For a lot of couples, pregnancy isn’t just nine months of bliss as they gleefully await the arrival of their little bundle of joy. In reality, most couples will have their fair share of quarrels before they make it to that estimated due date.
Oh no! Fighting with a baby on the way? That can’t be good, right? Actually, it’s quite normal. What’s important is that couples remain calm and argue in an effective way that communicates both partners’ points of view. Shouting over one another and threatening to end the relationship over what color the nursery is painted won’t get anyone anywhere good.
Sure, a lot of the battles couples are up against during pregnancy aren’t quite that simple. What happens when it’s extremely important to one partner to circumcise their son and the other sees it as an outdated religious practice that they don’t ascribe to? That’s what we’re here for!
Rest assured that every argument has a solution. Yes, sometimes one party won’t get their way. Sometimes, there is no room for compromise when a situation is black and white. In those instances, we concede for the betterment of our relationship. After all, it’s not just about being a couple anymore. It’s about being parents.
12 To Snip, Or Not To Snip
To be honest, this fight is almost always occurring because Mom does not want to circumcise and Dad does. There are undoubtedly reverse cases out there somewhere, but the bulk of it is this. Usually, Dad is circumcised himself.
It can be difficult for a man to accept that circumcision is wrong when it was done to him. Then he is forced to confront his own feelings about it. It’s actually a pretty big deal. It would be the equivalent to removing the clitoral hood on a female. Think about the loss of sensitivity! The loss of sexual pleasure one would never know!
Often, Dads also don’t want their child to be the brunt of locker room jokes. Sometimes, the intact Dad has experienced this himself. Fear not. The trend with circumcision is changing. In 2009, just 32.5 percent of infant males were circumcised at birth. It’s today’s circumcised sons that will be tomorrow’s minority.
11 When To Shout “We’re Pregnant!”
A lot of couples have it out over this topic. As soon as they find our they’re pregnant, it can be difficult to conceal. They want to share their happy news with the whole world. On the other hand, they worry about risks like miscarriage, which are a reality for a quarter of all pregnant women. So, most couples will wait until the first trimester is over to announce. Still, some let it all out early on.
What happens when one of you wants to post the pregnancy test to Facebook right away while the other would like to wait about two more months? It’s agonizing, especially when the one wanting to wait is usually Mom. She may feel inclined to tell her best friend, or her own parents, but she’s not up for telling the in-laws. Dad thinks, what gives?
It might seem unfair, and yes, the baby is both Mom’s and Dad’s, but the pregnancy is not. No matter which way you dice it, it is Mom going through the physical process of being pregnant. Miscarrying is one of the most painful experiences anyone can endure, and for Dads, too. Still, the shame and guilt some mothers carry after a miscarriage is tough enough to deal with without needing everyone else’s input. Dads, if she wants to wait, let her win this one.
10 Hormone Hell
Speaking of letting her win, you might notice a trend with that throughout pregnancy. We women have a way with our hormones. While we are often ridiculed and mocked for them in sitcoms and made fun of for our apparent lacking ability to control how we feel, we are actually very powerful creatures. We are far more in tune with our bodies and mother nature than any man ever could be.
That said, pregnancy is like kicking those hormones we’ve dealt with all these years into high gear. It’s a bit of a learning curve and can force us to have to reacclimate to our bodies, environment, and the people around us.
If she’s biting your head off because you’re chewing too loudly or she suddenly can’t stand anything about you, rest assured it’s all her hormones and not her talking. In fact, a lot of women are intolerant to the progesterone they produce while pregnant, and that’s what causes the mood swings. This is by no means an excuse for moms to behave badly or treat their partners poorly, but it is an explanation that may encourage partners to take it with a grain of salt.
9 Pink, Blue, Or Team Green?
Most women have imagined their first pregnancy for many years before they actually plan for it. They have wondered what it would feel like to see those lines pop up on the test stick. They’ve daydreamed about finding out whether it’s a boy or a girl and painting the nursery accordingly.
