New dad's diaries: What if I were to be pregnant instead of my wife
Ever thought being a mum is an easy job? This new dad imagines what it would be like to be pregnant! Read on how he ends up appreciating mums even more.
My kid turned seven weeks old today! For new parents (especially a new dad), it is a great journey. My wife and I were having the evening (or was it the morning?) tea and were discussing the past year.
“There should be some distribution of the work” she said. “One of us should ideally get pregnant and the other should breastfeed!” That got me thinking, what if I were pregnant instead of her. How would a complete role reversal look like?
To be completely honest, I find the whole pregnancy thing a miracle. Everything has to fall in place at the right time to get pregnant. After that, you become superstitious even if you are a hardened scientific egg. You wouldn’t leave anything to the chance when it comes to pregnancy.
I just imagined how things would go if I was responsible for bearing a child.
New dad diaries: If men could bear children…
1# Biological clock
As a new dad, to me, this is the spookiest thing in the life of a woman who is in her thirties and who wants to be a mum some day. When I step in my wife’s shoes, I cannot imagine the pressure she must have been under! Our society expects women to bear the ‘future of the family’ right after marriage. Many of my friends faced a lot of taunts about pregnancy right after their first anniversary!
I do not know if I would be able to handle this pressure. Pressure from people close to me and from complete strangers.I don’t know how you mums do it!
2# Nausea in early pregnancy
I have puked less than ten times in my entire adult life. Even the thought of nausea makes me nauseated! The smell, the after-taste! I cannot even eat properly after a bout of vomiting.
And imagine someone like me pregnant. I agree that nausea varies from mum to mum, but it is inescapable at the end of the day! Even the remedies are very limited because of the growing foetus. From this new dad, hats off to mums who brave nausea throughout pregnancy.
3# Pains and aches everywhere! (This new dad has a low pain threshold!)
In her late second trimester, my wife would call me every now and then and tell me about some funny pain in her tummy. Turns out, it was the round ligament stretching.
The growing uterus needs support and the pain is because the body is accommodating and preparing for the child. But that was not all! There were the Braxton Hicks, swollen ankles, tired feet, low back pain and yes, engorged breasts towards the start and the final few weeks of pregnancy.
I have twisted my ankle once some twelve years ago, and that is the extent of my experience with pain. Oh, and I had my appendix removed, but more about it later.
I have a good tolerance towards pain, but I cannot imagine how distressing these aches would be. Not to mention, distracting. And mums are expected to work as hard as men and there are rarely any concessions given.
Honestly mums, it is not an easy task. Kudos to you from this new dad!
4# The ‘D’ day
I read somewhere that the pain of labour is more than many bones being crushed together. When a man reads something like this, it would let his sphincters loose.
But, someone might say, there is always an epidural, or if needed, a C-Section. Well, an epidural does reduce the pain, but the entire experience is far from a painless one.
Even with a C-section, the surgery itself might be under anaesthesia; but after it wears off, you have to be on painkillers. The pain stays for many weeks and it is there when the mum get up, lie down, turn to a side or even sit down.
I had a surgery once. My appendix was removed. The scar was small, but I was scared to lift even a light weight for two months. And here, you have to pick up your bub for feeding, not to mention changing diapers, clothes and million other reasons.
I honestly cannot imagine myself going through C-section much less labour, even with an epidural.
Whoever says breastfeeding is an easy task is either not a mum or not in her right frame of mind. Ask any mum, it is not as easy as it sounds. The first latch is difficult, and the first few weeks go mastering this. Sore nipples, engorgement, blocked ducts, mastitis! The list is endless.
And you mums still continue to do so. The child cries, fusses, bites and kicks, and you still do it. You feed him many times during the day, and get up at night to do it again! No man would endure this pain. If I were to breastfeed, my child would be on the baby formula within two tries.
Some reflections from a new dad
The simple conversation made me realise that I may consider myself fortunate that I am a man, but it is a privilege to be a woman. Giving life cannot be compared to anything else in this world and beyond, and I salute every one of you out there who has given birth and are raising your kids!
Republished with permission from theAsianparent.