Q&A: husband not into pregnancy yet

Maria B. writes:

"I am pregnant for the first time.  I am married to a great guy and amtotally in love with him.  I am ready to have a baby, and he's warming
up and very supportive.  It was my idea to start trying, and I got
pregnant right away which was a little overwhelming.  My concern comes
here.  My husband isn't yet excited as this is still abstract and he
hasn't really been around babies a lot.  It's early as well, I'm 16
weeks.  I'm ok with this, he's ok with this.  When I tell people I'm
pregnant, they usually press me for details about how excited my
husband is.  He is not telling his friends/co-workers because it makes
him uncomfortable.  I feel a little bit lost about how I can best
support him right now.  We have had conversations so he knows I'm not
pushing him to feel more than he does right now.  But I feel like he
needs me to do more.  Any ideas?"

Well, I figured I'd check with my Roundtable of Dad Advisers, aka the guys I work with. I'd say these guys are about as diverse as a group of all-white, college-educated, middle class New Yorkers can be. Seriously, though, for the most part I'd say they're at least as involved as the average, and a few of them are incredibly hands-on.

To a man, they all said that there's basically no way a guy can conceptualize of a pregnancy or a baby being real until they hear or see the heartbeat, and it's probably not going to seem truly real until they see your belly growing or realize that the profile in the sonogram looks like a person's face and not just a blob.

I wanted to see if it was just Americans that felt that way, so I checked with a Canadian friend, who said that for him it was really when his wife's belly started getting huge. Before that it was intellectual, but the radical change in her body started to make it real for him.

It seems to me that people who expect a male partner to be really excited about things before there's anything tangible (for him) to be excited about have some unrealistic expectations. It's not that there's anything wrong or outlying about your husband. It's just that women tend to live in a baby-worshipping world in which we get excited even passing the pregnancy test aisle in the drugstore. So we forget that men are living in a parallel world in which they aren't thinking much about a baby until they see the whites of the baby's eyes. <insert your own poopsplosion joke here>

Let's also not forget that there are some men who just don't do that well with infants. (That certainly doesn't mean that they get off the hook for doing baby care. At the very least they need to be doing everything–cooking, laundry, cleaning–if the mother's the one doing all the feeding and night waking.) But some guys just don't seem to connect so much with kids in the baby stage as they do with toddlers and older kids. So even if your husband still doesn't seem that excited when the baby's six weeks old, it doesn't mean he won't eventually be completely smitten by the baby and end up being a wonderful dad. It may just be that he does his best work playing horsey or throwing balls or showing the kid how to code or teaching your adult child to mix a mean margarita. If it's OK for moms to do the baby stage without really liking it (and it is OK), then it's fine for dads. As long as they're completing the required tasks, they don't have to love it.

So I would say not to worry about it. If people ask you about how he's feeling, just make a joke like, "Oh, he says he won't believe it's real until the baby poops on his pants." Everyone will laugh and you can start talking about which breast pump you're going to buy, or whether you like the new Winnie the Pooh or the old one, and how you secretly hope someone gets you one of those butt cakes they always have on CakeWrecks.com for your shower even though you know they're frightening.

It will become real for him at some point. And if it doesn't, you can always get him a baby carrot jockey cake to try to scare it into him.

Confirmation or denial? Men? Women who talked about it with your partners (male or female)? And I'd be really interested in knowing what the experience is for female partners of pregnant women. How far along was your partner before you started feeling like it was real?

0 thoughts on “Q&A: husband not into pregnancy yet”

  1. maria-my husband was not connected at all; and now is a fantastic father. i also think looking back the ultrasound was good ‘evidence’ for him.
    i appreciate the insight Moxie had re: expectations- very true of me; and continues to be a place i need to ease up in our marriage.
    most importantly- congratulations! i pray you enjoy this miracle (if someone had said that to me btw when i was prego; i would have given them a major eye roll!)

  2. We both wanted kids. We tried for a year (in depth, serious baby making trying) before I got pregnant. We definitely had time, we definitely wanted kids.He wasn’t stomach flopping excited. He wasn’t super jazzed. I was a little disappointed. Then I realized I married him partly because he was calm and steady and I couldn’t get mad at him for being who he was. Once I started getting big enough to be exciting, and the baby started being feelable from the outside, I was having too many pregnancy related medical problems which had me in and out of the hospital for him to be anything other than concerned so I can’t say about how he would have been later in pregnancy…
    But I can say I have never seen a person so enthused about a tiny lump of flesh, as soon as he was born and I was safe. When I wasn’t nursing the baby, he was holding him, walking around doing chores and talking to this little 6 lb blob like he was his new best friend. Nothing has changed. He is calm and kind and funny and helpful with our incredibly “sensitive” baby/toddler.
    There is hope for the seemingly unenthused.

  3. I’d say my girl was about five months old before my husband started feeling much affection for her. Around 11 months, he started falling in love.

  4. My husband refused to get excited at the beginning of my pregnancy, for fear of the pregnancy not succeeding. (We had tried for a very long time and were taking nothing for granted.) Then at the end he wasn’t so excited because he was terrified that something awful would happen to me during childbirth. So basically he was a mess during my pregnancy. One thing that helped him a lot was humor. We bought him a book called “what to expect when your wife is expanding” – it’s a spoof on what to expect when you’re expecting, and it’s geared to husbands and addresses all their insecurities in very silly and fun ways.He is now a great father, and is getting better all the time as DS gets older. Also, at the beginning, especially if you are nursing, the main help you will need from your husband is housework-related. You’ll be doing most of the baby care (since they don’t need much other than to nurse at the beginning) so you’ll want him to take care of the other stuff. So the more important question isn’t is he excited about the baby; it’s does he wash the dishes?

  5. I think it is completely normal. I don’t think my husband really “got it” until I was holding the baby in my arms, even though we had been married for almost 10 years before having kids and had come to the decision to get pregnant together. But once he saw his little boy, he was hooked!What about buying him a few books to help him get used to the idea? There are some great books out there for fathers and fathers to be.

  6. My husband was a lot like Maria is describing.He was happy about having both our daughters, but I always felt like he was not NEARLY as excited as I was…and then I realized that he wasn’t. LOL
    We’re dealing with all the changes in our bodies, we played with baby dolls growing up, women generally are the ones to pick out things for the nursery, etc. Until the baby arrives, there’s not much for most dads to really get worked up about.
    And even when our girls arrived, I was still probably more excited than my husband. (That’s not to say that he was 100% hands-on with both girls. He changed diapers, rocked them, and helped care for everyone else so that I was able to focus on the baby). It wasn’t until they really started to be able to respond, smile, and play that I wasn’t able to match my husbands’ enthusiasm. We have our roles that we’re each more comfortable in. I am the caretaker & nurturer, he’s the playmate & protector. Sure, we both have a lot of the other side in us, but we’re more comfortable where we’ve landed.
    I think a lot of men have an easier time once the babies can “do” something, and tend to find what they’re best at, and cherish that role.

