In my previous post I shared the 4 main lifestyle changes since becoming an expectant father. It didn’t take too long for me to figure out what does it really mean when “she’s expecting”. In
addition to expecting a child, she’s also expecting a lot more from me!
This week I will discuss the 3 biggest changes in her.
It was not too long ago when our family and friends gathered together to celebrate our union. That day we promised to be there for one another in good times and in bad. When looking her in the eye and saying these words, I didn’t expect that “the bad” times will be here so soon. This might be a little too dramatized, it’s not that bad all the time, but sometimes it can be.
Women change with pregnancy – that’s no surprise for anyone. I was well aware of the fact that she won’t be the same girl she once was. I guess I hadn’t really thought of (or prepared myself for) the ways she will change.
5. She’s worrying about “stuff” all the time
This may be due to the fact that when becoming an expectant parent you start thinking more long-term than you’re used to. One thing is sure – there’s a lot more worrying going on than there has been before.
First, there’s this never ending concern if we’re ready to become parents. I have it too, but definitely not to the extent that she has it. Never ending list of what ifs starts with:
- What if we’re not ready to give up our previous life style?
- What if we don’t have the skills to take care of the baby?
- What if we won’t be “good parents”?
and it goes on with things that are (almost completely) out of our control:
- What if something goes wrong during the pregnancy?
- What if there’s something wrong with the baby?
Only time will tell, if we’ll “make it” as parents. To be honest, I don’t think we are ready to become parents, just yet. Who is? And what does being a “good parent” even mean. During one of the classes we took in the hospital, the midwife said, as long as you’re keeping the baby alive, you’re doing alright. I think we’ll figure it out!
Second, there’s this constant concern that our living arrangements are not up to par in the light of our new reality. We haven’t done almost anything to baby-proof our home. I’m not convinced that we need to make any major changes. She can’t really point out anything specific either, but she has this feeling that something needs to be done.
And finally, being pregnant means that there are a ton of decisions to be made or at least conversations to be held. This is something that I feel is lacking as well. We have decided what type of birth we’re planning on having (natural vs epidural vs planned C-section, home-birth vs hospital birth, etc). I also know that I want to be there during the delivery, but we still have a lot of things to discuss. I could write whole another post about all these decisions and conversations.
6. The hormones (aka all the other non-physical changes)
These are all the other changes – all the emotional highs and lows; which we’ve had plenty of. To be fair, I feel that we’ve had quite easy pregnancy… so far. I’ve read couple of pregnancy related books and browsed some forums online, and fortunately she hasn’t turned into completely irrational emotional wreck. So, I am thankful for this.
However, I’ve had plenty of things to get accustomed to. I hate to sound sexist or “too manly”, but this is my blog and I can’t find any other explanation than hormones to a lot of these things. To start with she’s constantly hungry (no weird food cravings, fortunately), she gets tired easily, sometimes she’s unpredictable, she can also be quite moody, etc.
One of the biggest changes that I’ve noticed is that she’s A LOT more assertive. She used to be mellow, and it was more important for her to get along with or please others. I don’t know if it’s the (soon-to-be) mother’s protective instincts or something else. Either way, since becoming pregnant she usually has an opinion and she’s not afraid to express it. She’s also a lot more hard-headed about these opinions. On top of everything else it’s hard to (read: impossible to) compromise with her. When we end up compromising, it means I end up losing. E.g. if she decides, she wants to stay home for holidays, we’re staying home. If she prefers the more expensive washing machine to the cheaper ones, guess what we’re going home with… the more expensive one.
7. Physical changes
This might sound the too obvious change to talk about, but yet it needs to be mentioned. To me women have always been and most likely will be more conscious about their appearance. Becoming pregnant has not changed that in her, vice versa – it has amplified it. The transformation itself is natural – woman’s body will go through some massive (pun intended) changes, some more welcomed (e.g. bigger breasts) than others (overall weight gain). I personally have never panicked about this.
One frustrating thing about her weight gain is that she has nothing to wear! And this is not another “Oh, honey! I don’t have anything to wear for tonight” situation, when her wardrobe has plenty of things in it. This is the real deal – from one point on, she doesn’t fit in her old clothes any more. All the marketers know exactly where the money is – pregnancy clothes are ridiculous! They’re ridiculously expensive, plus they’re extremely unpractical.
As a guy, I don’t have any issues with wearing the same jeans for couple of years. So, to buy something (extremely overpriced) that she can literally wear only for couple of months sounds outrageous to me. I understand there are plenty of online communities for preggos to buy and sell used clothes, but it really does not help when she makes the discovery the very night of going out!
Granted, her physique will never be the same, but neither will be mine. The most frustrating thing about all of this is how she feels about her body. It doesn’t matter how often or what I do or say, she’s still worried about it. After all, when she looks in the mirror, she sees her pregnant body. But in the “real world” everywhere she goes she sees pictures of photoshopped women with visible abs and tight bodies. All the magazine covers, movies and music videos – no wonder women have issues with their self-image. Some women act like cellulite was a plague – once you have it you’re doomed.
Let me burst a bubble here – my wife is not as attractive as she was before the pregnancy! There you have it! I wouldn’t want her to remain like this for the rest of her life. However, there is something special about my pregnant wife. Some call it the pregnancy glow or this may easily be from my own hormones kicking in (men have them too, you know). After all, my woman is carrying my seed. On a good day, she’s absolutely irresistible.
Bonus material! I promised you bonus material every time and today is no exception!
Let me throw in a bonus point for you – it’s natural that what’s going on in the bedroom will not be the same either, but usually no-one talks about it. It’s hard to say what the changes can be for someone else. It depends on so many factors: her hormones, your own libido, additional stress related to the pregnancy, to name a few. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be in the doghouse for the time being, but the new routines take time to get used to. I decided not to pressure her, but rather go by her wants and desires – easier for both of us.