Then their partner comes along shocked at the idea of finding out what gender the baby is before he or she is born. What? Gasp! Wait nine months? Be surprised? Buy everything in neutral colors? No, no, no. This can’t be. How could you not have screened him for this on the first date? It’s nearly a deal breaker.
In all actuality, there’s no real compromise to be had here. Sure, one parent could find out while the other didn’t, but they’d have to steer clear of all things baby products until after the birth. That would be interesting. Some couples settle on having the sonography tech report the results to a bakery that dyes the cake pink or blue. Then the couple surprises themselves — and often friends and family — later on. This is an option that both allows for some element of surprise while still revealing the gender early enough to plan for it. Good luck!
8 What’s In A Name?
Oh my, do I ever relate to this well. My partner was certainly not about to be a pushover when it came to naming our son. For years before we finally conceived him, he told me of names that he loved. A philosophy major and lawyer, it should not have surprised me that he wanted to name his child something like Archimedes or Aristotle. Actually, he really liked Aturo. I just couldn’t.
We went through oodles of names from the moment we found out it was a boy (no surprises here) until he was born, and then some. I think we settled on Kelley around 38 weeks pregnant, but the middle name was not going to come as easily. He went without one until two days old when suddenly, Bodhi popped into my head and he agreed. Whew! Not looking forward to doing that again!
Names are serious business. Sure, your kid could grow up and change their name to Eminem or Bow Wow, but the likelihood is slim. They’re going to be stuck with this title you bestow upon them, and a lot of people believe children grow up to fulfil their names. If the baby name books aren’t working for you, find elements of certain names that you like and work with them. Make one up if you need to, but you will need to name your child.
7 Birthing Basics
While there are certainly dads who are proponents of natural childbirth, most of that movement gets its gusto from women. Therefore, the majority of the time when there is an argument over the best way to birth, it’s because the mother is in favor of going more natural and the father is petrified of the thought of that.
Just as women have been coaxed by the media and mainstream medicine to think birth is an awful, painful experience that should be heavily medicated, men have, too. They know very little about birth outside of what they’ve seen in movies and on TV. They may have a buddy who told them how terrible it was to see his wife in that kind of pain. Regardless, men often have an opinion of birth that it’s going to be frightening, and they won’t be in control.
6 What About Our Sex Life?
Poor Dad. You were knockin’ the boots nearly every day when it was time to try to conceive. Now you’re pregnant and suddenly you want nothing to do with the old man. Ha! While it’s true that our desire to conceive can certainly increase our sex drive, pregnancy can decrease it like nothing else!
All those raging hormones don’t just make us angry and moody while we’re pregnant. In the first trimester specifically, they make us quite tired! We may have bursts of energy on some days, but we’re usually busy tending to the other children or cleaning up the house because we did absolutely nothing yesterday but sleep!
Try to be understanding, Dad. At the same time, moms need to step up to the plate in this department. While no one is advocating that you force yourself to have sex when you aren’t in the mood for it, understand that it may take a little more effort to get into the mood, and that is worth trying out. Your relationship should not be put on the back burner now just because something more exciting and new is happening.
5 Unsolicited Advice From The In-Laws
There’s nothing like fighting with your mother-in-law about vaccines and circumcision. I mean, what MIL doesn’t want to hear that she made the wrong choice for her son, whom you regularly have sex with despite that wrong choice, and that you are going to be making the right choice for your son? Right?
Sigh. It’s lovely to have such an open and free-flowing relationship with one’s in-laws. You get to know one another like best friends. You can talk about anything. Then you get pregnant with their grandbaby and everything changes.
It’s even better when you complain to your hubby that his mother is nuts and he defends his dear old mom. Ouch! Dads, remember your wife is about to be a mom, too, and you need to set an example for how she should be treated by your child. The point is not who Dad agrees with to be the tiebreaker. It’s to diffuse the argument, even if it means agreeing to disagree. Point blank, only the baby’s parents’ opinions matter when it comes to how the baby will be raised. Sorry, MIL.
