If there’s one thing I’ve known for sure about myself, it’s that I’ve wanted kids. My biological clock kicked in during my first menstrual cramp, and it kicked in strong! It was like carrying Big Ben around in my uterus. But, as much as I knew that I wanted children, I wasn’t as sure that I wanted to be pregnant. Nine months of bloating and backaches and hemorrhoids, oh my! And then, after enduring these long agonizing months, I’d have to push out a kid the size of a toaster through an opening the size of a tampon. What a horrible design flaw. Can’t we learn anything from the marsupial?
But pregnancy was never much of an issue for me until I met an incredible man and we fell in love (I figured that God was making it up to me for having me need braces.) We got married and decided to be good little procreators and have a baby. Who knows, maybe I’d be wrong. Maybe I’d go through my nine months without even one complaint. Maybe I’d be like one of those pregnant super models who, in their ninth month, look like I do after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. As my pregnancy progressed, all my dreaded fears came true…and then some. Sure, I had the usual symptoms like morning sickness and backache, but why didn’t anyone tell me about Braxton Hicks? Why wasn’t I warned about a third nipple? Was there a secret pact amongst mothers promising never to tell the truth to us childless women for fear they’d be alone in their misery?
Tormented and confused, I went to the local bookstore and read everything I could about pregnancy. But I discovered that none of the books ever went far enough in telling me the true horrors of reproduction. What the books described as a mild discomfort, I would describe as unthinkable agony. I needed help. I needed guidance. I needed to reverse time and consider adoption. I asked for help from friends of mine who had kids, and time and time again I’d hear the same thing: how much they loved being pregnant. They all said that being pregnant was the best time of their lives (these were probably the fools that thought the same thing about high school). They tried to put me at ease by telling me that once I have my child, it will all be worth it. Let me tell you, the only way all the hell would be worth it is if my kid comes out holding a winning lottery ticket.
There was obviously something very wrong with me. For some reason, my body was having an allergic reaction to pregnancy. Was I the only woman who felt like this? Were there any others out there drowning in a sea of sciatica? Anyone else who felt like less of a woman just because she wished that she were born a man?
Sure, there are some women who do love being pregnant. They experience no morning sickness or any other discomfort during their nine months. They have bodies that were born to breed. But if you’re one of the women who are feeling the same way that I did, pregnant and hating it, then this book is for you. I want to share my experiences with you to show you that you’re not alone. I want to pass on any advice I have in hopes of making you feel better. I want to tell you that there is nothing to be ashamed of. The truth is pregnancy can suck! I hope that by reading this book, you’ll learn a few things about what to do if you’re having a rough time. And maybe, by seeing all the things that can go wrong, you may not think that your pregnancy experience sucks as much as you thought it did. I hope that by the end of these nine months, your pregnancy can teach you something about yourself, for I know that it’s taught me one very valuable lesson. That my daughter will definitely be an only child.
Let’s face it. As much as we want them to, men don’t read pregnancy books. So I wrote one that’s “men friendly” filled with pregnancy concerns that only they can relate to, omitted queasy girly words like “tampon” or “discharge”, and put in just enough sexual jokes to keep them interested! Here’s a look at the introduction of the book so you can get an idea of what it’s all about:
When I found out I was pregnant I was the happiest woman alive. After years of hoping, my dream had finally come true. But what I thought would be nine months of bliss turned into nine months of blecch. And worse yet, I couldn’t utter a single complaint to my friends and family for fear of being perceived as the worst mother-to-be in the world. For complaining when you’re pregnant is looked upon by mankind as unwomanly and downright sinful. But instead of keeping quiet like a good little pregnant girl, I wrote a book about what a difficult time reproducing can be and called it Pregnancy Sucks.
Several months after the book was finished I got a call from Kate, my editor. “We were thinking that you should write a companion book for Pregnancy Sucks.” said Kate. “It would be a book from a man’s point of view about all the unpleasant aspects that fathers-to-be have to go through as well.” I thought about it for a second and said, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea!” Truth be told, I thought the idea was actually rather stupid, but I sure wasn’t going to pass up a book deal when one was thrown my way. But after Kate hung up I wondered how I could ever write such a book. How much did pregnancy really suck for men anyway? Sure, they have to live with a cranky wife and have less sex, but does it really suck? I didn’t think so.
So I turned to my husband, Jeff, and told him what Kate had proposed. I told him that a book that lists all the ways pregnancy sucked for men would be shorter than one that listed the Cubs’ winning seasons. But then Jeff did something truly surprising. He didn’t laugh. That’s not really the surprising part since Jeff doesn’t always get my sense of humor (it’s a source frustration for me, but he knows how to fix things around the house so I forgive him). What was surprising about that moment was the serious look on his face. “What is it?” I asked in the loving, caring way that I always do. “Is there something you didn’t tell me when I was pregnant? Then, after years of keeping quiet, Jeff finally admitted the truth. He poured his heart out and told me about the dozens of reasons why he too found the reproductive process so difficult to handle. The truth poured out of him with the force of Niagara Falls. It was as if the pregnancy floodgate had finally been lifted.
I asked Jeff why he had never mentioned all this to me when I was pregnant, and he gave me two very good reasons. The first one was, just like with an expectant woman, it was socially incorrect for future fathers to complain about their wives’ pregnancy. If he did, he would be seen as the loser of all husbands and not worthy of the blessing that had been bestowed upon him. His second reason was simpler: When I was pregnant, I outweighed him by 50 pounds. So Jeff did what every other father-to-be does: He kept his mouth shut.
Because of Jeff’s honesty, I decided that Kate was right. This book should be written. It’s a story that must be told so that the truth can finally be revealed. Pregnancy does suck for men as well. But I knew that I couldn’t write this book alone. Doing so would go against my cardinal rule of writing: Write what you know. And I know the thing for sure. I am not a man who has lived with a pregnant woman.
Just then a light bulb went on above my head. It was only Jeff fixing the overhead fixture (see, he really is quite handy) but it still gave me the inspiration that I needed. Jeff should help me write the book. He’s the one who can provide the male perspective that it so desperately needs. He’s the one who can supply the difficult topics that I’ll need to focus on. And by far the most important thing, he provide the voice. We would work together on the book, and it would be written from Jeff’s perspective. We both know that after hearing your wife rant and rave all day, that last thing you want is to listen to another woman telling you what to do.
So Jeff and I worked together and designed Pregnancy Sucks for Men to be the quintessential guide for the fathers-to-be. It’s a book that’s geared towards the interests of men and focuses on the problems and issues that they’ll be faced with during the months ahead. It offers numerous ways in which they can help their wives with their uncomfortable pregnancy ailments. And it also gives expectant fathers the woman’s perspective on some hot topics so that they can dodge the inevitable bullets that hormones and mood swings can fire off. And, for no extra cost, you’ll also receive a monthly update of your baby’s development so that you know what he’s been up to while he causes such havoc on your life.
I sincerely hope this book will give you the tools that you’ll need to survive these next nine months. I hope that it enlightens you about the changes that are taking place in you, your wife, and your child. And I hope that by learning a few tricks, you can take away some of your wife’s discomfort and in turn, make her happy. Because that my friend, is what pregnancy for men is really all about.