Having babies: different perspectives…

Here was supposed to be a witty introduction. But I am tired so I’ll skip it. Let’s just say that I noticed that – despite all the talk about gender equality – there will always be differences between men and women. It comes with the territory. Especially when having kids. So, looking back at the last three years, here are our (slightly subjective) perspectives:

Life of the husband:

zero point: A wonderful, magical interlude during exhausting days of field work and weekend work. Yay! First baby on the way!

month 1: out of solidarity, he agrees to abstain from all the “forbidden” food during pregnancy. Good bye smoked salmon, air-dried salami and alcohol. But she wouldn’t go as far as to really hard-boil his breakfast egg, would she?

month 2: The wife is away for one day! Hurry, let’s buy a big pack of smoked salmon and eat it as fast as I can! But she mustn’t know about it so I’ll quickly put the treacherous wrapping paper into the garbage.

month 3: Mentally prepare the wife that the estimated date of birth falls in the half-annual workshop of the Phd. But I might be able to join her in the delivery room for two or three hours. After this clarification, leave for Finland for three months. Good thing we found a new flat before I left, now the wife can organise the move and get everything ready.

month 4 to 9: Enjoy the growing bust size of the wife! Pregnancy is great! Life goes on as usual.

month 10: The baby is coming! The two or three hours didn’t suffice – make it 24 but I managed to stay with her the whole time. I am incredibly tired but full of joy and holding our beautiful daughter in my arms.

Following 1.4 years: Life as parents is tough! Many sleepless nights! But uncountable moments of pure happiness! Bust size of the wife is getting smaller again but she looks amazing even with disgorged milk on her shoulders. Time for a new baby?

1 month later: Beautiful, romantic twosome…Yay! Second baby on the way!!

7 months later: gee, I completely forgot my wife is pregnant!!

8 months later: I feel slightly guilty when feeling those reproachful glances of my wife while I drink whisky. She also doesn’t like it when I eat salmon. To calm her down again I mention her awesome bust size. Should have thought about a career in diplomacy!

10 months later: Gee, that was exhausting again! But at least I got some hours of sleep in the delivery room. Beautiful baby number two is sleeping in my arms.

The following half a year: Life with two children is exhausting but great at the same time! But I am having some back pain. I will try to do some exercise in the evening. Also, it is great to have a wee dram of whisky every now and then. Have opened the Tobermory that we bought during our holiday in Scotland. Somehow, the wife seemed disgruntled about it.

Another 4 days later: Back exercises are boring! I prefer to do something fun instead!

View of the wife:

zero point: A wonderful, magical interlude during exhausting days of field work and weekend work. Yay! First baby on the way!

month 1: I feel sick. Takes about four hours each morning until I can eat something without throwing up. Talking about eating: I checked the supermarket for pasteurized cheese. That leaves exactly one cheese in Swiss supermarkets: imported Gouda.

month 2: I was away for one day. When I came back I found salmon wrapping paper on top of the garbage bin. He could have thought about a better hide-out, couldn’t he? Anyway, I don’t care as I still feel sick every day. But I started eating non-pasteurized cheese again as long as it is hard cheese.

month 3: I wish the morning sickness would disappear. Also, my husband thinks he can get away with 2 hours in the delivery room. But I have no time to complain: there is a move to be organised!

month 4: Time for new clothes. Morning sickness is gone. Life is good.

month 5: Husband is back from Finland again. Poor him, now he has to abstain from whisky again.

month 6 to 9: Everything is growing, everything is good. Still feeling fit.

month 10: There she is, our beautiful daughter!! I am full of endorphins! But the 24 hours before the birth? Never again!!

The next 10 months: Sleep deprivation par excellence. Breast feeding every two hours. Weak pelvic floor. Postnatal exercises here we come. Fully enjoying salmon and medium-boiled eggs again, still not drinking any alcohol. Extremely careful regarding onions, garlic, curry and any kinds of leguminous plants.

Another month later: Celebrating my first afternoon on my own again.

Another half a year later:  Beautiful, romantic twosome…Yay! Second baby on the way!!

The next three months: Morning sickness here we come. Can’t even change the full diapers of the little one in the morning. Plus, I am so, so tired. The husband seems to forget that I am pregnant – he keeps on buying smoked salmon and air-dried salami. Not to speak of all the whisky that is consumed when our friends swing by.

The next 6 months: Gee, everything is growing much faster during the second pregnancy. I feel like a walrus. The summer is far too hot and I can neither move properly nor do I fit in any of my shoes anymore.

Finally: Welcome home, second baby! Giving birth was much easier than the first time – despite the 15 hours in the delivery room.

The following four months: Trying to combine sleepless nights, two kids and the household. It’s working out fine, but I am pretty exhausted every evening. . And does my pelvic floor still exist? My back is a disaster. Two days of blockade of my cervical spine. But I saw the unopened bottle of Tobermory in the cupboard and was choked up regarding the perseverance with which my husband saves this whisky for me.

One day later: The Tobermory?? Really…??????

Another month later: I am trying to fit into my old stuff again. No success yet, but I am working on it: Skipping dinner in the evening and doing exercises every day.

And here we are, more than three years later. I am hoping up and down, doing jumping jacks and crunches. Sometime soon my jeans will fit again, I hope. My husband is sitting next to me on the couch. Reading and eating chocolate. Lindt chocolate, with caramlized almonds…

(And at the end, I want to emphasize that said husband is the greatest possible husband and father that one could wish for and I am deeply in love with him. I wouldn’t want it any other way.)

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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