My husband wasn’t excited about my pregnancy

What do you do when your partner has different feelings about pregnancy than you?

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Photo: iStockphoto

Monica Reyes resides in Vancouver with her husband and neurotic dog. She’s also a soon-to-be first-time mom who is excited and terrified about her new life. Follow along as she shares her pregnancy journey.

It was a planned pregnancy. We pulled the goalie and decided to let things happen naturally. If that wasn’t working, we’d make an effort to try harder. I’ve heard it can take a year to get pregnant so we didn’t expect to get pregnant right away. We did.

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It only took seconds before we saw that second pink line appear. I had a feeling I was already pregnant and the test confirmed this. I was excited and happy about the news and I could tell my husband didn’t share the same feelings as me. He feigned an awkward smile while saying, “Yay…”

I wasn’t expecting this reaction. I assumed because it was planned that he would be excited. Any father-to-be I’ve spoken to had big fat grins on their faces when they talked about being a dad. I felt like I couldn’t truly be happy about this pregnancy when I knew that my husband wasn’t. Honestly, it was a big letdown for me. I was hoping we could start this journey on the same foot.

Talking to him and other people, I got some insight as to how some guys may feel:

They realize that their life is going to change: We’re not world travellers by any means, but now our lives would revolve around someone else. It feels like losing your freedom even though there are no big plans ahead. He felt like he was no longer able to do anything anymore. My husband felt like he had gained the world’s biggest responsibility that you couldn’t get away from. His example: if you bought a house and you couldn’t take care of the payments, you could always sell it. You’re locked in for life with a kid.

They start thinking about mortality (theirs and others): This one also hit him hard. Having a baby made him realize that he’s getting older and consequently was reminded that his parents would not live forever.

Doesn’t feel real: For some, pregnancy doesn’t feel real as you’re still the same person with the same body. It’s not until the sonogram or when they see the belly start getting bigger that pregnancy feels more like a reality.

My friends would always reassure me, telling me not to worry, he’ll get there and that it just takes time. They understood that the joyful feelings aren’t always instant. I was hoping his feelings would change quickly (maybe he’d be happier in a few days?), but it took about two months for it to happen. He said that it progressively felt more real to him at certain milestones: the ultrasound where he saw the baby squirming away and named it “Wiggles,” being able to feel the movement of the baby and finding out our baby’s gender. I was no longer having just a baby, but now it was having a daughter.

Read more: Should parents find out their baby’s sex? >

I know my husband will be a fantastic father. I love seeing the excitement on his face whenever he feels the baby move. He participates in our prenatal classes and talks about strollers to his friend who doesn’t even have children. I’m grateful that I can now share my happiness and excitement with him and know that he feels the same way.

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