4 When Only One Parent Is Pro-Vax
This can be tricky. It’s difficult to compromise when the issue is so black and white. One parent is absolutely against vaccines and their horrible neurotoxic ingredients that cause autoimmune diseases, learning disorders and death. The other parent is absolutely against not vaccinating and protecting their child from diseases that could allegedly claim their life.
Much like other hot button issues with parents, this comes down to science. It’s thick. Be careful. Some of it supports vaccines, and some of it doesn’t. You’ll both have to vet the sources, being cautious to examine who completed each study and if they have any bias or ulterior motive. You’ll have to wager whether the risk of vaccine side effects are scarier to you than the diseases they claim to prevent.
In many cases, couples do all of this and still disagree. In these instances, it’s important to keep a level head. Fighting won’t solve anything. Neither will threats or involving third parties. Instead, table the discussion. Find compromise by only choosing certain vaccines, or tabling the discussion altogether until a later date when more research can be done. Regardless of the ultimate choice, you cannot go back once vaccinated. So, it’s important not to move forward until you’re sure.
3 Money Matters
Care to guess how much the average birth costs these days? While an uncomplicated hospital vaginal birth averaged around $10,657 in 2011, a complicated Cesarean birth was much more at $23,923. Most of the time, these fees are covered in majority by insurance, which itself isn’t always cheap. Co-pays and deductibles add up. Home births are often paid for out of pocket, but they are also much more affordable around $2,500 on average.
Couples fight about money. Since the existence of bartering, before currency existed, that has remained true. In fact, money is the number one factor that causes stress in relationships. It is often at the root of divorce. So, take it seriously. If you’re quarrelling about finances, find a middle ground and do it fast. Remember, you are both after the same outcome. Financial stability is important to both parties here. If you need to, consult a financial advisor or counselor to help you both comes to realistic terms of spending, from prenatal care and birth to baby clothes and the crib. It all adds up.
2 Announcing The Birth
Just as we get eager to announce our pregnancies when they happen, we are overjoyed when our babies are born. Some people will want to call every family member and let them in on the secret as soon as the first timeable contraction occurs. Others will want to push pause, sit back and let labor progress before letting anyone in on it. Some families even wait until the baby is a few days old before they announce now.
Why? Because they want to enjoy the birth experience without anyone else intervening. They don’t want their great aunt announcing their baby’s arrival on Facebook to their friends and family before they can. They don’t want anyone swinging by to check on mom while she’s in labor. While everyone tends to have the best of intentions, parents don’t get a do-over in this case. So, they plan accordingly.
If one partner wants to announce the birth while the other doesn’t, it’s only fair to keep it quiet for the time being. Announcing it before the other party is ready will only cause emotional upset at a time when no one should be angry or hurt. However, waiting a few hours or even a day won’t prevent the excited party from eventually getting to announce the birth however they want to. Both parties win!
1 Here Come The Visitors
This sometimes goes hand in hand with announcing the birth. As soon as people know the baby has arrived, they are putting their shoes on to head to the hospital — or your house! They want to get a peek, check on mom, give you their well wishes, and so forth. It’s all very sweet, and it’s all very overwhelming, too.
While Dad may be on cloud nine and loving every minute of the attention his new bundle of joy is getting, mom is often quite exhausted from labor and birth. Try to remember dads, she just ran fifty triathlons. Let’s give her a minute, eh?
In addition, the immediate hours and days postpartum are critical for mom and baby’s wellbeing. Mom will experience huge hormonal surges that can leave her feeling blue or even empty inside. She’ll have moments of elation, as well. She and baby need time to bond and develop their breastfeeding relationship. Your second cousin, the neighbors and your old college buddy aren’t going anywhere. Invite them over to meet the baby after everyone is settled into their routine.