January 25, 2007

I can see clearly now...

You can dress it up...

There is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman? Whoever said that simply had to be a radical feminist. Now, don’t get me wrong here, because I do believe that pregnancy is a miraculous thing, but from what I’ve seen so far there isn’t anything pretty about it at all. Physiologically, it is a nightmare experience that gets worse with every passing week.

When my wife became pregnant it was indeed the blessed event that everyone always said it would be. We were so excited in the first weeks and it really didn’t seem to impact our lives much at all. Then came the morning sickness and the nausea, followed shortly thereafter by the heightened sense of smell that left her gagging and green without any warning. It wasn’t very beautiful at all.

As the changes in my wife’s physiology continued to accelerate her emotions started flickering back and forth across the spectrum of feelings from darkest despair to manic elation. Watching television became a real adventure. Sometimes it seemed as if the only relief I experienced was when she fell asleep.

Then came the snoring; the likes of which I’ve never heard before in my entire life. It was the sound of a roaring chainsaw followed by the piercing wail of a semi-truck air-horn. I lay in bed with my wife, but I no longer slept until she got up in the morning and left for work.

The last few weeks my wife suffered through sleepless nights with back pain from which there seemed no possible relief. Neither one of us were getting any sleep at night and it was anything but a beautiful experience for the two of us. We tried everything; Bio-medic massage units, sleep pillows, back rubs and hot baths.

Nothing worked. Finally, in an unparalleled act of desperation, my wife agreed to visit my chiropractor. She may have believed them to be quacks in the past but she has a new found respect for the relief they provide now. The back pain is down to a manageable level and she can sleep once again.

At last we are headed down the home stretch of our pregnancy. The baby is due in mid to late April and we couldn’t be looking forward to his arrival with any more excitement. Yes, this is a miraculous event and I will never forget this time and the sacrifices we’ve made as a couple to ensure the best start in life for our child. Has it been a beautiful experience? Ask my wife for the answer to that question, and then duck fast when she snarls and goes for the jugular vein in your neck.

Pregnancy has been an amazing adventure that has affected every aspect of our relationship. My wife and I have suffered through every physical and emotional indignity together and it has been anything but beautiful. That is the plain truth.

Every single visual cue I’ve ever known as man looking for physical beauty in a woman has been shattered. As I watch my snoring, snuffling gurgling rumbling and rotund wife drooling upon the pillow as she sleeps I can assure you that it is one of the most physically distressing sights I’ve ever witnessed.

Gentlemen, let me give you a word of warning here; if your relationship with a woman relies purely upon her physical beauty you are in for a rude awakening when she becomes pregnant. Believe me when I tell you that you are going to live through nine months of sights sounds and smells the likes of which you cannot imagine not even in your worst nightmare.

Now I will tell you the miracle of pregnancy. Guys, your wife will never be more beautiful to you than she is during this time. It is true and I tell you this from personal experience. When every single masculine stereotype of physical feminine beauty is stripped away before your frightened eyes something wonderful will happen. You will meet your wife as a person. You will discover why you really love her.

As I’ve watched my wife go through the process of pregnancy it has amazed me how beautiful she has remained to me throughout the entire experience. After listening to all of the horror stories from all of the men in all of the locker rooms I was prepared for the very worst of changes. I began to wonder why I wasn’t feeling any of the negative stuff I’d been told to expect.

That’s when I learned what I’d already known for a long time about my relationship. I love my wife because of who she is, not because of what she looks like. Felicia is my best friend. She is my life partner and she is the best conversationalist I’ve ever known. Our love is wonderful because of our shared experience. My wife is beautiful because of who she is as a person. It was truly an epiphany moment.

I had no clue what marriage was about when I entered into the union. What I find to be important and wonderful these days are astounding to me. When did I begin to embrace things I always avoided in my bachelor days? What happened to me? I’ve changed. I may even have grown up a little and I owe it all to the incredible person I spend my days and nights with.

The time is growing near when our baby is going to enter the world and join our family. Yes, I know that he will change and affect our lives even more than he has already, but somehow I am not afraid of what the future may hold in store for us. After all, I am in the company of the most amazing person I know; my wife, Felicia.

Pregnancy, what a wonderful thing...

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Blogger KSHIPPYCHIC said...

