There are many things that people don’t really seem to talk about before you have kids. I don’t know if that comes from a place of not wanting to scare you or a fear of judgement of themselves. However, something I wish someone would have warned me about was how different pregnancy is for the man and woman. I had thought that WE were getting pregnant and that we would go through everything together. Instead I just ended up feeling alone in my pregnancy.
During The Pregnancy – Feeling Alone In My Pregnancy
Now I don’t know what your life was like before having kids but mine was certainly very different to what it is now. We were young and earning good mining incomes. Every spare minute we had we travelled and with an even time roster that meant a lot! With zero responsibilities our days outside of work were spent eating and drinking in various locations all over Australia and the world.
It was such a huge shock to my system once I became pregnant. It was a planned pregnancy so it’s not like it was a surprise but literally overnight my main focus changed from being about me to being about the baby I was carrying. Instantly my priorities changed.
Overnight Everything Changed
Everything I did every day I had to consider how this would affect the baby I was carrying. For one, my normal job was out as I worked in a high-risk area. In an instant, I was moved into a new position in the company. One I had no idea how to do. I no longer saw the people I had worked with for years, the friends I had made. I even changed roster so now didn’t even have the same days off as my husband. I suddenly went from feeling like I was great at my job and filled with confidence to an insecure person who was surrounded by people I didn’t know and doing a job I had no idea how to do.
Not only did I have all the changes at work to deal with but physically things were so different too. I had to think every time I picked something up if I should be carrying it or not. I couldn’t eat what I would normally eat, Friday after-work drinks with the crew were obviously out and I had the worst morning sickness imaginable. Trying to learn a new job when you are running to the bathroom every 20 minutes was pretty difficult. This was not at all what I was expecting.
Not Everyones Priorities Had Changed
I think the hardest thing to deal with during my pregnancy what the fact that absolutely nothing had changed for my husband. My entire life had been turned upside down and he just carried on as normal. From the minute I found out I was pregnant to me we had a baby right there and then. For him, it meant he had 9 months to do all the things he thought he wasn’t going to have time for when the baby came.
All of a sudden he was partying twice as much as before and of course instead of me being out with him like before I was now sitting at home. I had to get used to the fact that I was exhausted, even if I wanted to go out and do things I was just so tired. I was going to bed on my own which was something that hadn’t really happened before in our marriage. I felt disconnected, like we were living different lives. I was making all of these sacrifices and he was running amuck! I was really starting to worry whether he was going to be the father I had hoped he would be.
I Felt Disgusting – Feeling Alone In My Pregnancy
One of the most exciting things about being pregnant is when you feel your baby move, especially for the first time. I still remember clearly the first time I felt our little boy moving around. I couldn’t wait for my husband to finish work so I could let him feel it. When he walked in the door (late in the evening) I was so excited and made him sit straight down so he could feel. Of course, though the baby didn’t want to move then.
We tried multiple times again after that and eventually he got to feel it. I was expecting this rush of emotion as I had but it wasn’t anything like that. In fact, it was the opposite, he was totally weirded out by it. As the months went on and the bigger I got the more weirded out he got by it. I didn’t know at the time but I was having an almost 10lb baby so towards the end, we could literally see every time he moved as a bum or elbow would protrude from my belly.
Nothing Was Ready & It Was Time To Leave
I was getting so excited about when the baby would arrive. I couldn’t help to talk about it, planning out everything. There was no excitement from my husband though. He was more preoccupied with doing the fun things he could before the baby came. I had got to the point where I had really started to wonder whether he even wanted this baby. There was no excitement or enthusiasm, he just kept telling me he would be excited when the baby was here but not yet. I felt so alone.
We lived in a remote town and so we had made the decision that I was going to head to the nearest major city where our family was for the birth. I had nagged and nagged for months about getting the nursery ready. I was so excited to start putting it all together and seeing the beautiful space we would ring our son home to.
The time had come when it was time for me to fly out of town to await the arrival of the baby. The nursery wasn’t even painted! My husband assured me he would get it done while I was waiting for him to join me. All of the things I had bought for the baby were just sitting in the nursery still in boxes. The furniture wasn’t put together, nothing was ready. I left on the plane and I had to trust that he would have it ready.
The Time Had Finally Come
Before my due date, my husband came to join me. The nursery had been painted and set up. I don’t think he dared to arrive having not done it as by this stage I was pretty over it. The time finally came for me to go into labour. I had waited a long 12 days overdue.
My husband was amazing throughout my labour. I honestly don’t think I could have done it without him. All of my worries and fears washed away the minute I saw him holding his son for the first time. I could see the love and pride in his eyes. From the moment our son was born, he was exactly the father I had hoped he would be and more.
The reason I wanted to share this story is I allowed a preconceived thought of how my husband should behave during my pregnancy to pretty much ruin it for me. I compared us to other relationships instead of focusing on the good in ours. I know he was far from perfect throughout my pregnancy but this was a huge life change that was coming for him also and that’s how he chose to deal with it.
My husband is a wonderful father and I should never have doubted his capability to be that. However, I honestly don’t think men realise how much a significant change pregnancy is for a woman. Men see having a baby as the day the baby is born where women have a baby from the day they are pregnant. I wish it was something we had had more conversation and understanding around beforehand and then maybe I wouldn’t have been feeling alone in my pregnancy.
Molly Lancashire Is the Mum to two beautiful children, Connor & Elsie. After experiencing postnatal depression and anxiety Molly created Motherhood Unplugged. Molly wanted to create a safe space for other mums to seek support and to not feel alone in their struggles.
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