  7. I’m still only 21 weeks along with our first, so I don’t know how my husband will be when the baby comes. But I did think it was funny how he told his parents the news back at the beginning. I called my parents and said “I’m pregnant!” His version: “Sheila took a pregnancy test and it was positive!” Which was exactly true, of course. Once he heard the heartbeat he did seem more willing to believe this was really happening.

  8. The baby wasn’t really real to my husband until the first ultrasound, when he heard the heartbeat. And even then, it was still a bit removed. When the kicks started, that’s when it got real – and the fact that I was larger – helped. But I think it all crystalized into the exact moment when he held the baby in the hospital for the first time. Second time around seems to be following the same pattern. I think I am like that, too. Knowing I am pregnant, and feeling excited are too different things. I start getting excited once I feel the kicks. Before that, this is all just a nuisance.

  9. Ep was positive, supportive, and utterly not there yet until he saw the top of G’s head crowning. Actually, it was a really powerful and more-to-the-point USEFUL moment, because right then I was feeling like I was failing (2 hours of pushing down, after 78 hours of labor before that…), I’d NEVER do this, never never never never I suck never never. And then he saw the top of G’s head and he teared up and looked at me with this thunderstruck expression and everything inside me shifted to I’m SO DOING THIS! I ROCK! Fifteen minutes later, baby on my belly, eyes on mine, my hand on him, ep’s hand on mine… damn. Almost 11 years later, that moment still kicks butt.he was kind of ‘oh, um, woo?’ when the pregnancy test was positive (first try for us, too), more ‘hey, are we fertile or what!?’ and ‘I’m the man!’ (okay, with a lot of awareness that feeling that way was a bit silly). But not ‘baby, we’re having a baby!’
    And I’d say six months (really, right after the personality fairy arrived and turned snuggly warm cute lump into WOW, a *PERSON*) before he was totally smitten I’d-throw-myself-in-front-of-a-bus-for-him-in-a-heartbeat in love. And that’s despite the fact that he was the one at home taking care of said lump of snuggly warm cute all day.
    The other kids were likewise pretty much ‘after I’ve met them’ but way sooner on the ‘yeah, my child, I’d die for thee’. More anticipatory excitement (somewhat) knowing that he was going to feel that way, but still not there until the howdy-nice-to-meet-ya moment.
    I’ll admit that difference sucked jagged chunks of rock when I miscarried, since he had lost, um, some kind of future maybe possible something. And I had lost a child, again (though it was really just that one specific time that mangled our relationship). But we did eventually get past that, too.
    As for what he needs from you? I’d say patience, kindness, and staying open to whatever timing is his. It needs to be okay that he’s okay where he is. Go ahead and make the jokes (we tend to think ‘peed on me’ rather than poop, but same concept) and go right on by to the thing you’re obsessed with at the moment – Moxie’s spot on as usual. That’s easiest all around – it doesn’t leak pain from your side (‘why doesn’t he love our BA.BY.?’ – which I’m not saying you feel, but sometimes hormones go haywire, ya know?), it doesn’t invite people to put him down (‘MEN, can’t live with them, can’t beat them with sticks.’), and it doesn’t keep the focus there long enough for anyone else to leak their own insecurities and issues back at you. Light touch, move on.
    And good luck. He sounds like he’s open, considerate, and welcoming, even if a bit astonished at the success. It sounds like he’ll get there. Don’t fret the timing.

  10. I am pregnant with my second child. For my first child, my MOM wasn’t very excited during the pregnancy. She didn’t want to talk about baby names, how I was feeling, plans for the future. I was very crushed and felt very disappointed with her. But then, when the baby was born, she became the most doting grandmother possible.She herself had had 3 miscarriages and did not want to get her (or my) hopes up.
    Now I am pregnant with my second child and she is again not very excited. She didn’t even tell my brother after I told her the news. But this time, it doesn’t bother me at all. Because I know that when it counts, she’ll be involved.
    I also agree with Moxie that the pregnancy may not be really real to your husband until the baby poops on his pants 🙂

  11. I had very little in the way of pregnancy symptoms (except for fatigue and a lot of peeing), so even for ME it didn’t seem all that real until I could feel kicking. (I was excited, but it was extremely abstract.)And at that point I got so obsessed I started poking my midsection just to feel some pokes back.I think Moxie’s right–time and reality should help this!

  12. I was so disappointed when I walked out of the bathroom with the positive test and my husband responed with “oh” and went back to watching TV. The first 20 weeks of my pregnancy were like that. Then came the ultrasound. He went with me, he saw the heart beating, he passed out! (The nurses made him sit on the floor, in the hall drinking apple juice out of a specamine cup. I love them!) From that moment on, the baby was real, and he finally started talking about the baby and planning with me.

  13. With all of my pregnancies, my husband was like this. Sure he was excited in theory, but not until he could see / feel something tangible was it real for him. The hardest part about that was during my miscarriage. It didn’t affect him the same way it did me, because he hadn’t the opportunity at 11 weeks to connect with that baby yet…

  14. here’s a question: how visibly excited does your husband get about anything, really? i ask b/c i tend to be the emotional one out of the two of us, who feels and expresses my extremes very openly (with him, anyway). he, on the other hand, can be excited about something and you’d hardly know it- in fact, he has a phrase along the lines of “do you want me to do a backflip?” (to prove to me that he is, indeed into it). so there’s an idea.my husband took awhile to get into the whole baby thing- i think for him it was less “oooooh! baby! baby!” and more “holy crap, i’ve spawned!” and all the mental gymnastics that goes along with having a child and the responsibility that would bring for him. the ultrasounds helped, the kicking *may* have helped (i think he thought it was a little weird, honestly), seeing all the baby crap roll into our home helped. i really think that there is a good reason why it takes 38 weeks to grow a human- there is so much getting used to the idea all-around.
    best of luck- i think you’ll do well together, as long as you treat the whole experience as a “we’re in this together” type of thing- tell people when you really start showing, if you like, or don’t, and let them wonder. have fun at the ultrasounds!!

  15. Other people have already said it well, but I’ll just reiterate. I have three kids, the youngest eight months old. Each time I got pregnant, I actually thought he was mad at me at first, even though each baby was carefully planned. He didn’t want to hear about my cervical mucous, my temperature or even see the home pregnancy test. He was a wreck in the hospital when they were born, worried about me. Then they came home, and he spent the first three to four months handing them nervously back to me because “it might be hungry” and then the next few months talking about how whiny they were.Sounds pretty awful, huh? Well, it’s not. The man is an absolute hero to my kids, drives the 5-year-old to school every morning, builds elaborate block castles and wants us to come to his stuffy downtown law office and eat lunch, even if the 3-year-old wears his cape and I’m sweaty from working out. He regularly takes the big two to his family’s farm by himself for the weekend, fashioning a marshmallow-melter that won’t burn their hands while he’s there. At the beach this summer, he boogie-boarded with the two big kids literally to the point of collapse. The 8-month-old’s turn will come.

