the expectant daddy, your wife's first pregnancy is a venture into alien
territory for both of you. Her body is changing drastically, and her moods are
constantly shifting from one extreme to the other. The stress and overall wear
and tear of carrying a growing child inside her womb can be a huge burden, and
you may be surprised at the hidden aspects of your wife's personality that
shine through during this trying stage in her life.
She may cry at a battery commercial on TV. She may get angry at the tardiness of the mailman. And, without a doubt, she will turn savagely on you for taking the last cookie or changing the channel while she was out of the room.
As a guy who has no earthly way of knowing what your wife is going through, this will be a test of your strength and patience. Because you can't understand what it's like to have your hormone levels spike and drop and rage and cool off - or what it's like to have a living creature in your stomach that is quite literally feeding off of your bones, teeth, eyes and various other body parts - you may become a little indignant at your wife's sudden changes in attitude.
This, however, is a recipe for bitterness and turmoil. Although you may be down to your last nerve, the job of the husband during his wife's pregnancy is to remain strong and supportive. Yes, she makes random requests for disgusting flavors of ice cream in the middle of the night. Yes, she cries at how much she loves you one moment and then screams at you because you're so insensitive the next. Your job, however, is to support her regardless, because she is going through the toughest and most painful human experiences imaginable.
Essentially, you have no right to be indignant. Get over it, buddy - your wife is creating life, and she deserves to feel wonderful about herself. Here are some ways to make sure she does:
- Get to know how she's changing - There is an
entire universe of changes going on inside your wife on a daily basis now that
she's pregnant. It starts from the very moment the egg is fertilized and will
continue until long after she's given birth to the baby. The best way to
prevent yourself from getting frustrated because of these changes is to learn
about them. Find out what's going on inside your wife so that you'll be more
ready to combat the inevitable. As an added bonus, taking such an interest is
the best way to show your wife that you care about this pregnancy and about her
well being. Read through the trimester descriptions on WebMD.com
to scratch the surface, or visit WhattoExpect.com for a comprehensive list
of pregnancy issue
- Read some daddy books - There are literally hundreds of daddy
books on the market, from the serious to the absurdly funny. Surf Amazon.com
for some ideas, or, if you'd rather just take the leap, pick up a copy of Armin
A. Brott's The
Expectant Father. The book takes you from conception to birth, covering
every obstacle you'll need to jump in between, including finances, getting the
home ready for baby, and, of course, supporting the wife. Sometimes all she
wants is to know that you care, and picking up a manual will show her how
serious you are about being a new dad.
- Bring home gifts - It doesn't matter what it is; just
bring something home for your wife. Sure, roses would work, but even a to-go
box filled with leftovers will show her that you think about her. Make it a
point to do something nice for your wife at least twice a week. You don't
always have to make it a gift, however - any gesture that shows her that you
care about her well being will stop her dead in her tracks. Pick up the house
while she's away, or schedule your pregnancy classes early (like Lamaze, infant
CPR and the like). That way when she tells you during her sixth month that you
should schedule some classes, you can say, "Oh, honey, I did that months ago."
And, oh, how the tears will flow.
- Lie, sorta - You're doomed to this
scenario, just like every other man on the planet is. Your wife, eventually,
will turn to you and ask you a very important question: "Honey, do you think
I'm getting fat?" We
should not have to tell you how to answer this question, but - let's face it -
we're men, and we're bound shove our feet in our mouths if we don't watch each
other's backs. Having said that, you should by no means tell your wife
that she's getting fat, or that she's not pretty anymore, or that you're not
physically attracted to her. Even if you have to lie to her, do not do
anything to make her feel ugly ... ever. In fact, you should be going out
of your way to make her feel pretty. Sex during pregnancy won't harm your baby,
so make her feel sexy. Come on to her. Tell her she's beautiful.
This is your solemn duty as a man, and it's the only duty other than raising your child that will ever truly matter. Your wife is giving you an heir, bringing life into this world - for that, she is more beautiful than she's ever been before. Let her know it.
This is going to be a long, uncomfortable and sometimes painful nine months for your wife, and she's got labor and delivery waiting at the end as a thank you. She's repopulating our race, something that we men depend upon and cannot do ourselves, and she's furthering your bloodline and your legacy. This woman, your beautiful wife, is a hero. It wouldn't hurt you to get off your lazy butt and treat her like one.