Oh man. Just wait for the epiphany experience you will have when you see that beautiful boy enter into the world. There is absolutely nothing like it on earth. Everything you ever thought or felt will change in an instant! I hope your wife can get some relief with the chiro care. I swear by it. My chiro took care of me the entire pregnacies, and put me into labor with accupuncture when it was time for my last child. The nursery is gorgeous btw. It is so nice to hear from a daddy's perspective!

January 25, 2007 6:32 AM  
Blogger The Wee Italian Chick said...

Dirk,your words are beautiful - not only because of their poetical aspects, but more importantly because of their realistic truth. I've just got "damped" at the week-end by a man who chose "beauty" over someone who completed him and would have spent her whole life devoted to love him. I wish he read your post. Ivonne

January 25, 2007 8:34 AM  
Blogger The Wee Italian Chick said...

BTW:I am thrilled your wife is feeling better. I'll keep her in my prayers.

January 25, 2007 8:35 AM  
Blogger Jodes said...

that was a wonderful post. You are very lucky to have such a wonderful marriage and she is lucky to have you. I have had 2 sons and I agree being pregnant is a wonderful, beautiful, even sexy thing. I had my bad days, but the minute that little baby moved I did not care how bad my back hurt or how huge my ankles were from swelling. It was amazing.

January 25, 2007 10:16 AM  
Blogger Asara said...

*tear* That was beautiful, Dirk! I can only hope my hubby felt the same for me when I was lugging around 10 lbs. of baby, plus some. I do know that nothing could match the look in his eyes when our children came into the world.. pride, love, everything.. it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

January 25, 2007 11:34 AM  
Blogger Dazd said...

You stated that very well. While pregnancy looks ugly physically, it's the beauty of her thats most intriguing.

Excellent post and glad to hear the back is much better.

January 25, 2007 11:50 AM  
Blogger CSL said...

Okay, some aspects of pregancy aren't beautiful. But a pregnant body, even if you aren't a radical feminist (and I admit, I am), is. And the post about your pregnant wife? Also very beautiful.

January 25, 2007 1:09 PM  
Blogger annie said...

that made me cry. beautifully stated, and honest.
and ALMOST long for the long-gone days of pregnancy, yet again.
key word: ALMOST
having a child with someone is the ultimate test of a relationship's strength. and that test continues, through the decades of raising them.
my oldest and youngest share the same april 10th bday. 10 years apart. april is a lovely birth month. so happy for the 3 of you.

January 25, 2007 2:00 PM  
Anonymous crunchy carpets said...

Wow...what an awesome post.
And you think you have experienced sights and sounds NOW? Wait till the birth!

My dh is a changed man after witnessing THAT....and all the sights and sounds that went along with the 'miracle.'

Pregnancy is an amazing journey for a women....she learns a lot about herself and what she can deal with in that time. It is also a learning experience for the partner too. I think it sadly can be a deal breaker.

Pregnancy and a birth can make or break a man.

It made mine...it reminded me about why I married him in the first place....his strength and compassion....

You get the picture.

It is a bumpy but amazing ride!!!

January 25, 2007 2:14 PM  
Blogger The Wizened Wizard said...

Ahhhhh... maturity and wisdom speaking... Listen up, all you kids! True love is based on things that might not be apparent at first glance.

Dirk, 'glad to hear that things are well. Give my best to your lady.

January 25, 2007 2:24 PM  
Blogger bardouble29 said...

Dirk - what a wonderful way to express your thoughts and feelings. The honesty and integrity by which you stated the truth is awesome.

January 25, 2007 3:35 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

What a reflief it'll be once the baby is born and everything can return back to normal!


January 25, 2007 4:30 PM  
Blogger Em said...

My wife was so morning sick she was hospitalized with our first...and actually LOST weight with our third after throwing up so much. Hard to believe we did it three times! But ya know what, you are right. It is an amazing, incredible experience to witness. To share. And pregnant women really are beautiful. There is something so natural and carnal and sensual about it all.

January 25, 2007 8:45 PM  
Blogger Kat said...

awwwwwwwwwww..................... beautiful.

January 25, 2007 9:58 PM  
Blogger Pepper said...

What is truly amazing about being pregnant is after nine months of swelling, throwing up, back pains, feeling ugly, walking like a duck.... is when the nurse hands you your child. You would do all over again. It is an amazing experience. The first kick, laying down and watching your child move within the womb, and holding this small miracle.