  16. For us with our first it was when my husband observed my belly jerking around every time there were loud moments in the last Lord of the Rings movie. ‘Cause yes, she was responding to the noise. He talked to the belly every day after that.

  17. Totally saying what everyone else said, but I’ll share anyway. We got pregnant the very first month of trying, after being told I probably couldn’t get pregnant without intervention.I obviously was SO excited the morning I took the test and it was positive. My husband did not say one word about the new baby for at least 3 weeks. Not one, like almost that he forgot I ever told him! I was a little upset at first, but I realized that he was just totally overwhelmed with the immediacy of it all.
    I’m 26 weeks right now (and it turns out, it’s twins!) and he’s still sort of hands off about the whole thing. It’s only very recently that he’ll initate any baby related conversations. Every so often he’ll say something out of the blue about them that makes me realize he is excited and ready, but I still think he’s very nervous about everything. Plus, like someone said above, he’s not a very excitable person anyway.
    He DID ask questions at our Newborn Care and Breastfeeding classes, so there is hope!

  18. First, I’ll just add our number to the count of everyone else for his reaction being normal. Ultrasound makes it more real, but my husband definitely didn’t get into our kids until they were born. With my daughter (firstborn), it was instant adoration on his part, with my son, we had lots of other stuff going on and the experience wasn’t as novel, so I would say it wasn’t until recently that he really started to genuinely be excited about our son (now 10 months).One other thing I think plays a part is the increased pressure on the father as “breadwinner” once kids arrive. Regardless of whether or not you will/won’t work outside the home, how financially secure you are, or how outdated this concept may or may not seem to you, there does seem to be added stress on men once kids arrive due to the increased responsibility.
    BUT, I just want to say, while it’s great that you’re all concerned about how to support him with his reaction/emotional needs at this point, please be sure to get the support you need from him as well. Reframing what I wanted/expected from my husband while I was pregnant in these terms really helped me be more appreciative of what he was doing and was capable of at that time, and ask it from him. Being pregnant is not always easy, and you DO need support and deserve it from him.
    He doesn’t have to be excited about the *baby* to provide this support; he doesn’t have to go to dr.’s appointments, read books, register for baby gear, etc., he just needs to be concerned about you and your well-being, which I’m sure he is. He can rub your back and feet, make sure you rest as much as you can, help plan nice, leisurely dinners out (which you won’t be able to do post-baby for a while!), try to reduce stress in other areas of your life, etc., whatever helps you. It helped me a lot to realize that even though my husband wasn’t super excited about the babies when I was pregnant, he was more protective of ME, and that was nice…especially when I felt like crap!
    Good luck and have fun. I definitely agree with everyone else, when it comes down to it, he will be a great dad.

  19. Also, maybe nobody wants to say this…but my husband DEFINITELY had some trepedation with the first child along the lines of, “that’s it. The party is over. You have to grow up and be responsible and have NO FUN EVER AGAIN…”.He did bond with our baby, and got into the pregnancy as I got bigger. But we did have more than one stormy argument in the early months.

  20. Oh heck yes! With our first I was upset that my husband wasn’t excited but when I asked him about it he explained that he just couldn’t wrap his brain around it all. He tried, and was very supportive, but didn’t start to get excited until I started showing obviously (not just “fat looking”). Even with #2 he was only moderately excited until that point.It’s so much more *real* for the woman than the man, which is kinda sad and kinda frustrating. Give him time, he’ll get into it.

  21. For my husband, the ultrasound seemed to do the trick. I think some of it was just seeing the healthy baby in there, but I really think that finding out the gender made it more concrete for him: that was our *daughter* we were looking at; she suddenly became a person. After that he was willing to talk about names, willing to go looking for baby stuff with me, willing to talk about all the little details with anyone who would listen. Oh, and being around the other dads in our Bradley group also seemed to help. He’s never been a real male-bonding kind of guy, but I think having these men who were going through the same thing he was felt good.

  22. It isn’t just male partners.When I was pregnant with our first, my partner was pleased, but it took quite awhile for it to become real to her. Feeling the baby move helped a LOT.
    On the flip side, a lot of my late prego symptoms scared the hell out of her — my waking up in the night screaming from charliehorse pain and needing her help to unclench my legs, for example.
    Like the questioner’s husband, my partner hadn’t spent much time with babies before ours. She was an only child, and so were both of her parents! On the other side of it, I have a younger sister and 9 cousins, 7 younger than me. I also babysat a lot as a teenager, and she did not.
    I think that had a huge impact on the first few months of first-time parenting. (Well, longer than that, but ESPECIALLY then.)
    If someone isn’t familiar with babies, especially newborns, the fact of how small and vulnerable and unable to communicate except by crying, seems to be very intimidating: diaper changing, swaddling, burping, bathing…. All of it involves being entirely responsible for this floppy little person you can hold in 1 arm.
    If you live in an area where there are some kind of parenting/newborn classes available, and you can persuade your husband to join you in taking one, it might help improve his confidence level, which will in turn probably help him bond more quickly with the baby.
    If that isn’t an option, the nursery nurses at your hospital should be willing to teach your husband how to change a diaper and give the baby a bath while you plead exhaustion and ask him to please be in charge of those for now.

  23. Telling someone you are expecting a child is like coming out as an adult! I was vaguely embarrassed even telling some family and close friends, haha! Silly, but hey. Maybe there’s an element of that to his reluctance to tell people, or maybe he works with some raging childfree or party hard types and knows he will get flack.I felt silly trying to do “prenatal bonding” and talk to the baby and telepathically connect with the baby and all this stuff certain circles imply that you should do. I just couldn’t get into it. I was also scared of what having a real live baby would be like. I don’t blame men who are not clicking their heels and cooing into their partner’s bellybutton like it’s a tin-can phone. Later in my pregnancy, my husband got into listening to the baby’s heartbeat through my belly, and he’d help me play “which part is kicking me now?” It wasn’t until I went into labor that it really felt “real” to both of us. And then he loved our daughter fiercely as soon as she was born, and he was probably better at general baby care than I was for the first few weeks.
    And the poster even said she’s OK with the status of his excitement, and he’s OK with it, so I am not entirely sure what the problem is past that? Having to be honest with other people? I think pregnancy is a free pass to paint the truth any way you wish, what with the annoying and sometimes very personal and invasive questions that will be thrown your way. I.e. when you hit about 7 months and people recoil in horror when they find out you still have 2 months to go, and how could that possible work, you giant whale, you? That’s when I am fine with something like “Oh, I’m due TODAY!” and watch them freak out in discomfort as if you may explode on the spot. “Is he so excited?” “As long as the baby promises to become a dermatologist to the stars and buy us a beach house.” Just say any old thing, make it kind of funny, move on. People who ask you rote pregnancy questions are just saying any old thing, so why not match them intellectually?
    In short, many flavors of ambivalence or even mortal terror or fleeting regret can be a very normal part of the parenting experience. Normal normal normal. It does not mean you won’t love your child. People just don’t talk about the head trip aspect of it all. Maybe you can strike a blow for that and say “It will feel more real when the baby is here and we can get to know him/her.”

