Did you know that women can still get pregnant at the end of their period? Well, we didn’t.
Something was amiss. Symptoms unbeknown to us were staring at us in the face. While having a quiet cocktail at a bar at Bondi beach my wife’s hair burst into flames! Yep, actual fire. She was close to a candle but not that close. The moon cycle was definitely playing games with her and something was brewing. And by the way honey, your boobs are massive at the moment!
God knows why her hair was more flammable than normal but we were convinced later on that it had to do with the spike in hormones she was experiencing.
Sitting on the couch after doing the test, my wife burst into tears and sobbed…
“I don’t want to be pregnant, this is all your fault!” followed by a long pause and then “can we still go to the party tonight”?! Needless to say we didn’t go.
Our unexpected pregnancy caught us off guard but subsequent to the initial reaction, we were thrilled at the prospect of parenthood. Planned or unplanned, we learnt there is an unspoken path we all explore in figuring out the hardships of losing one’s self, a sacrifice of our freedom for the next generation. Despite our unexpected pregnancy, the Period Diary APP (which I have and use to keep track) still works well, just beware of the flower days.
The loss of self-identity for expecting or new mothers is profound. The door shuts abruptly on the life you knew, literally the moment that stick pops up with double lines! There is no respite for mums with newborns sucking on their boobs day in day out. It is relentless. Our partners deep-dive into motherhood is a real challenge for us men too and the isolation experienced is a frequent topic during times of adversity in parenthood.
What have we done? We’re not ready to be parents. I don’t know how to hold a baby, what the hell are we doing! We don’t own a house, is my income going to be enough to survive on? Is the baby going to be healthy? Can we still have sex? Is it true about the jellybean jar??
Pregnancy puts the magnifying glass over your relationship and propels the midday sun at full force, turning it into Iron Mans laser beam and slicing open the guts of your gory issues. Don’t waste time to talk tackle and make sure you’re on the same page – or near enough. Survive this and you’re on the right track.
The first trimester is a soft launch for the new norm. Plenty of sleep, partying stopped – period. A great opportunity to detox and spend some quality time with the wife. The calm before the storm.
Getting through the 12 weeks ALL CLEAR zone is a milestone of sorts. The cold front from the deep arctic is coming but still being in the warm summer sun is disconcerting. It still doesn’t seem real.
And then, that magic moment. Feeling your child move for the first time in your partner’s womb. Holy shit. The lightbulb is on.
Ok, it’s real now. How can I help? Where do I fit in? Tell me what I need to do.
For me, the key in dealing with unexpected pregnancy was being an active participant and getting onboard for the ride.
A few points;
- Read up on the Wonder Weeks APP and engage with your partner
- Answer the call of her food cravings
- Buy lots of dates
- Listen patiently to the daily download of pains, queasiness or fear of what’s ahead.
- Be guided by your partner on birthing classes and make sure the date/s are in your calendar with a very loud reminder.
- Be reassuring
- Limit beers at the pub with your mates and go the movies with your partner instead
- And learn to bloody cook!
Nothing can prepare you fully for parenthood. Expect the unexpected, be dynamic in your thinking, embrace the challenge or sink in the deep end.