This an awesome post. I am going to share it with my son. His wife is expecting baby number 2 (number 3 for him) in April.

January 25, 2007 11:22 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

While some things about pregnancy are not beautiful I think a lot of pregnant women are (even though I know most of them don't feel it).

I'm so glad your wife is feeling better.

A very sweet post.

January 25, 2007 11:26 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

I'm sure it is a pretty awesome experience, but I prefer just hearing about it myself. Not sure I could deal with all of the things you have to deal with during a pregnancy.

January 25, 2007 11:49 PM  
Blogger C-dell said...

I have never had to be around a pregnant woman long term. When I was in high school. A couple of girls I knew got pregnant. I became close to them. Even girls I didn't know very well. I had this feeling that I had to take care of them. I would carry books, take them home, walk them to class. I think I have this father instinct. Weird, since I am so young. Trust that I am not ready for children.

January 26, 2007 1:08 AM  
Blogger DNR said...

Glad everything is going well and you both... err the three of you are ok.

Beutifully written, my friend.

January 26, 2007 1:24 AM  
Blogger skeet said...

Glad to see you back, my friend, and to know that Felicia is doing better.I remember the extreme fatigue that such episode brought when I was pregnant. It's the loving partnership you share that bolsters the spirits and makes these tough times bearable.

Keeping all three of you in my thoughts. Do print your post for the baby book!

January 26, 2007 6:00 AM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Pregnant is serious work for the man, and it is a hard lesson to learn.

The misses has just started baby #2 and it is even worse than the first time.

Hang in there Dirk, it only gets better.


January 26, 2007 8:49 AM  
Blogger Fuzzylogic said...

First time here and I found this post really beautiful!It felt good to hear things from a male perspective.A baby can bring in just so much joy.I do hope your wife feels better with her chiro treatments,back pains can be hard.Great post.

January 26, 2007 9:06 AM  
Blogger SignGurl said...

When I began reading this, I snickered at your realistic view of pregnancy as seen through the eyes of a couple. Then, I started to feel angry that you were disgusted with your wife's physical being. Finally, I was touched by the sweetness of your realization that your love for your wife transended beauty.

You made me feel all of these emotions in just one post! Awesome writing, my friend!

January 26, 2007 10:55 AM  
Blogger Steven Novak said...

Pregnancy...I want nothing to do with it. ;)


January 26, 2007 1:19 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

yes it is sniff sniff

January 26, 2007 1:50 PM  
Blogger TutleyMutley said...

Aha, the penny drops - Felicia is your WIFE! And PREGNANT! She looks gorgeously radiant in the photograph! I'm glad the chiropracter treatment worked - and I hope the pain has been because the ligaments are all softening beautifully so that pelvis can open up and the baby can FALL OUT!
But seriously, many of your tie dyed hippies have mentioned the birth - it really is a magical moment when a new life comes into the world. I'm totally addicted to the experience and have withdrawal symptoms if I don't get to see a baby born at least once a month - it's an electric atmosphere. I can't wait to read all about yours and Felicia's birth story.

January 26, 2007 1:54 PM  
Blogger crabcake said...

I really thought you were gonna get yourself killed extremely dead there in the first few paragraphs if your wife ever read that. But.......then at the end, you totally pulled off one of the slickest saves I've ever seen. Nice work, dude! No way she'll pummel you after that.

January 26, 2007 5:05 PM  
Blogger jali said...

Smooches and hugs to you and your beautiful wife!

January 26, 2007 5:27 PM  
Blogger Cinderella said...

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. You get to see the woman you married in a whole new light. She is sacrificing her body for a life you both helped create.

It's great that you appreciate that!!

January 26, 2007 9:02 PM  
Blogger notfearingchange said...

So sweet - however, i'm sharing this with my preggers gf so she know exactly what she is doing to her partner! lol. ;-)

January 27, 2007 1:58 AM  
Blogger Imran said...

I can totally relate to your experience when we had our first and only child.

My wife had her morning sickness the whole day! It didn't last for the first few weeks, it lasted for four months!

So weak that she had to go for drips several times. It was the scariest times of our lives.

