06.20.12 Wellness

How It All Began

How It All Began

BY Jennifer Wider, M.D.

You’ve got to love your husband. He has sex, he has an orgasm, ejaculates and nine months later calls himself Dad. You have sex, probably without an orgasm; for the next thirty minutes you lie propped up on a pillow with your legs in the air, hoping his sperm will make its way up the cervical canal and meet up with your egg, and then you wait anxiously until you can take a pregnancy test to find out whether in nine months you’ll be able to call yourself Mom. Of course, all of this assumes you had planned to get pregnant in the first place.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, right? You spend the next few months nauseated, vomiting and eating saltines. All the while, he takes clients to four-star restaurants and eats four-course meals. While your body contorts into different shapes, his body stays exactly the same. Maybe he gains a few pity pounds—but for the most part, you’re on your own.

Over the next months that follow, you complain — a lot. He comforts you while flicking the DVR controller. You burp, fart and have heartburn that could light your house on fire. He smiles, rubs your feet, tells you what a great job you’re doing.

When you get to bed, you can’t sleep; he sleeps like a baby. Your mind is racing: Will I be a good parent? What will our lives be like? How will I cope? Maybe you even wake him out of his sound sleep with your questions. “Piece of cake,” he snores, and falls fast asleep again. You gaze down at your enormous belly, your aching breasts, the spider veins that are slowly creeping their way up your legs. You look at his body as he sleeps and realize that nothing’s changed for him; is this fair? Do I even need to answer that question?

I always hated those husbands that told people, “We’re pregnant.” What do they mean, “we”? Are they kidding? We are NOT pregnant. If men could get pregnant we’d become extinct, and it wouldn’t be gradual, either. It would be sudden, like an explosion and nine months later, the human race would cease to exist.

All right, I’m running away with myself — but just a little.

It doesn’t end there, though. After the baby comes out, your husband’s body is still normal, but yours has gone through a war. You’re breaking out, you’re not yourself and you’re having serious mood swings. He’s trying to help but looks a little scared, not of fatherhood, mind you — you think he might be scared of you! You look in the mirror; why wouldn’t he be scared of you? Your feet are huge, your hair is falling out, you haven’t slept and you’re leaking from every orifice in your body. But then you gaze down at your sleeping baby and take a deep breath. Your husband hands you a cup of decaf, and you know its all been worthwhile.

Jennifer Wider, M.D., is a nationally renowned women’s health expert, author and radio host. She is a medical advisor to Cosmopolitan magazine and hosts a weekly radio segment on Sirius Satellite/XM Radio called “Am I Normal?” for Cosmo Radio.
Dr. Wider is the author of three books, including The Savvy Woman Patient, The Doctor’s Complete College Girls’ Health Guide and The New Mom’s Survival Guide. Dr. Wider is a spokesperson for the Society for Women’s Health Research, and has served on the boards of Girls, Inc. and iVillage.com. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Cosmopolitan magazine, among many others. You can read more from Dr Wider on her website and Twitter.


  • wow i felt overwhelmed again just reading this  . I had a twin pregnancy so it was insanely tough and I’ve still not recovered ..but as you said when I see my kids asleeep its all worth it ..if only they’d sleep a little longer !!!

    • Linds

      very funny post, and I agree with Amanda–my boobs are hanging down to my toes, I still have mood swings…  But having a baby is hands down, the best thing I’ve ever done.

  • natasjap.nl

    Remember that to yourself and to reduce stress, men are simply men, individuals who just need management and therefore we are. It is not for nothing that most divorces are sought by women,men find simply everything best. You’re not for nothing beeing called a second mother, …they can be trained! 🙂 I recognized what you had written above, it is pretty standard but the truth.
    From the second month after giving birth I have indicated three times what and how I felt. Communication is very important even the most obvious things need to be said. I can say that now after four months that I have the most amazing guy and father for my child, a better one I can not wish. Terms of my body, there were times (the change) when I had a hard time but now I’m really proud having a mother figure.
    Sure, I have just started exercising to rebuild my condition and get the BBB”s a little firmer but that is all.  And yes it’s definitely all worth while, a tough but a dream job to live!

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