Monday 12 April 2021
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Paternity starts at pregnancy

Black pregnant woman eating peanut butter in kitchen

The results of a pregnancy are an obvious cause for celebration, but this is not complete joyride as we would expect. Today we would like to talk about pregnancy, from a woman perspective as we share what women wish men knew about the ‘nine months’ journey.

“You are just so difficult and annoying. The one moment you want this and a few minutes later you no longer want what you asked me to get you in the first place. And then you chase me out of the house and minutes later you call me to come back. Why are you so complicated and hard to understand,” asked a man whose wife is seven months pregnant.

The wife responded; “I do not know why but I just do it. I try to control it but sometimes I just don’t manage. Please do not take it personal but I guess it is all part of the pregnancy.”

Pregnancy brings a new meaning to the concept of beauty. It is a period of immense joy coupled with excitement. The feeling of carrying a little soul within you is magnificent. But equally so, the often haphazard emotions and never-ending mood swings can be a roller-coaster – women know best.

This is the time when it is almost impossible to understand her and whatever you do is either too much or a mere drop in the ocean. But do not take it personal as all this is part of the pregnancy package. It is also a bonus point to mention that how you (men) treat your pregnant wife contributes to the health of the mother and the unborn child.

“It bothers me a lot when I see men showing no concern for their pregnant partner or fail to adjust to a temporal 9 months change that is going to bring you joy in the end. It is just nine months and sometimes you hear the father of the unborn baby just does not care,” said midwife and mother Teressia Andreas.

But besides the anger, women generally have towards absent fathers, there are just basic things about pregnancy that women generally wish men understood. The call for them to read books on the matter has not worked, so The Lounge interviewed mother of two Operi Tjipuka.

It is elementary knowledge that once in a while, or more than often, she would nag. This is guaranteed. She will become lazy some times and crave for things you never thought were part of her diet. How you get what she wants is not her business but if you take a bit long, she might just change her mind. And just when she feels like stretching her legs on your lap, please be there because ‘carrying a baby is no easy job.’

Do not take it personal
“It is already stressful so please see into it on how you can help reduce the stress. We as women are generally emotional beings so it gets even worse during pregnancy. At times I’m just angry, but it’s not like I choose to be angry, it’s just the emotions. And then there will just be a time when I cannot stand you. But do not take it personal because it is all just emotions,” said Tjipuka.

“And then there are the abnormal cravings. I remember a friend of mine who only wanted chips from Okahandja. Soher husband had to drive from Windhoek to get the chips. At times he just stayed at a friend’s place to kill time and then buy the chips somewhere. It’s not like she will know where the chips would come from. And then when he brought the chips, she would no longer be interested. It is quite frustrating but you just need to play along because it is not personal,” she added.

Understand the change
Besides the emotional change, physical change is inevitable. Generally women are already sensitive on what you say about how they look, so watch the words as you describe her ‘beautiful’ new looks.

Every woman goes through pregnancy differently and so will be their expectations from you. While some women are busy vomiting, others will sleep like water leaf – they doze off anywhere with the slightest chance.

Some will have a fever but you should also forgive those who will look cranky and dry. Yours will probably pick up weight and kindly pardon her when she walks around spitting – all this was partly your doing by the way.

“At this time all I want is your appreciation and effort to make my life easier. I’m not Beyoncé and will never look like she looked when she was pregnant, so don’t compare me to anyone else. Tell me that I’m the most beautiful woman in your life. If you like Beyoncé, then make me your Beyoncé,” said Tjipuka.

While complements count as much as pregnant mothers want to be understood, men should also understand that carrying a baby for nine months is not an easy job, hence they need a hand in doing some physical chores.

“I’m carrying our child for 9 month so the least you can do is appreciate me. You can do this by volunteering to help. The little things matter. Cook for me once in a while. Volunteer to do the grocery shopping. And please just massage her feet. Again, just make my life easier.”

“Be there when I need you and do not be there when I cannot stand you. It is nothing personal.”

“While she is pregnant, she still needs your affection. Take her out where you usually take her and just be who you used to be. Nothing changed besides the pregnancy.”

Just because of the load and stress, Tjipuka said pregnant mothers will sometimes wish they could give the pregnancy over to their spouse, “just so that you have a feel of what they go through. So please be nice.”

In the end, the bumper road comes to an end and will bring about the bundle of joy that will be celebrated by everyone. However, the journey of support should have started from day one. “Support one another.

Just like we admire the baby once it is born, also be part of the pregnancy from day one.

Paternity starts from day one of pregnancy,” she concludes.

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