Toward her last few months, she was glowing, radiant and so, so beautiful with that calmness in her face, her soul. The mother of my child... I will never forget her face then.

Sympathy pains can never measure-up to the intense pain she went through... your wife is going through now. We have it lucky, a million times over than a pregnant lady.

I can say that a million times and still mean it. It was just terrible watching her in all that agony to bring life into this world... in the operating theater.

Thought the worst was over, until we had a colic baby! Yikes! That is another story all together... but I do not want to scare you.

What I will tell you is that, these are the people you will love more. Makes your life worth living, working hard for.

Enjoy Bro. Life is beautiful, the rest are just manageable distractions.

January 27, 2007 2:52 AM  
Blogger russkal said...

Let me reiterate that fact you wrote there. Pregnancy is not beautiful. The state of bearing a child for 9 months is downright ugly.

But the whole experience...

Ah, the beauty lies on what you gain from it. How it changes the way you view your wife, your marriage, and life in general.

I know some people never get this. They probably won't, but the whole experience of having a child from pregnancy to birth is one of the most beautiful life-altering experiences one can ever have.

I know you're in the right track, Dirk. And the snoring, the nausea and the back pain, hang in there...

the reward is so much worth it.

Give my warmest regards to Felicia.

January 27, 2007 2:44 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

I kept having dreams during my pregnancy like the scene from Aliens, where this parasitic creature would erupt from my massive belly and scream at me for food. Yikes!!!

But I enjoyed pregnancy, even with all the wierdness...or perhaps because of it.

January 27, 2007 3:57 PM  
Blogger paris said...

What a beautiful picture of your wife loving hold the child in her arms and hands it shows a lot of love but how proud you are as parents...your not just a poet but you show a lot beauty and love in your photos...Bless this love and this child soon to be part of this famuly...

January 27, 2007 5:37 PM  
Blogger Enemy of the Republic said...

Dirk, You the man. Your wife is one lucky woman.

January 27, 2007 8:46 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

Dirk you have discovered waht many overlook.

The true beauty of a woman in the many phases of her life.

You are fortunate.

January 27, 2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger blair_mitch said...

Hey Dirk!
What a mushy hubby! I love it!

I was pregnant a while back and blogged the experience.

It's a real rollercoaster ride.

January 27, 2007 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Rose said...

I dropped by as I was curious how your wife was doing. I was just gonna lurk around, but wanted to comment & let you know this post was beautiful. Take care.

January 27, 2007 11:26 PM  
Blogger Uncle Artemus said...

Beautiful post, Dirk. You're gonna love being a daddy, and looking at things the way you do you're gonna be a great one.

My daughter had her fifth birthday yesterday and I wrote a post about it you might appreciate. She's a special girl and the light of my life, and your child will be yours.There's nothing more satisfying than loving your family. UA

January 28, 2007 1:14 AM  
Blogger Kati said...

Dude.... What a beautiful post!!!!! You're wife is incredibly lucky to have you, and she sounds like an incredible woman.

May the rest of the pregnancy go MUCH easier on BOTH of you!!!

January 28, 2007 1:22 AM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

You know when I first started reading your post, I couldn't have agreed with you more. I hated being pregnant. Then as I read on, I got a little mad at you for how blunt you were about what your wife was experience and I thought...hmmm...where's the compassion, where's I love you just because....then I read on...and you made me cry. She is such a lucky man. You two will be in awe when you little miricale arrives...the anticipation the sleepless nights...and oh by the way..those sleepless nights....they are just preparing you for what really is coming....wonderful post Dirk...thank you for sharing...I am glad you are really getting something out of this whole experience.

January 28, 2007 2:57 PM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

did you get my comment? Dang I left you a long note about your post...which was excellent by the way....hmmmm

January 28, 2007 7:13 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

What a beautiful post, your wife is one of the luckiest women around to have a guy like you.

January 29, 2007 11:59 AM  
Blogger Freakazojd said...

That is the most beautiful thing I've read in a while. I read part of it aloud to my husband - we're having a baby in July - and he loved what you had to say as well. We've been together for over 12 years now and this is our first. I think that that time together has made a difference as well - how long have you and your wife been together?
Also, I must say that even given the physical discomfort, this is a wonderful experience! My shape is changing, but I *do* feel beautiful. Beautiful, and connected.

February 18, 2007 9:21 PM  

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