  24. My husband was very excited from day one both times BUT:1) he was already an uncle twice over
    2) he had lived with his cousin during college and during that time his cousin conceived triplets via IVF and he was there from conception thru the christening– training most guys don’t get in college!
    But: seriously: that number 2 item has paid in dividends I would never have imagined. He thougt getting up at 4 am with *one* colicky baby was a piece of CAKE. He was thrilled we didn’t have anyone in NICU or on a monitor at home, and he knew just how tired a new mom really can be– he was prepared.
    I highly recommend such training for all men 🙂

  25. Yep, yep, yep. I can’t tell you how many couples I know where the dad acted like pregnancy was just something happening to the mom’s body, with no connection to an actual person or lifechanging event. All of those men became doting fathers. If you’re both OK with his reaction, I wouldn’t worry about others or about “supporting him through it”–it’s normal enough that people should understand.

  26. Sounds totally normal to me.I personally felt kind of strange in the first trimester. Once my M/S passed I didn’t “feel” pregnant and only a handful of people knew about it, so I couldn’t talk about it that much. We were both wowed by the hearbeat, but I think for both of us the whole pregnancy was a process of realizing how “real” it was that we were going to have a baby.
    DH had never held a baby before (or changed a diaper, etc), but he figured it out and did a great job. I think it was 3-4 months before he really started to connect with her like I did (it took me a few weeks), but once she became more interactive, he was hooked and is now wrapped around her little finger. We both looked forward to having a kid more than having a baby, but I think we both enjoyed babyhood more than we expected, too.

  27. Those cakes always crack me up. I mean, what are people thinking??And, Maria B., as we’ve all been saying, you are not alone! Pregnancy and childbirth is a big deal and everyone copes a little differently. Besides, you’ve got enough on your hands without worrying how to manage other people. If he were saying hurtful things, though, I wouldn’t be this laissez-faire…

  28. In our case, my DH was more into me than the baby. Which makes sense, considering he’d known me for a decade and hadn’t met this other person yet. He thought I looked beautiful pregnant, and was very worried during the birth (about me, not the baby).Even during the first few months (granted, we had a very sensitive, non-sleeping baby), I didn’t feel like they bonded very well. It didn’t help that my son only wanted me. But we persevered, and now, 2 years later, my DS is all about Daddy.
    We have a 2nd on the way, and I’ve been terribly sick. Again, I think he’s concerned about me, not thinking at all about the baby yet. (To be honest, this time I’m not thinking too much about the baby yet, either. Multiple miscarriages take some of the joy out of pregnancy.)
    Our husbands and partners watch us go through this unbelievable, primal thing, and they can’t REALLY help us. It must make them feel incredibly vulnerable.

  29. Isn’t there some research out there that talks about how men are visual beings……I’m thinking sexually now. They don’t get as jazzed up over the P*ayboy Forum stories, but man, oh, man do they like the pictures (thus all the jokes “I only like it for the articles”….if they really did like the articles, that joke wouldn’t be funny). I think this is an offshoot of that. It’s harder for some of them to get excited about something they can’t see or touch.

  30. I just wanted to add that my husband was the exact same, throughout my pregnancy. It bothered me a lot since I had always imagined him rubbing my belly with emotion on his face, and that didn’t happen once. Not once. He used to feel my belly when the baby has hiccuping, but more like “weird!” than anything sentimental. I expected things would change once the baby actually arrived. Weeks after the baby was born, I said “isn’t he just so amazing? it’s totally worth it, right?” and my husband paused, for far too long, and then said “I don’t think I’m quite as ga-ga as you are. Not yet.” Well, at least he’s honest. He did not like the first year. I liked it sometimes and hated it sometimes, but he pretty much hated it. Now, our son is 18 months and my husband says things like, “isn’t he great? isn’t it the best? he’s just so amazing. isn’t this so much fun?”. So, hang in there. You have a life-time of parenting ahead of you and he will eventually join in.

  31. Well, apparently hedra has the brain this morning, because she’s spot on. But I’m posting just so you won’t think she’s always right about me.This is normal. It’s how I felt. It really takes the physical baby to kick me into believing it’s real. And a few more months before I’d die for it. And the time lag gets shorter, because you know what’s coming.
    The losses did throw a wrench in things because I wasn’t always sure how involved and excited to get: didn’t want to get too up and lose it, didn’t want to expect that it wouldn’t stick around. That was tough. Glad we don’t have to worry about that any more.

  32. I’m with Sherry – it wasn’t until about 5 months that DH started to be interested in DS, and only this last month (DS is 11 months now) that he is really starting to get gooey.Funny thing, my dad was visiting out from out of the country this past week. He’s only seen DS twice before and the previous two times he was fairly stand-offish. But this time he swooped in, picked up DS, and started playing and cuddling right off the bat. I was totally floored and then my dad looked at me and said, “Little kids are so much fun”. This pearl of wisdom, from a father of five, clarified for me my husband’s distance from DS the first few months. For some men, babies = no fun, but kids = lots and lots of fun.

  33. I find that most men I know what to be hands on and fix things. So maybe things you could do to support him are coming up with things HE can do to be part of the pregnancy. Like paint a nursery or fix up furniture or set up a college fund.I also recommend books, either funny ones or serious ones. I think the one my hubby liked best was The Expectant Father because it broke it down into What’s going on with baby inside, what’s going on with your crazy wife and what might be going on with you.
    Oh, also I think that classes like those in the Bradley Method really talk about how the partners are a vital part of childbirth. I know my BIL felt very much a part of things once he and my sis started taking Bradley Method classes.
    Good luck and congratulations!

  34. Wow, there are already so many comments! My husband wasn’t really all that excited until he actually saw the kid, and even then he just wasn’t a baby person. He’s much better with the toddler. I have to say that even though it all turned out okay, and even though I knew he was a typical dad-to-be, it helps to hear (again) that I wasn’t alone. I have a friend at work who is pregnant, and her husband is reading all the dad-to-be books, and he’s getting all excited about each Baby Center weekly e-mail (you know, the one that tells how the baby is developing). I am sort of retroactively jealous and disappointed when I look at how much more into the pregnancy this guy is than my husband ever was.I guess there are downsides to the whole involved father-to-be thing, though: this woman’s husband is making a graph to chart her weight throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Am I wrong, or is this weird?

