It's not just you who might be surprised at changes you experience when baby is born, as well as changes and surprises during the actual pregnancy. Your spouse will also feel the 'surprises' and unexpected awkward, frustrating moments. Contrary to what you might believe, you might be left less bewildered by the whole pregnancy and birth than him, because it happens from within your own body.
Your partner, on the other hand, can't understand everything that is going on with you. Try as they may, your spouse might not understand that you are pulling away because you have become sensitive to his scent and touch, due to morning sickness, for example. Here are 10 things your spouse should know when you are expecting, for both the pregnancy and 'new mom' season:
10 Your energy levels will change
Remember the days when you frolicked carefree through the shopping malls, shopping bags in one hand, handbag in the other. You laughed and giggled like a little girl, your partner in tow? That could change.
During the morning sickness phase of pregnancy, you will feel bad about a lot of things which previously didn't irk you, and as you grow heavier, a walk through the shopping mall will seem like a miracle - forget the frolicking. This will affect you perhaps in a bigger way than your spouse expects it to. He will have to realize that this isn't personal. Your body is doing a lot of work (even though it might appear you are weary and sedate), which means a lot of physical adjustments.
9 You might nap lots
This will be for both pregnancy and being a new mom. Pregnant woman are often tired women. While they sleep, their bodies are at work, and great things are happening. Toes and fingers and eyelashes and little tummies are being knitted together in the womb. All the changes in the body require regular naps.
Then after the baby is born, you will often be exhausted. Even when your spouse helps, the demands of breastfeeding, and nursing a small baby (who wakes up every three or so hours) will mean a more tired woman. Let him know this so he will understand when you doze off - again.
8 You will pick up weight
The thought of picking up weight might scare some women, but some men even find it attractive. The bottom line is it normal to pack on the kilos during pregnancy. A lot of this is water weight, but this padding is necessary to protect and nurture baby.
Then when you are breastfeeding, you might lose some of the weight as nutrients are used for breast milk. Eventually, running after a toddler will have a slimming effect but he needs to understand that, for now, weight gain is normal. Your spouse married you for you, so they will still see you as the most beautiful creature in the world no matter what.
7 You will eat lots - and differently
You might have hated peanut butter before becoming a mom but something about pregnancy hormones makes combinations like oatmeal and peanut butter, and cookie dough with peanut butter, and peanut butter with soft serve ice cream seem irresistible. He must expect this.
Then when you finally have the baby, you will also eat differently and some things you liked before you got pregnant will not be your favorite anymore. Similarly, some new things will be on your food 'hit list;' such as peanut butter. Or maybe lobsters. You get the point.
6 You will spend more time in the bathroom
The bathroom is every new mom's best friend. After all, it is here that expectant moms and new moms regain their sanity.
If your spouse thought you spent lots of time there, they might be surprised that they were wrong and that it was possible for you to spend even more time grooming and relieving yourself, and dealing with 'woman stuff', like cramps and hormones and blemishes.
5 Someone else will hold a lot of your focus
Men might find it difficult to adjust to their wives suddenly focusing on another human being. Before, they might have swooned over their puppy dog eyes and called them 'baby'. However, someone new will become 'baby' and they might find this hard to accept.
Remember that you need to continue to give into your marriage and love your spouse and include him in baby duties. Still, it's good to explain to him that while baby is taking lots of your time, your love for him remains unconditional. Find ways to show him you care and appreciate him!
4 You might be a little more paranoid
As a pregnant woman and filled with baby-growing hormones you might be a little more paranoid. You might be a little suspicious and edgy. He might have to walk on egg shells when hormones peak. Then, as a new mom, suddenly mosquitoes and bugs will concern you.
You will notice things on edge's of tables. You will notice ground that isn't level. Motherhood will change you. It's not that you don't value being carefree, only that now there is someone else you need to take care of and this new 'paranoia' is the Mama Bear rising in you.
3 You will start to nest
He might find you folding little clothes or straightening things and wonder where his hippie, nonchalant wife went to. Or you will suddenly want to buy lots of really domesticated stuff, like toilet brushes, and even look excited about it. Trust us, it happens.
When the new baby is about to arrive, you will fold those tiny clothes over and over and could within a week, do a few overhauls of baby's nursery. Tell him it's called 'nesting'.
2 Your fashion sense might change
You probably didn't know scarves and brooches and comfortable shoes were so great before getting pregnant. He will ask you what happened to the heels. Don't bite his head off in your fluxing hormonal state. Explain to him the Crocs on your feet are comfortable and help support your third trimester belly, or to support the weight of your body to be able to carry the baby you are carrying on your hip.
Strangely though, many women really find a unique, beautiful fashion sense when they become 'Mom'. Don't abandon self-care when you are pregnant or a new mom, rather use it as the opportunity to be one of those women who redefine beautiful fashion when they enter motherhood.
1 You will appreciate his help more
While men might feel second fiddle to your blue-eyed, button-nosed wonder baby, what they need to know is that now more than ever, you need them. It's tough being pregnant. It's a hero's journey. Then being a new mom can be overwhelming, as being a new dad probably is too. He needs to know parenthood is teamwork.
If you are snappy and tired at times, this especially is when you need him. You need him to tell you it's okay, and to love you in spite of all of the changes. You need his help and partnership in raising the wonderful creation you have produced together.