People seem to forget that pregnancy and parenthood are the work of both parents (assuming you’re cisgendered and in a monogamous relationship, though I know there are many children raised by same-sex parents too and that’s awesome!). Most of the time, in commercial establishments, media, blogs and baby books, pregnancy discussions are focused on the pregnant woman. Granted, it’s the woman who has to carry the child for nine months, deal with all the hormones, give birth and breastfeed. But there are plenty of men who would love to be more involved in the pregnancy journey, and society tends to just ignore that.
When we found out I was pregnant, I installed two pregnancy apps on my phone – What To Expect and Baby Center’s Pregnancy and Baby. Oneal, eager to read up and track the progress of our Lil Ass-Kicker’s growth, installed them too—and was disappointed that upon installing, the apps assumed he was either a pregnant woman or a mom. I asked around if there were apps for expectant dads too, but got few recommendations. He kept the two apps on his phone, and we never got around to looking for apps for dads-to-be.
When we went shopping for baby stuff at Baby Company in SM Makati, we got a Mom Card, and I lamented, why is there no dad card? Why can’t it be a parent card?
It really annoys me when people think that men’s obligations towards pregnant partners ends when they get them pregnant. The men in my life have been so supportive and involved in my pregnancy, and it’s appalling that society just ignores that!
When his wife Hazel was pregnant, my brother-in-law Ron was very diligent about cooking nutritious meals, checking her blood sugar (she had gestational diabetes) and giving her meds on time. “He really stepped up!” I remember her saying cheerfully.
It probably won’t surprise our friends and family that Oneal has been amazing throughout my pregnancy. And really, we worked so hard on this pregnancy, it’s only natural that he would do everything to make sure that things went smoothly over nine months.
Oneal went with me to every OB appointment, every ultrasound. When I got my OGTT, he took the day off to accompany me to the lab. And he went with me to the parenting workshops! “It’s my baby too!” he said.
(This clip is hilarious too!)
As I got bigger and more unwieldy, Oneal made me cut back on household chores. He did the laundry and the dishes, telling me to rest and put my feet up. He went with me to the grocery. He made dinner. He made breakfast (French toast! Dilis! Hash browns!). He got up in the middle of the night to make me midnight snacks. He brought water every time we left the house, because I was thirsty all the time. He made OB and lab appointments for me. He drove me to work, and picked me up from work. He took showers with me, because I couldn’t soap my legs anymore. He heated up water, so I could soak my feet. He gave up all the pillows on the bed, so that I could put up my feet, lie on my left side, or configure all the pillows in any way I wanted just so I could get comfortable.
So really, can we quit acting like pregnancy is just for women? It changes men’s lives too!