  35. My husband saw the heartbeat at something like 10 weeks? And it was a “whoa” kinda moment for him.He still didn’t really bond with her until she was like 2-3 months old, when he started getting those sweet toothless grins directed his way.
    Women figure out baby care, because they have to, they jump right in. He didn’t have to, because I did it for him- until I went back to work and he had her for a couple of hours while I was there. That’s when he really bonded. (((end sweeping generalization based on my experience)))
    My mother in law jumped up and down, screaming in excitement and hugging everyone in sight, called all of their relatives and was just ecstatic at the news- my mom just smiled and said congrats. My mother in law is very excitable, mom is very laid back. This was hard for me to realize, and hard for me to come to terms with.
    There were little games and things that my husband did with our daughter that I don’t do- they are daddy things, and then there are mommy things. Daddy and toddler say goodnight to the moon every night, mommy plays in the bath with girlie. Mommy doesn’t do bubbles, daddy will. (I CANNOT stand the bubble goo on my skin, I have an aversion to the gooey stickiness ON ME. He’s cool with it.)
    My husband also used to say that babies were creepy. According to him, they stare and look at you like they are going to stab you in your sleep… I am really not sure that he was kidding, but he is more than okay with babies now.
    Oh, and he totally wouldn’t “feel the baby’s kicks”- he said it looked/felt like something from an Alien movie, lol. I kinda agreed…:)
    I just realized that this is a rather disjointed response, my bad.

  36. I have to say that the only baby/pregnancy my husband was excited about was the third (and current) one. Conversely, I did not want to be pregnant or have this baby the third time around.I think for the first ones, they aren’t “ready” until they have to be.

  37. My husband also was very underwhelmed and low key, and circumspect in sharing information with other people during both of my pregnancies. He often half-joked about “I’ll believe it (that there’s a baby), when I see it.” It really somehow can be less real to the father than it is to the mother – to restate the obvious. I also wished he had been more excited about things, but the fact is, once the kids were born, he was fully engaged and is a fantastic stay-at-home dad. And as Moxie mentioned, he has been more and more interested in the kids as they get older and more independent (neither of us loved the helpless infant stage). So I think your husband’s response is really normal, from my experience.

  38. Just another data point here – totally along the same lines as what everyone has been saying! My husband is an amazingly engaged, hands-on, loving father. However, I clearly remember getting a positive pee stick test, running outside to show him (he was mowing the lawn), and him saying, “Cool – can you help me with some of this yardwork?” My jaw just dropped! Hello?? I’m PREGNANT?!? Haha. We still joke about it. I don’t think he was ever really into the pregnancy, although he loved hearing the heartbeat and the ultrasound. But it totally changed after the baby was born.

  39. count my husband with the rest. He was excited when I was pregnant but not as much as I was and he still isn’t all that thrilled with babies (ours is 2 weeks old). but he is great with our 3.5 year old. Better than I am actually. He likes kids when they can play with him. Plus, he *hates* changing diapers.with this pregnancy, even through the morning sickness it really didn’t seem real to me until just before I went into labor. I just didn’t have the time or energy to be emotionally invested in him–his sister drained it all. DH would every once in a while comment on the size of my belly but we were just so much *busier* this time.
    plus, like others have said, I think we all have the stages we like and we have to learn what they are. It turns out that I love babies–I really had no idea. with other people’s kids I liked 2 year olds but then I could give them back!

  40. I agree that his response seems totally normal – people can have all manner of reactions to big and small news that’s all normal and rarely permanent.But on a personal note, that would have driven me CRAZY. My husband almost died with excitement when I told him about both pregnancies, even after one miscarriage. I think it would have been so isolating and sad for me to be “alone” in the emotional, less concrete experience of pregnancy. My husband is definitely an emotional guy, so it’s just a personality thing for him. And I chose a super emotional type for a partner, so it would make sense that it would be hard for me if he *wasn’t* emotional. It did add so, so much to my experience, though, to go through it with my husband there every step of the way emotionally.
    But everyone is so different – my Dad, for instance, loves me and my sister tremendously but I’m *guessing* he was pretty hands-off during the pregnancies and had a hard time getting into it before hearing the heartbeat, and meeting us in person. That’s more in line with his personality. I think a wide range of reactions are totally normal, as long as the partner is supportive and open to witnessing your experience.

  41. My Hubby had a weird mix of responses- he was excited, but in a low key way. He made the usual self-congratulatory jokes about his virility when we got pregnant really easily. But he also went through a phase when I was about 7 months pregnant where he didn’t seem to want to admit that our life was changing- and that mine had already changed quite a bit. He wanted to go out lots, and was impatient with me wanting to go home and rest. He drank more than usual, stayed out late with friends, and generally didn’t act like an adult with big responsibilities coming. I heard later that some of our friends worried about whether he was ready to be a father.But once Pumpkin arrived, he was great. Even starting with the delivery- he was a great coach. He was right there changing diapers and doing his part with the middle of the night feedings from the start. He continues to be an amazingly hands on, fully involved Daddy now. (Except for his inexplicable inability to pack Pumpkin’s lunch for day care, but I’ve learned to accept that.)
    I guess I’m saying that even a hubby who goes beyond just not being excited to seeming reluctant to give up the old life can turn out to be an excellent father. It is a big change, and everyone processes it in their own way.

  42. My husband was rediculously involved in my pregnancies. He was at every appointment and heard/witnessed (in graphic detail) all the glorious things that pregnancy does to a woman’s body. My favorite phrase was “If I have to live it, so do you, pal”. The poor guy even got “sympathy pee” during my 3rd trimester with both. With all that, it still wasn’t real to him until he was holding that baby in his arms. I think with the first it was a lot of fear of the massive amount of responsibility and life change this little bundle would bring in, along with it not being a tangible thing at that point. He had NO experience with babies. With the second it was definitely the fear of miscarriage. After seeing what miscarriage had done to me I think he just lived in fear of what would happen if I lost this baby. I cannot agree enough with the poster who said miscarriage takes some joy out of pregnancy.@Shannon- I’m gonna side with weird.
    @Hedra- You can’t beat them with sticks? Oh, shit.

  43. @Shannon, I’m with r+k+mama on the weird thing, too. At the same time, I look at G, who was so angry when he realized that he physically could not gestate because he was a boy… and I wonder – if he hadn’t been allowed to mourn that what he might have carried forward? G likes being a boy, but he really thought pregnancy was cool, amazing, awesome, and was pissed no end that it wasn’t going to be something he could do. So, a twinge of sympathy maybe for the boy-that-was, too?

