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Pregnancy Ambivalence

16 replies

ste981204 · 15/11/2013 14:56

Just found out that the wife is pregnant (very early days) and I'm generally ambivalent about the news. Any of you other guys feel the same when you received the news?

OP posts:
CatsCantFlyFast · 15/11/2013 15:00

I'm not a guy but I know it can be very hard for men to feel anything about a pregnancy early doors because it does not seem real. Generally this will change as the bump grows and you get to see the scans and hear the heartbeat
However I am not certain from your post whether you mean ambivalent as in not feeling excited or ambivalent as in not sure you want the baby which are different things I think

sebsmummy1 · 15/11/2013 15:01

Are you actually pretty scared but masking it with ambivalence?

JoinYourPlayfellows · 15/11/2013 15:06

I'm a woman and I felt ambivalent about the news of my first two pregnancies.

It's really hard to get your head around it as a reality and once it's actually happening and you can't turn the clock back, it's kind of scary.

My DH wasn't even ambivalent. He was pretty much entirely uninterested in the whole pregnancy thing (although he was very kind to me).

But once the baby arrived my ambivalence turned into sheer terror and his lack of interest vanished and he was really brilliant.

Congratulations :)

sebsmummy1 · 15/11/2013 15:06

Just to add my partner was not that happy when I told him the news, even though we hadn't been careful and he knew there was a chance I could fall pregnant.

That was nearly two years ago now and he is the BEST Dad ever, dotes on our son and we are now trying desperately to conceive our second child and failing and he is doing everything he can to get home on time when the tests say go and pay for all the blimming tests which is obviously a world away from the person who sounded pissed off on the phone those years ago.

So don't worry that you are not bouncing off the walls with excitement. It's pretty normal.

Peetle · 15/11/2013 15:54

I was a very reluctant prospective father when we got a positive test. I was very aware of the major changes about to take place but without a real focus for these changes, beyond a blue line on a plastic stick, I couldn't see a plus side.

Then we had the scan and discovered it was twins. I both saw the reality of our children and realized I had no choice but to be completely committed to our family which was about to double in size. It was time to "man up".

And when they were born we had our babies the emotions were indescribable. I have since become quite evangelical about the joys of parenthood to other prospective fathers. Until you actually have your own children you don't really understand it. I think many blokes (myself included) think they'll feel as attached as they do to friends' babies and can only see the things they'll have to give up.

The DTs are six now and we occasionally manage to do the things we've had to give up (cinemas, nights out a deux. I even managed to go skiing this year) but of course you can have lots of fun doing things with your kids (challenging though it often is). I wouldn't change it for the world.

sebsmummy1 · 15/11/2013 16:04

Plus you get to do 'kid things' again and suddenly Christmas and holidays seem relevant again as you are seeing them through the eyes of your children. All the excitement comes back for things you had personally grown out of Grin

DoctorTwo · 15/11/2013 16:23

It wasn't ambivalence I felt, more sheer terror. Pretty soon I was reading to the foetus and looked forward to the birth. When he was born I was overjoyed and like sebsmummy said, I got to do all the kid things again.

Pan · 15/11/2013 16:46

ste - bloke here - I think you'd have to say about more re ambivalence. Mixed/conflicting feelings yes, but what are they exactly?

Toadinthehole · 16/11/2013 20:05

I was ambivalent too. At the time, I would have been happy to remain childless. Mrs Toad, however, wanted children, and I wasn't going to deny her.

The next - probably 3 or 4 years - I found hard because I felt reduced to chief bottle-washer, sperm-donor, bag carrier and money-provider. The pregnancy was, of course, all about Mrs Toad, as was the birth, and early childhood was - in my experience at least - fundamentally about mother and child, not father and child. I was present at the birth, as required, but reckoned I was just getting in the way. The next few years were going to work and getting moaned at for money, and coming home and getting moaned at again.

It was only when my children hit about 3 or 4 that we started to relate well to each other, and I felt a proper part of their lives. I think society only starts to trust a man's involvement properly from that point.

Pan · 16/11/2013 21:45

yes, a lot of that resonates with me. I didn;t feel so separate as that, but yes to much of it. dd's mum though was v nervous about 'breaking' dd and so I did more of the bathing/hair washing/nappies/ cradling sort of thing. But after a while there was def. an 'exclusion' thing until dd was a bit more independent and expressive. Oddly, dd's mum remembers nothing of those early years and is convinced she was 'mother earth' from the start.
Which is fine.Smile

It's all very different isn't it? OP, if your still around, all will work itself out, and try not to worry.

mrsWast · 16/11/2013 21:51

'the wife'?

Pan · 16/11/2013 21:54

yes, the OP said 'the wife'. And that is what we take away from a supportive thread, isn't it.

sebsmummy1 · 17/11/2013 04:43

Pmsl Pan Grin

Peetle · 19/11/2013 09:16

Well, he could have said "my current wife" which I've heard blokes say.

Interesting to hear fathers feeling they didn't get much of a look in during the baby phase. Another advantage of having twins - we had one each; I didn't have a choice about "getting my hands dirty" and certainly wasn't excluded during visits, etc.

As well as being evangelical about fatherhood, I encourage people to have twins. The pregnancy is likely to be more challenging (to make life more interesting, we completed a challenging house move during week 30) but the more time passes the more obvious the logistical advantages become.

AlbertGiordino · 19/11/2013 10:23

Peetle re: twins - encourage away mate! I dont think it'll make much difference though!

UriGeller · 19/11/2013 10:38

Well whats done is done. You might as well get into it.

I think its actually harder for the partner to get their heads round the situation than it is for the pregnant woman. She has the inklings, the sickness, the hormonal and the bodily changes which are visibly setting her up for a complete transformation from woman to Mother.

The partner, however only gets these sensations second hand, then suddenly theyre thrust into parenthood. Honestly, feel sorry for you all.

Maybe look at some early development foetus info, it really is scientifically astounding whats going on in there.

Oh, and insist (diplomatically of course!) your wife keeps you informed about all the aspects of her pregnancy, it'll make you feel more involved in the whole thing.


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