As much as you read up on pregnancy or talk to friends about it, there just WILL be plenty of things you just can’t “expect when you’re expecting.”
1. The overwhelming joy and sudden-impact fear when you get the news. If you’re hearing this informational nugget from your partner, do yourself a favor and smile and be excited first, then worry and crap your pants later.
2. The mix of reactions when you share the news. Kind of the way people say we all grieve death in different ways; sometimes, new life is the same. Your best friend may not know how to process the idea while distant cousins may be overly ecstatic for you. Don’t weight your expectations.
3. So much unsolicited advice. People who are, I must emphasize, NOT EVEN PARENTS will undoubtedly have “the best” tips on how to prepare for and raise your not-yet-born child. Add grain of salt as needed. These tidbits are often followed closely by…
4. Too many unwelcome questions. “Are you having a natural birth?” “Will you breastfeed?” “Are you planning on having another?” Excuse me, almost stranger, would you mind leaving my wife’s vagina, breasts and both our reproductive organs alone. And can we actually HAVE this one first!
5. All-day morning sickness. Whoever named it “morning” sickness HAD to have been a comedian. Her first trimester was so killer; my mother-to-be couldn’t bare the THOUGHT of food most of the time, let alone get something down.
6. Worry upon worry upon… oh yeah: worry. Your blood pressure level will likely remain as heightened as your expecting wife’s new elephant-like sense of smell. Tests and check-ups provide only as much relief as they provide brand new things you hadn’t even thought to worry about.
7. As obvious as the belly got, people were still bumping the bump. Commuters, crowds and even general passersby are just not good to your waddling baby-maker. Trips to our doctor or the store sometimes made me wish I could walk ahead of my wife and just linebacker people away from her path.
8. As much as your wife’s body will grow, so will your love for it. I once jokingly told my wife when we were dating, that my love had an expiration weight. Looking back at pictures of my wife pregnant, I realize I didn’t even notice her weight gain. It never mattered and still doesn’t. Her body gave us our baby.
9. You will not be ready whenever the time comes. You just won’t. Deal. Mapping out routes to the hospital and birthing plans are great. If they make you feel better, do them. But, just know, they will very likely not happen as you thought. And it’s okay.
You’ll have a whole other set of things you won’t expect after expecting.