  44. My husband didn’t tell anyone at work either until he basically needed to start planning his time off a month before my due date! It was like he was embarrassed or something. He was a little hesitant the whole pregnancy about getting things ready for our baby… He was happy when we got pregnant, but mostly because *I* was so happy.Now he is the most involved Dad. I think once he saw her, held her, soothed her – he was in love from then on.

  45. My husband was basically completely uninvolved emotionally in the pregnancy, but he knew (because I told him) that I needed him to listen to what I was going through emotionally, for me to feel supported. He would have done anything I asked to help get ready for the baby, but he wasn’t much of a belly-talker nor was he into connecting with the babe while still inside me.However, since my daughter’s birth three years ago, he’s grown into a very loving, doting, active dad. And even when my new boy is still in the cute-lump stage (1 week!), he’s the one who’s doing everything around the house and taking care of me even if he’s not 100% into lump-love. He is someone who takes time to build emotional connections and is very into *doing* things with his kids, which makes infants not so appealing honestly. I suspect from the other comments that a fairly neutral male reaction to pregnancy is common.

  46. (haven’t read yet, so bear with any repetition!)”To a man, they all said that there’s basically no way a guy can conceptualize of a pregnancy or a baby being real until they hear or see the heartbeat, and it’s probably not going to seem truly real until they see your belly growing or realize that the profile in the sonogram looks like a person’s face and not just a blob.”
    YES. This is exactly what I dealt with; even though G is my second child, he’s my husband’s first. What was extremely infuriating about this was dh’s attitude that somehow I was overdramatizing the effects of the first trimester (for me, exhaustion and nausea). Perhaps if I’d been an actual puker, he’d have believed it?
    Anyway, he still admitted that even with the monster belly and the ultrasound pictures, it STILL didn’t hit him that he was a dad until he held the baby. Since my labor lasted less than 3-1/2 hours (pushed for 17 minutes), he was in shock that it had even started, much less ended!

  47. The way Maria described her hubby is pretty much exactly how *I* (the pregnant one) felt & reacted during my pregnancy. So I’ve got to echo the chorus and say I think it’s all normal.(I wouldn’t say “don’t worry” because I think that’s nearly impossible as a pregnant woman. Worry all you want, everything will still be just fine.)
    Truth is, I wasn’t 100% on board with starting to try when we did, but hubby really wanted to start trying earlier rather than later & somehow had me convinced (based on no evidence) that we’d have problems conceiving. Nope. Happened the very first time. Which I know so many folks desperately wish for, however, sometimes that particular blessing can also be something of a curse because there’s less time to process & accept all of the inevitable changes coming your way.
    I was in denial for ages, even after the stick turned positive immediately, even after seeing the baby on the screen, & hearing the heartbeat. Didn’t help matters that I felt normal until the 3rd trimester, had none of the traditional symptoms, looked very puffy instead of visibly pregnant for the first 7 months, and didn’t feel the baby kick when the books said I should, etc.
    I also got very superstitious, which is not part of my culture. Didn’t tell friends, family, and coworkers until after 20 weeks, I was so sure I’d be tempting fate. Didn’t find out the baby’s sex. Never told anyone the names we picked out. Didn’t allow any baby things into the house. Refused to let my girlfriends throw me a baby shower until after I delivered a healthy child. I really wanted the baby but I was scared to bank on anything for fear something might go terribly wrong.
    Big day came, and presto! I became a new woman. Held my little son for the first time & finally felt the rush of love & bonds forming.
    Things can still turn out amazing even if they don’t start off picture perfect.

  48. I could have written that question! My husband was not at all into my pregnancy. He was excited that he was going to be a father… but he didn’t understand why we had to talk about it AT ALL until the baby actually arrived. He told friends in dribs and drabs, grudgingly came to the sonogram appointment, felt the baby kick, oh maybe once, because he said the idea of a live human in my stomach creeped him out, etc. You get the picture. I think he also felt that because I had two children from a previous marriage and, therefore, being pregnant wasn’t a new experience for me, he was off the hook in having to pretend to be excited. There were many tears on my part over this. He didn’t want to hear about breastfeeding, didn’t want to be in the delivery room, didn’t want to cut the cord, etc. In the end, though, he did all of that… and gladly. Fifteen months later he is the full-on dad I had feared might never surface.So, I’m with Moxie. It’ll come for your husband when the baby gets here. Until then, just give him space and when people ask if he’s excited, reply that he is and then turn the conversation back to you.

  49. Trying to be non-judgmental here…It sounds like he wasn’t quite ready to jump on the bandwagon so it’s not that surprising that he seems ambivalent now.
    I agree with everyone above that as things progress, he’ll get more into it!

  50. Just to add another crazy perspective, I married a man who had 2 teenaged kids, didn’t want more, and had had a vasectomy.After extensive infertility treatment (starting with a failed reversal attempt for DH), I got pregnant and had a son. Here’s the thing: my husband has never been “into” this. Yet he is a wonderful, a fabulous, father — both to his (now) grown children (who were, I admit, the reason I knew it would be OK to twist his arm again — and yes, it did get twisted the first time, too) — and to our son. It’s weird, and I don’t fully get it, but he is both joyful about and devoted to every single one of his children and yet would in some way actually be fine if he had never become a dad at all.
    I think it may just be a guy thing. And while @Maria’s situation is clearly different from mine, perhaps there is nonetheless some relevance/overlap.

  51. The way Maria described her hubby is pretty much exactly how *I* (the pregnant one) felt & reacted during my pregnancy. So I’ve got to echo the chorus and say I think it’s all normal.(I wouldn’t say “don’t worry” because I think that’s nearly impossible as a pregnant woman. Worry all you want, everything will still be just fine.)
    Truth is, I wasn’t 100% on board with starting to try when we did, but hubby really wanted to start trying earlier rather than later & somehow had me convinced (based on no evidence) that we’d have problems conceiving. Nope. Happened the very first time. Which I know so many folks desperately wish for, however, sometimes that particular blessing can also be something of a curse because there’s less time to process & accept all of the inevitable changes coming your way.
    I was in denial for ages, even after the stick turned positive immediately, even after seeing the baby on the screen, & hearing the heartbeat. Didn’t help matters that I felt normal until the 3rd trimester, had none of the traditional symptoms, looked very puffy instead of visibly pregnant for the first 7 months, and didn’t feel the baby kick when the books said I should, etc.
    I also got very superstitious, which is not part of my culture. Didn’t tell friends, family, and coworkers until after 20 weeks, I was so sure I’d be tempting fate. Didn’t find out the baby’s sex. Never told anyone the names we picked out. Didn’t allow any baby things into the house. Refused to let my girlfriends throw me a baby shower until after I delivered a healthy child. I really wanted the baby but I was scared to bank on anything for fear something might go terribly wrong.
    Big day came, and presto! I became a new woman. Held my little son for the first time & finally felt the rush of love & bonds forming.
    Things can still turn out amazing even if they don’t start off picture perfect.

