Sunday, August 3, 2008

Reflections on Motherhood, Fatherhood - and Seahorses

Watching a pregnancy first hand and up-close is of course not the same as being pregnant; however, following each of the stages of my wife's pregnancy has provided me with a better idea of the whole process. I must say my heartfelt respect and big old mad props to all mothers out there!

As they say every pregnancy is different and has its own peculiar circumstances; yet overall it involves much more effort and persistence than I had imagined. I am on my way to fatherhood for the first time, and already the slightest pain and disturbance of my wife makes me worried and keeps me on my toes. Especially when she was prescribed bed rest, I would feel the stress waves engulfing me: I had to run errands here and there, cook and track down food for her various unpredictable cravings and her sudden uncompromising hunger attacks and felt like a confused headless chicken.

What would it be like to have a baby growing inside of you, to be able to give life? We men will never experience that. Some claim that might be the reason why we often act aggressively and are territorial or jealous because of our inability to give life. I don't think Freud was right with his theory of penis-envy; it is rather the other way around!

And our only hope as men is to immerse ourselves in our jobs and to measure our success by our worldly accomplishments because we cannot have babies. Because let's face it, we men don't do much; we have all the fun while the women have to deal with the unpleasant consequences where hormones go wild, morning or all-day sickness kicks in and pain and aches become a common daily fact. Not to mention the prospect of unbearable pain during the delivery.

Yet some species are different, and that is where the seahorses come in. It might be one of the few, if not the only, species where the male actually goes through with the pregnancy. The female passes on the eggs to the male who goes through the whole process and actually gives birth. Yet during the whole pregnancy of the male, the female seahorses still come and check up on them once in a while to see if everything is going well. Finally, when the male seahorse gives birth, he will show his empty belly asking for a new patch of babies!

So unless scientific breakthrough makes the movie Junior with Arnold Schwarzenegger a reality, we men will never really know what great sacrifices mothers have undergone to bring us to the world. And we miss out on all the bonds, attachments and the joys that are associated with the ability of giving life!


Zombie Money said...

Whew I def respect women for what they have to go thru!!

JafaBrit's Art said...

I used to laugh at food craving until I had them and realized it is your body telling you what it needs. How scary static brain, and an example of the importance of respecting those cravings.

Arashmania said...

Thank you for sharing your experiences and you are absolutely right about the cravings. My wife is a nurse and she said cravings, pregnant or not, is your body telling you what you need. At times she has weird cravings though, such as a craving for "colors". The other day she asked me to get her a "red drink", didn't matter which flavor as long as it was red!

Jack Payne said...

I like the "all things are numbers" approach. Says a lot for the human condition.