The job of an expectant father, while may not be as difficult as creating life from nothing, is still no easy task. While your wife is growing a human being within her and changing every aspect of her body to nurture the child with said body, your job is to pick up the slack, keep momma happy, and avoid catastrophe, whether on you or to her own psyche. And all you have to do is keep this up for nine months!
Nine months sounds like a cake walk; that’s only three fourths of the year! “Nine Months” sounds so good they even made it into a Hugh Grant movie! And that was in the height of his career! You think to yourself, “If we get pregnant in the fall, have the baby by spring, we’ll be enjoying the beach by next summer!”
But then you do the math! 40 weeks of pregnancy divided by 4 weeks in each month, that’s 10 months! That is longer than I signed up for! That’s almost a whole year!
As a man, I could’ve easily been the perfect husband for nine months, as I’m sure many of you, anticipating papas, could have been as well! But ten months? No one can be perfect for ten months!
The number 40 carries heavy weight. It reminds me of the story of the Israelites wandering around the wilderness for 40 years.
Pregnancy is like 40 weeks of wandering around in your own personal wilderness, not knowing what to do to help your wife with these changes and scared of what she’ll do to you if you misstep.
The main difference is Israelites had Moses to show them the way.
Well fret not, my prenatal padres, for I am here. Now I haven’t descended from the mountain nor received this in a dream. This is the kind of knowledge you can only obtain from experience. And while breaking one of these commandments will not require a blood sacrifice, each come with their own consequences. The little annoying things you did that she overlooked before she was pregnant will become the bane of your existence.
Moses gave the Israelites Ten Commandments… (dramatic pause) And there just so happens to be Ten months of pregnancy! Coincidence? Yes, but I needed to draw a steady correlation between the two subjects to justify my super clickbaity title.
So now I present to you the Ten Commandments of Pregnancy.
A name is a powerful thing. It points back to our origin, speaks our identity, and reveals our future. Names can invoke powerful memories, pleasant or painful. Some names are new to this generation, while others are making a comeback.
But then there are names like Boris and Rupert which will never return, thank God! But before you go off on a tangent about how the name Oren sounds like a hillbilly prospector or the name Betsy is only used for overweight cattle, be sure to do a full background check on all of your wife’s relatives.
Now I’m not telling you to name your kid Clarence, even if you do so ironically. You can easily turn down a bad name by building it up instead. A proper response would sound like this: “Wow, honey, I love the name Herbert! It reminds me of a strong, illustrious warrior. It certainly does not make me think of the movie Deliverance! I just feel like our child will be more of a strong leader than a warrior.” Bonus points if you looked up the meaning of the names!
The first trimester is tough in many ways. Your wife’s body is already making changes and you both have to live with them. Her nose will become supercharged. In the second month, my wife sniffed out a two day old dead mouse where not even our beagle could find it! The police should be hiring pregnant women instead of bloodhounds! The bad news is smells will also make her want to vomit. Get used to taking your shoes off outside, going into another room to pass gas, and not eating anything you like. So one night, before you lie down, you say your normal, everyday prayers to God, “Help the orphans, feed the hungry, and increase my wife’s breast size. Amen” Not expecting anything to happen because orphans take precedence over your sex life. But then you wake up and, hallelujah, God has shown you favor, my son! Your wife went to bed with apples and woke up with melons. But these melons are forbidden fruit. Life is cruel and she’s in pain. It’s gentlemen club rules here; look but don’t touch. The worst form of torture imaginable. But hold fast, my brethren, the second trimester is coming quickly and she’ll be more than ready for you!Let me describe to you the type of person who you’ll find at Walmart at 2am.
- Disheveled look
- Hazy, bloodshot eyes
- Typically wearing no more than a bathrobe
- Stocking up on chips and frozen pizza
- Mumbles inaudibly
If you think I am describing a stoner, well you’d be partially correct. It’s really hard to tell the difference from that and an expectant father! But cravings happen regardless of the time of day and you need to be ready for it! And who knows, you might even meet a future baby sitter!
Do you remember the Parker Brother’s game “Don’t Wake Daddy?” The concept was simple. You are children, your father is asleep, the object of the game was to make it from your bedroom to the kitchen without waking daddy. If you wake daddy, you guessed it, you lose. Pregnancy is this on steroids. Instead of it being a fifteen minute game, it’s thirteen hours everyday. And instead of losing a small, meaningless game, you die. Okay, that one isn’t quite true but I think you get the gist. Your wife will be exerting a lot more energy on top of being filled with raging hormones. Heed my words and tread carefully.Modern medicine has come a long way. Over the past decade, the overall infant mortality rate in the United States has improved, declining 15 percent from 2005 to 2014. By 2017 the maternal mortality rate is down 44% since 1990. Doctors will encourage you to educate yourself and keep watch of your bodies but also will also give you a warning. “Be wary of what sites you visit for your information!” But Google is not a doctor and their first suggestion for anything medical is Web MD, the mad doctor of the internet. A simple case of an upset tummy will lead you to the most simple answer of pregnancy gas (which happens a lot) to the most dire, the baby imploded inside of her. And once she heads down that path only hours of soothing her fears and fact checking other sites will bring her back down.