  52. Sorry for the double post!Moxie, I totally hear you and a lightbulb is going off overhead – I probably did have pregnancy depression. Though if you’d have told me that at the time I would’ve denied it.
    In hindsight, it didn’t feel like I believed depression “ought” to feel (hopelessness, sadness, lack of energy); it was more anxiety about bad things that might happen which of course never did.
    IRL I’m around a lot of upbeat people who love to say things like “you’re fine!” “everything will be alright” and my therapist never picked up on anything either. Hmm…

  53. I think that Maria’s husband is very normal, esp. since this is a first pregnancy. I was excited to have a baby, and so was my husband, but it truly wasn’t “real” until we brought her home. The whole pregnancy and birth was surreal. Awesome, exciting, but surreal.Now that she’s here and is 9.5 months we can’t believe that this little person, this personality, this LIFE was living, growing, and developing WITHIN my womb. We both strongly believe that when I become pregnant again (we hope eventually) that we will “get it” more. Like jumping-out-of-our-skin for the chance to meet our new child type of appreciation that wasn’t totally there for pregnancy #1.
    I would highly recommend “The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy” by A. Christine Harris. It gives a short day-by-day development of your baby and has cool facts on childbirth & rearing from different cultures around the world. Reading the paragraph or two with my husband was something that helped him understand the development and also my physical pregnancy discomforts.

  54. @Shannon- is your coworker’s hubby a scientist? Another scientist I know plotted her pregnancy weight out. We just like data. I got really into theories about the underlying mechanisms for particular pregnancy symptoms (like morning sickness) and also theories about why these symptoms would confer advantage, or at least not be an evolutionary fitness disadvantage.My hubby was really into the ultrasound, not so much for what he was seeing, but because he had worked on similar imaging software in his past, and was interested in what was technically possible now.

  55. (Haven’t read comments, just posting my own experience.)My husband was in a state of semi-denial with all of my pregnancies–right up until the baby came home from the hospital and *things actually changed*. I never think it was completely real to him until we had the baby in our arms. This was the worst with our first, a little less with our second, and now with the third, I think he’s still in a not-really-thinking-much-about-it stage, since I still have over 3 months to go with this pregnancy.
    And he is a terrific, involved, loving, diaper-changing dad. 🙂

  56. @hush, they’ve figured out why PPD and pregnancy depression happen (physiologically – the placenta MUST suppress seratonin, or there will be clotting at the placenta site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080807112609.htm )So, yeah, pregnancy depression very common, and maybe some of those weird mood swings have to do with the same function… Having suddenly lost one of the chemicals that promotes emotional stability, it’s like losing the rudder on a ship.

  57. Until you start to really get big, no, it’s not real for him. Being able to see, every day, that his darling wife looks SO different, that makes the impending become real. That, and being able to see your baby actually roll around inside you when you lie down. My husband was excited to have a baby, but until he watched her being pulled out of me, it was just not the same level as mine, at ALL. B/c he now knows how AWESOME it is to have a baby, I think he will be WAY more into it the next time.

  58. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage so my during my second (successful) pregnancy both my husband and I seemed to temper our excitement with a dose of reality. Every time I’d ask him if he was excited, like after our 20 week ultrasound where we found out the baby’s sex and saw every part of her, he’d say “let’s not count our chickens until they’re hatched.” I thought he was being a bit grim and was a little disappointed. After she was born he was a typical guy with a newborn, couldn’t quite figure out what to do with her. I made sure he spent time with her alone and I knew he loved her – all of the warnings he’d give me about driving, etc. and the intense interest he showed at the pediatrician confirmed that – and whenever he’d hold her I saw him stroking her head and kissing her. Once she started interacting with us and really displaying her personality was when he seemed to go into full “dad” mode. She’s now nearly 15 months old and the only way I can describe him is smitten. I think the best thing for me was not to push my expectations of his relationship with the baby on him, I just let him figure it out and take it at his own pace.

  59. My husband saw our first sonogram picture and said, “it looks just like a blob!” And that’s what he called the baby until he came out: Blob. And now he loves him so much and is such a sweet father. It just takes seeing more than a blurry black and white image for them to connect. Who can blame them?

  60. Maria-I was in a similar situation 2 years ago. My husband and I decided to have a baby, for some reason we thought that it would take at least 6 months. Two weeks later when I was insane (anxious and bouncing off the walls) I decided to take a pregnancy test and wow! Oh no! What have we done? He did not really talk about the pregnancy with people, but I lost a twin at 6 weeks and we decided to have CVS on the remaining fetus and not tell people until we knew the results. It was the summertime and the only real sign that he was into it at all was that he would put icepacks on my abdomen when I got home from work with the thought that it would help make the baby smarter (?)!Then, at 28 weeks I developed PIH and was put on bedrest. Suddenly he was the fierce protector. He took great care of both of us and has been incredibly involved in the care of our little one.
    They do come around. It will get better and better.

  61. @strugi–Oooo, I had a similar experience with my third pregnancy (first for my husband). He was not emotionally involved in the pregnancy at all, and I was working to give him space with that. So, when I spent a night contracting at 32 weeks (just like I had with my second pregnancy) I didn’t say anything to him about it. Went to work the next day… felt terrible all day. Still didn’t say anything. Called doc. Doctor basically said, “Are you nuts? Get in here!” Finally called him and told him what was going on but then said he didn’t need to come to the hospital (!). He came, of course, and then was very upset that I hadn’t included him in everything that had been going on. So, yes, he clearly was emotionally involved… but couldn’t express that in the traditional way until I and the baby needed to be protected.

  62. After 4 yrs of trying and many failed IUIs I became pregnant. Hubby was excited, but I recall needing to show him my growing tummy all the time saying “Wow, can you believe this!?”He was a champ throughout my labor & when baby was born via c-section he was right there in the OR looking out for me.
    The weirdest thing was after baby was born he kept holding her, (all the three days I was in the hospitol,) with tears streaming down his face! I never even cried myself. I was actually a little worried about him because he had sooooo much emotion. But it all leveled off and he has been an involved, loving daddy.

  63. Two things come to mind while reading these responses. One is that my husband doesn’t much like speculating on things that may not happen, or aren’t his own project. I cannot get him to talk about ‘what if’ scenarios of any sort, no matter how burningly interesting the topic may be for him.Second is just a head-banging frustration that men are so literal, so visual-based to the point of needing to see the baby to believe it, and just so man-like! I’m sure these things all came about honestly via evolution, but urg! they are annoying to deal with in cases like these!
    As for it being real, DH had a stressful job that took a lot of time, and I don’t think he really grasped that we had a baby until she was about 3 months old (about when he stopped working that job).

