The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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Billy Our relationship changed at the end of the first trimester, when my wife went into premature labor and the doctor told us no more sex. There’s a stress that comes with that, but I think that in some ways, my wife and I have become more intimate. Other couples can work out their stress in the bedroom, but we have to communicate in other ways.
Let’s talk a little bit more about sex. How do you cope with the changes in your physical relationship?
Don It’s definitely more planned than spontaneous now, especially when she’s feeling nauseated or fatigued. And with trying to not make her uncomfortable with the weight and the pressure, it kind of becomes a Keystone Kops sort of thing.
Keith It was great during pregnancy. She was still really sexy. Sex is a different story with three kids, though — there’s no time or place to hide.
Kevin F. Since the baby, we’ve been figuring out how to make our lives work. His needs are all-consuming, and ours, physical and emotional, have taken a back seat. We’re both frayed, so I have to think twice and not say or do anything I’ll regret.
Speaking of stuff you regret, is there anything you’d advise an expecting father to never say or do?
Billy Don’t ever say she looks big.
Kevin D. Actually, my wife is very small, and the doctor keeps telling her to gain more weight, so I get to call her a hippopotamus with impunity.
Don My wife gets kind of a dopiness thing, but she takes it in stride if I kid her about it. I don’t push it, though.
Billy No matter how much she’s worrying about something, don’t ever tell her not to worry or try to stop her from expressing her emotions. She needs to do that; it’s your job to listen.
Keith You have to be more sensitive.
How about your ages? Do you think it makes a difference if you wait to become a dad?
don Well, we’ve both had longer careers than many new parents, and money isn’t as stressful as it could be. I also know that age and maturity have given me a lot more patience. The biggest negative is the concern that later, I won’t be able to throw a baseball to my kids. I hope they help keep me going.
Billy There’s a certain amount of finesse required for being a parent. I think I have that now, but a few years ago I might not have.
keith And you’ve left the wild stuff behind you.
So out of all this, how has fatherhood, real or imminent, changed you?