Our Three Pregnancies: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Just to touch on the pregnancy thing again – individual pregnancies can vary so greatly that it is very hard to draw a direct line of advice for them. Here’s the story of our three pregnancies so that you get an idea of what I mean.
Daughter #1 was an easy conception for us. Literally the first month we tried for a baby, actually probably the first night we tried for a baby, Jennifer got pregnant. My memories of make a baby sex are kinda hazy apart from the glassy eyed look on her face as we did it. Ok I’m hard thinking about that and she just bounced out the door back to work for a few more hours dammit.
Anyway… first pregnancy went very smoothly. Yeah morning sickness was bad in the first couple of months but overall very smooth and easy. Jennifer had some minor grumpiness that she didn’t really “show” well until late in her pregnancy because she wanted to show it off. Sex was sweet and special with “more Jennifer” and she was generally horny and happily glowing through much of the whole thing. In the end the baby was stubborn in not wanting to be born and had to be induced a week late. Meds to start labor, water manually broken and about 16 hours of being in the hospital / in labor before the baby finally was born.
Second pregnancy was again an effortless conception. I think once again we were possibly one and done. A week or two after the positive pregnancy test she lost the baby. No warning, no feeling funny leading up to it, no sickness, just no more baby. She was heartbroken enough for two people, so I was emotionally strong enough for two people. Plus I had a cunning plan to get her to stop crying…
…daughter #2 was conceived on the next cycle. I’m serious, I guess if you have a penis every problem looks like a vagina, but in this case it was an excellent problem solving tool. All I could think was “I have to stop her crying”.
Now if daughter #1 was the good pregnancy, the miscarriage the ugly one, then daughter #2 was the bad one. I remember little of the first couple months, but the last 5 months were an endless cycle of doctor’s appointments and Emergency Room visits to stop the baby being born premature. I mean as in about weekly. The only reason she wasn’t admitted into the hospital at the 5th month and confined to bed rest to term was that her GYN/OB doctor was impressed enough with me from the first birth and knew I was a nurse that he felt comfortable to send her home. One small little bitty catch though… no sex. Doctors orders.
So there was no sex until after she had recovered from the birth. I probably had some handjobs along the way, but generally I stayed as low key and unstressful on her as I could. There’s just something about the possibility that vaginal sex could kill your own unborn child that softens the harsh edge of the libido anyway. Though to be honest I do feel quite proud of myself for how I was during that time. I took care of her as well as I possibly could. A rough pregnancy is not a shit test. As a man you do whatever you can and get forced to ride shotgun on how the rest of everything is going to turn out. In the end her water broke a few weeks early and in the middle of a genuine meteorologists-getting-all-excited-and-foamy-at-the-mouth BLIZZARD.
Baby coming. A Full Monty Blizzard. Middle of the night. Oh I was born for this shit.
I didn’t exactly drive like a lunatic to the hospital, just with a peak experience confidence and mindlessness. I was in Flow. Naturally we made it in perfect condition.
After that things happened very quickly. At some point she was checked by a nurse and we were told she was 4cm dilated so we had quite a few hours of time before the show really started. A minute or two later she started making this odd wail. I mean you’ve all heard the term “wail” and possibly used the word “wail” in a conversation, but you’ve probably never actually heard a true wail. I heard her make this sound just one other time in our marriage where she fell down the stairs into the basement – it’s fear, panic, surprise and pain all in one. A Barbaric Oy.
Yeah we’ll be using the call bell about now.
Over the next fifteen minutes the room is; swarmed with nurses half of whom are shouting “DON’T PUSH” while the other half are explaining that the “window” for an epidural has closed, the OB on call is punted awake and stumbles in, Jennifer latches onto my arm like a bear trap and nearly seriously injuries me as the bed goes up and I can’t get my arm free of the siderails, then all the “DON’T PUSH” people change sides and become “PUSH!” people. The first push gets the baby’s head out, the episiotomy is done, the second push gets the baby out. Then the afterbirth and stitches. Seriously 4cm dilated to birth in 15 minutes au naturale.
So there we go. Those are our three pregnancies, the good, the bad and the ugly. All so vastly different experiences. Jennifer for her part was amazing as a pregnant woman. It was never a tool to gain leverage over me, she always did the right thing for diet and caring for herself to support the pregnancy right. She didn’t ignore me, but some of the time she couldn’t really respond to me either and that was okay too.
For my part, I was just supportive through all three pregnancies. All this is more than a decade before I’ve even heard of Game, so I’m not consciously trying to make a statement, or play her, or anything. Though I suppose this is the blessing of being a natural at marriage. I did right by her in those moments and that has just worked to solidify her love and attraction to me. She’s just my wife, she’s pregnant, I can’t think beyond the moment of needing to help her. That’s all it is.
How can I not be my own true self when she needs me most?
Sam: Then let us be rid of it… once and for all! Come on, Mr. Frodo. I can’t carry it for you… but I can carry you!


  1. A miscarriage can be brutal, and I imagine the cumulative effect of miscarriage + anxious pregnancy + newborn period was very hard on your wife (and you). It speaks well of your character that you were willing and able to be support staff during all this.

    I've known men who were rather "easy come, easy go" about miscarriages. Maybe it's something you have to be a woman to understand. But then you have the dichotomy between the radical pro-choice movement who insist that abortion is a liberating experience and all the women who post stuff on their Facebook profiles about the angel babies they have waiting for them in heaven. Somewhere in the middle of all that is truth.

  2. Hestia says:

    It speaks well of your character that you were willing and able to be support staff during all this.
    Indeed it does.

    I've had six pregnancies and have only one living child. When my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, this was such a rude shock. I was young, healthy, and these sorts of things weren't supposed to happen. Plus my husband was TDY to Africa and we were new to the area, making the experience all the more horrible. Peapod was conceived a few weeks later and the pregnancy was emotionally rough. I was constantly anxious about something going wrong. She wound up being born unexpectedly at 35 weeks but did very well despite this fact. Then came two more early miscarriages, a baby boy who died in utero at seventeen weeks, one more early miscarriage and finally the diagnosis of the blood clotting disorder that has likely been the culprit of all of this. My husband was supportive through it all, and honestly I don't know how I would have gotten through all of this grief and disappointment without him.

  3. Hestia – I can't imagine. I've only had one miscarriage – my one pregnancy after 5 years of infertility. It was unbelievably hard. I truly can't imagine how difficult 6 would be. I'm so sorry.

  4. Oh, and I love Sam. He's every bit as much of the hero of LOTR as Aragorn or Frodo.

  5. Athol Kay says:

    Thanks for the comments. Hestia what a sad story :-(

    Grerp has a sad story too. I feel a little guilty for posting how effortless our conceptions were, I'm the freaking Baby Sniper.

    I'm glad someone like the LOTR reference!

  6. rosiewiklund says:

    Athol, Thank you for your posts. They've been really enjoyable to read. In particularly I like your warning to baby mommas which reminds them (barring medical reasons) not to completely abstain from sex. Take it as you can, and keep doing what got you all those great kids, eh?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Such a beautiful post.
    My husband and I are praying for the best when our first comes March 20th.

    Thank you for such a great website. : )

    -Brendon & Cassandra

  8. Athol Kay says:

    You are welcome!

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