So when the need arises and she asks if her feet look a little too swollen, answer her politely before she pulls out her phone, and suggest that you write down the question and ask the doctor on your next visit. Pregnancy is full of a lot of fears but the ones brought about by Web MD are unnecessary.By the third trimester your wife’s body is completely changed and pregnancy is taking it’s toll. Her feet, if you can call them that now, will need your attention. Don’t be freaked out by their new found size. They may look like she put Sock’em Boppers on her feet but it is not your job to judge or describe the grotesque monstrosities to her, since she probably hasn’t seen them in a while. It is your job to massage the hell out of them until they are back down to normal size. Keep that lotion close at hand!Now, as you can tell by my super sensitive writing, I am a hardcore feminist and I agree with equality on all rights. Except for sickness. One thing women will never understand is that sicknesses have very different effects on men than they do on women. To a woman, a cold is a minor inconvenience. To a man, it’s a crippling and deadly disease that we are lucky to have walked away from. It’s not that women have stronger immune systems, it’s that the Soviets designed the common cold to only effect men in attempts to steal our women, the whole reason behind the “Cold War.” It’s just biology, anatomy and American history. You can trust me, I’m a blog author and they don’t just let anyone write a blog!
But when your wife is pregnant the mere mention of a viral infection ravaging your immune system will only bring upon anger and needless comparisons. They may even tell you to “wash your hands more often.” “That didn’t stop the Soviets then, it won’t stop them now!” is something I would say if my wife weren’t pregnant. But until the baby come it’s best to not argue or complain. Just suck it up.Painting the nursery is no small feat, especially for the aspiring artist, like myself. Your wife may ask for something subtle and not too showy, like a light grey wall with one accent wall of a slightly darker grey. But you think, “Hey, 50% of this child is mine, therefore 50% of this nursery should be by my design!” And while that is logical, a pregnant woman never deals in logic. They deal in raw power.
But before you have time to think this through, your creative juices have already started flowing! Maybe a mountain here, a rock there, and perhaps a personal rendition of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam right above the rocking chair. It’s not like you’re using your child’s nursery as a poor fitted excuse to gather more praise for your unappreciated art degree! You were just thinking about her and what she would like, not about how many “likes” you would get on your Instagram!
But before you could add the final touches, your pregnant wife walks in and boy, is she mad! “I thought we agreed on a subtle grey…” she might say, clenching her fists in attempts to not strangle you. Not a good idea to make the argument, “I thought you liked my art!” That won’t work here. What’s best to to follow her instructions to the T and let your creativity come out with how you dress the child. Because I’m sure you’ll get a say in that!Notice how I saved this one for last which is also the Roman Numeral X, as in X-rated. There are dark corners of the internet where you can see the most graphic, visually disturbing content not suitable for the most calloused of minds. And then there’s Youtube, where a quick search of “natural birth” will give you a plethora of content worthy of eye bleach! “Childbirth is a thing of beauty,” they said. And while I’m sure that is true when it comes to your wife, a stranger’s pregnancy hemorrhoids in full 1080p HD are not, nor will ever be beauty to me. “It’s not at all scary!” Tell that to the kid whose head is hanging halfway out while his mom walks through the house! I’m telling you, what is seen cannot be unseen! You want teenagers to stop having sex, show them Youtube birthing videos! Best birth control on the market! Just know that when Youtube warns about graphic content, it’s no joke.
These are the Ten Commandments of Pregnancy. See that you follow them with a whole heart and never stumble and at the end of these 40 weeks in the wilderness, you will enter the promise land of parenthood, not as a man, but as a daddy. It’s the land of Breast Milk and “Honey, it’s your turn.” You’re work is over. You’re wife is no longer pregnant and therefore she can’t use that excuse to avoid housework. All you have to do is take a nap with the baby and everyone will think you’re the greatest dad alive!
I’m out daddies. Good luck!
If you are curious and want to see some graphic yet not so disturbing footage of natural childbirth, check out “The Business of Being Born” starring Ricki Lake as Ricki Lake in the role her baby was born to play. It explores the history of birthing methods and presents options that are not known to most expecting parents. You can find the full movie on Youtube.
Have you or your husband broken any of these Commandments? If so, which ones? Would you add any Commandments? Feel free to share down below!
To see all the latest from Duck Duck Greyduck be sure to subscribe down below! And if you want to see more of the Wildlife of Pregnancy check out The Six Unforgivable Sins of the Expectant Father.