I called them donkeys is because if they can make a baby then they should support the mother. Not only physically but emotionally. I'd hope the child is wanted by both parents, and if so, that the man can actually take joy in the process. IMO a man isn't worth anything if he can't share his emotions with the woman he supposedly loves.

As for getting snacks, many woman get lazy when pregnant. Excusing any women on bed rest or extinuating cercumstances, why does it always have to be the man going for late night snack runs? Its not like her legs don't work. They might hurt, but thats no excuse.

lovin... lovinangels

He was great. We're done, now, but I'm sad, because we'd have babies every year if it didn't involve so much food, so many clothes, and my boobs eventually being right around knee level.

Shanna84 Shanna84

Yeah, he totally didn't get it. I don't think it was real for him, he didn't understand how different I was. He dealt with the awkward situations, like going to my ob appointments, by cracking embarrassing jokes. Why can't guys understand that when you have a basketball in your belly, going 80 mph over hills and around curves HURTS!?

Water... Water_geM

he gets clingy

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