The most frustrating part of pregnancy is the waiting. After the initial wave of euphoria at the prospect of finally becoming a dad – and eliminating that nagging doubt that you’ve been firing blanks all this time – the most startling realisation is that nothing much is going to happen for the next six months.
Of course, you both read the step-by-step guides about what your baby is doing that week, and you do have the scans to look forward to. But your day-to-day life changes very little. You can’t even tell anyone for a while, and that really does seem like ages – especially if all your mates have guessed anyway on account of your partner no longer indulging in her ritual Friday-night hedonism.
There is one very noticeable development, however. Your partner slowly – very slowly – begins to change, from the sexy lady you’ve still got the hots for, to a machine designed to service the every need of your future offspring. The bump is the first thing you notice, which is initially incredibly sweet, and even sexy – although the point at which you think this is normally around the stage she’s spending most of her mornings wrapped around the toilet. By the time she’s regained any interest in sex, around the second trimester, that bump is more of a boulder and this can make life in the bedroom rather tricky, especially if you have your own gut to contend with as well.
- Your guide to pregnancy sex in your first trimester
- Your guide to pregnancy sex in your second trimester
- Your guide to pregnancy sex in your third trimester
One of the most interesting developments is on the boob front. Once the baby’s born, a strange part of human instinct means that men cease to see breasts as sex objects when women are breastfeeding. My partner thought nothing of feeding our newborn son in front of my brother, for example, but anyone suggesting casually on a Saturday night that she might like to ‘get her tits out’ would have encountered a rather different reaction. That’s all some way down the line, though. Initially, bigger breasts appear, like all your Christmas presents rolled into one (well, two). It’s amazing. Not just the size, but the shape they take on, as if nature has suddenly remembered there’s someone else who depends on this woman. It’s only when she proudly announces that the first signs of milk have arrived that you’re brought back down to earth again, and any amorous waves are replaced by rather more practical panicking about your impending arrival.
By the end of pregnancy, however, you’ll both have adapted to her new body shape and sex can be just as fun as it was before, if a little more restrictive (having a ‘quickie’ is off the menu). You know the waiting is coming to an end, and you suddenly realise just how wonderful it is to see your partner carrying your child. I defy any man not to come out of it all with a much deeper love, respect and, yes, sexual desire for their other half.
Sex can even play a part in labour. Along with hot curries and raspberry leaf tea, it’s rumoured to be one of the best ways to get things moving. Although, call me old fashioned, but wondering whether she’s screaming because you’ve suddenly become God’s gift to pregnant women or because you’ve just broken her waters doesn’t really do it for me. Anyway, shouldn’t we really be getting some sleep?