We praise the Lord for the blessing of baby boy! Mom and baby are doing well, dad is recovering!
That is a text message a friend of ours sent us a while ago after their baby was born.It was hilarious then just as it is now! I just can never forget that message, and I kept wondering what exactly the dad was recovering from! That is until I asked my husband exactly how it feels to be a pregnant dad. You know, we are so focused on the woman and her growing tummy that comes with growing problems every month until we forget that behind every pregnant woman, is an equally pregnant man whose troubles and needs are invisible but equally important.
The Way to a Man’s Heart
As we have been told, the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach. One of the things that catches the guy totally off-guard is a change in his diet since he cannot anticipate what his now pregnant will hate or love in her food.
In my first trimester, I was crazy about kachumbari! I would go out to buy bread and come back with onions, tomatoes and dhania — especially dhania! I just loved the smell of dhania in my food! Food was not food if there was no dhania in it. So one day Kamana decides to add dhania to the food as he was helping me cook! Shock on him! Even unknown to me, I had gone past the dhania stage. It was a miracle the food didn’t end up in the dust bin! You should have seen the look on his face!
I have always loved ugali! We ate ugali in our home 6 days in a week! That is until I woke up one day and ugali tasted like dry sponge! It was struck off our menu pronto! Sometime I would make my own favorite and then cook him his ugali. I didn’t know how bad this was for my husband until he confessed to me last week that he actually misses his ugali! Thank God I can stand the smell of ugali, but the hubby is not so lucky with meat! If meat is cooked in our house, I retreat to the bedroom or take a hike. He will have to wait a few more weeks before he enjoys a good plate of fried meat! But I have tried to make a few chapatis for the poor guy after I realized he was beginning to have chapati deficiency symptoms! Ask the wives, they know these symptoms!
Buying chapati flour every time, talking about chapati half the time, a meal in a hotel is not complete without chapati, whatever it is; attempting to make chapati on their own… yeah! The full blown chapati deficiency syndrome!
The fear of unknown
Pregnant dads have to deal with stuff even they don’t know, such as his wife’s moods. One day she is all over you, totally elated and in love with you like a love struck teenager. Then the next day she doesn’t even want to catch a whiff of you in the house! Or she is curled up in her duvet sniffing away the tears and the guy has no idea what he did or didn’t do!
This really used to confuse my husband. And then i’d feel worse if he doesn’t act the way I would want him to — like give me a hug or make me a cup of hot something. But the problem is I wouldn’t say what I really want. I don’t even know exactly what I want half the time anyway! So, relax guys. You are not the problem, blame the hormones!
Girls, please, differentiate between hormones and bad manners! I know of a pregnant girl who has banned all visitors from their home! They were quite the social couple since they were involved in church activities. Now the poor guy has to keep wading off people who want to come visit them and he has no real reason. It has placed them in a very bad position in church and it’s not fun! Did I mention that she has banned all cooking in their house as well! And when he brings food from outside, it sometimes is thrown away! Sad!
The pregnant man is also worried about how the delivery will be; will his wife be safe? Will he be able to give her everything she and the baby need? My husband recently gave me an African proverb that summarized for me where his priorities were if he is ever to chose between his wife and his baby. As much as we are hoping and praying that it will never come to that, it gave me a glimpse of what really goes on in his mind when he slips into his nothing box. He said he would not break the pot while trying to save the water. Enough said!
There is also a radical change in roles that plunges the man into very unfamiliar territories — like the kitchen! I know i’m a lucky girl because my hubby can whip up a meal that would shame a few chefs. He is quite comfortable around a cooker. That said, let it not be assumed that the man should automatically take over the kitchen once the wife bites the bullet. I made the mistake of getting too comfortable when I realized that the man can actually chop an onion without sending us into the emergency room that I forgot that the kitchen was still my department!
He had to jolt me back to the real unpregnant world by confessing he hates it when he has to decide what’s for dinner! So now I have to make sure at least I know what we should be eating and even if i’m not able to make it, he will feel he is helping his pregnant wife, not being turned into a mboch!
The Fun Part
It’s not all gloom for the dads — they are even the more excited than the moms! My husband loves to feel the baby kick and he has accompanied me to the clinics for scans and doctor’s appointments! It’s just a wonder for him as he watches his wife change every waking day and he seems to be enjoying the changes a little too much!
When my tummy started too show, he would hold his tummy and start singing, ‘katumbo, katumbo‘ to me! I hated it, but he seemed to enjoy seeing me grow a ‘potbelly’, and this time there is nothing I could do about it! He still thinks my round tummy looks really good — maybe because it comes with a fuller bust 😉 ?
The thought that he will be a dad soon too is just incredible! I guess that is every man’s dream. So now he is into talking to his ‘son’, and all. I guess he even has started shopping for a school for ‘him’. You see, we have placed a wager. I think it’s a girl, he thinks it’s a boy. By the way, you are all free to choose sides! The ‘winners’ will be called to a celebration hosted by the ‘losers!’ :). At the end of the day, all I want is a healthy baby!
It’s a great thing to be a pregnant mom, but let’s not forget the dads too! Give one a hug today and tell him, ‘Kudos!” And buy him this T-shirt!