  64. Briefly, mu husband was much the same way up until I really started showing. I think a lot of it was that he was a bit terrified that something would happen to me or the baby. But he came right on board as soon as our son arrived.What I really want to comment on was that link to the cake Moxie posted. Thank you thank you thank you. I looked through that whole site, and my eyes are watering from laughing so hard. A happy start to the day.

  65. After the first month trying:Me: I’m pregnant.
    Husband: I rule!
    Me: …
    I laugh about it now but at the time I was like “Seriously???” He’s super-enthusiastic while I’m too tired/sick to be excited yet. What really surprised and disappointed me is that I’m the first of my friends to have children and two of my oldest friends, who were so thrilled about my wedding (first there, too) couldn’t have less to say to me about the pregnancy. They’ve dropped off the face of the earth–we don’t live near them and electronic and phone communications have halted entirely–and I was totally unprepared for being written off. I shouldn’t have been, because neither want kids and advised me not to get pregnant because “kids are when the fun and freedom end, why would you do that to yourself?”
    Or I could just be paranoid and emotional. Six of one, half dozen of the other, perhaps. 😀

  66. For us no excitement until we found out the gender of the baby. It was really difficult because I had an HG pregnancy and my previous pregnancy from eight years ago was with a different and abusive partner. I had some really hard moments because of my first pregnancy being so horrible and then the HG, and dh just couldn’t understand why I was so emotional.But he was awesome during the birth and the first two days or so, but after the magic of the baby wore off he became somewhat numb again. He still rocks her to sleep and plays/cuddles, but not as much as I do. I think that’s just the way my dh is.
    No advice, but I totally understand what it feels like to be worried about dh’s bond with baby. I like how Moxie puts it – his time might be when our daughters are much older. He is wonderful with my eight year old, which is why I even explored marrying him. They have a lot of fun together.

  67. The whole pregnancy and newborn experience seemed abstract to *me* until Liz turned about 6 months old!! I knew I had a Big Important Job to do, I read baby care books until my eyes glazed over, I thought of names, I picked out baby paraphernalia…but it never quite clicked that there was a baby inside me and she was really mine.The whole thing was so overwhelming, it didn’t really sink in!
    DH was much more involved, both in my pregnancy and Liz’s early months, than I was. I’m sure PPD had something to do with that.
    (for the record, I’ve come to accept and love the fact that Liz is my daughter)

  68. @AmyinTexas-I think that was exactly it with my husband. Suddenly he had concrete duties and he took them on to protect us.@Maria-I hope that your pregnancy is smooth and healthy. My husband and I were watching our son sleep the other night and we were talking about your question. He was uncertain about having a child and willing, but very uncertain. I thanked him for letting me push the decision. He stroked our sons head and thanked me for pushing him.
    @Moxie-My husband and I just spent much too much time laughing until we cried at cakewrecks. Thank you for the silliness!

  69. It took a little while for my husband to get excited too. We’d been married a few years, and came to the decision to get pregnant together (in other words, it was planned on both our parts). I got my positive while he was at work overnight, and called him right away. His response was basically “cool”. He didn’t really believe it until I got the positive test at the dr’s office. I think he actually got excited (a little) when he first heard the heartbeat, and moreso when we had the ultrasound.Even then he didn’t act terribly excited in front of me, but I know at work he was just bubbling over and showing off pics of the ultrasound and all that. Give it time!

  70. My husband got more into it after he read The Expectant Father. We would have a routine where I would read a chapter of What To Expect while he read his book. It was something nice to share. And I would think that telling people would actually help him out because talking about it more makes it seem less abstract. If he doesn’t want to tell people you can just show up at his work to suprise him for lunch and try to look as pregnant as possible!

  71. Im 8 months pregnant with my fiance (with our first baby) it wasnt planned but we are BOTH VERY HAPPY about it. We used to have a GREAT relationship but it has just fallen apart in the last few months. I moved to Spain to be with him and am not working now, and do not speak the language yet and am completely incapacitated at the moment due to my pregnancy and all he does is make me feel bad and like I am burden and like he has to do everything himself and I am completely useless.He is the sole bread winner now and trying to teach and finish his PhD and I KNOW he feels a lot of pressure – I UNDERSTAND this…however, I have done everything I can in my limited capacity here (even while very pregnant and he just doesnt seem to appreciate it) I am trying to learn Spanish, I already HAVE a stay at home job lined up and a contract and am just awaiting my work visa here, I have given every DIME I had for our new house, even though I just lost my investor, my business and my job last year with the crash and had to fight 6 months for the money I was owed, and now I have nothing and am completely broke and dependent on him.
    I have had to endure many very tough circumstances with my career, job, dealing with lawyers etc and instead of being sensitive to this and trying to be supportive he acts like I brought this all on myself, that I am irresponsible and incapable of being a helpful partner in this relationship. He says “he cant so this all alone,” and that “I make everything worse” and “I will never speak Spanish” and “he doesnt have faith in me that I will be a helpful partner” “my life is nothing but a disaster” I dont know where this all comes from as I was a very successful independent woman who put myself through University with no help from my parents, made it in NYC and then started my own business in Europe!
    I have done a lot already since I got here (only 6 months ago!) – working as an editor for his academic journal for FREE and helping him with his phd, cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner, fixing up the new house, Im even renting part of it as a B&B now for for MORE income….I PUT myself in the hospital in early labor last week for 2 days from over working myself in the heat and he acts like everything Im doing is NOTHING.
    My lack of salary right now is TEMPORARY and women arent supposed to work when they are having a baby anyhow – so I dont understand why he has these unrealistic expectations?
    He seems to have lost all in faith in the person I was before I got pregnant and is completely NEGATIVE about everything all the time now, puts me down and makes me feel like I have ruined his life. I finally gave him an ultimatum and said I would leave and raise the baby on my own if this is not want he wants but he would be devistated as I know he LOVES and WANTS this baby.
    It seems to me that he JUST cannot handle all this pressure and is taking it out on me….if this is the case NOW however I am very fearful that it will only GET 10 times worse when we have the baby – as everyone I know says this is the hardest part.
    I dont know how to make it better and I feel more and more depressed, isolated, and despondent each day. HELP!!

  72. I feel a little bit lost about how I can best support him right now. We have had conversations so he knows I’m not pushing him to feel more than he does right now.

  73. Thanks Girls. I have to say that reading what Moxie and a lot of the other women had to say made me feel much better about my own situation. My husband does not seem very excited about our pregnancy and this has made me a little emotional lately. But, you helped put things in perspective. With the crazy hormones surging, it sometimes tough to focus on the important stuff. And, despite his lack of excitment, I know that he will be a good dad. I’m going to try and focus on that point.

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