This is going to be a blog about a man’s experience during his wife’s pregnancy. Partly because I am the one writing this, and I am a man. So there you go. If you don’t like men, or blogs, or pregnancy blather, this is probably not the site for you. (God knows, it certainly wouldn’t be the site for me if I weren’t the one writing the damn thing.)
But I’m also writing this because of the way I phrased that second sentence—“a man’s experience during his wife’s pregnancy”—and the fact that I couldn’t come up with another way to say that.
“A man’s pregnancy?” Google that and you come to the fascinating-if-freakish instances of a man gestating, then giving birth.
“A couple’s pregnancy?” After all, isn’t it my pregnancy too? Yes, somewhat, of course it is, but no, not really, at all. I’m not the one nauseated at the smell of pizza dough, unable to smoke or drink wine or even tea for nine months, and swelling like a fruit left in the sun. There’s no real comparison.
But still, there should be something. What is a man’s experience?
From what I’ve gathered thus far, it seems the pregnant man falls somewhere along a strikingly lame continuum. At one end is the dumb macho dolt guilt-tripped into providing the occasional footrub, grumbling silently over the additional chores (“fucking cat litter”), patiently weathering his wife’s hormonal hurricanes, and begrudgingly, if horrifyingly, accepting an imposed state of abstinence. At the other end is the new-age-y, uber-sensitive, perhaps overly involved, and, sorry to say, seemingly emasculated “birth partner.”
Surely there’s more shades and facets than that.
I don’t know. This is our first child, I’ve never had any type of vicarious-pregnancy experience, and there’s a pretty impressive dearth of literature out there (we’ll get into that as well).
I have a feeling that I’ll run the gamut between the two.