The first time I saw my wife's pregnant belly rippling as our soon-to-be-born baby wiggled and squirmed inside, I was both mildly horrified and totally fascinated. But after taking a breath to recover, I felt something else: a concrete, "How do you do?" connection to my child. In the face of such a sublime, profound experience, I articulated my emotions as best I could: "Whoa," I said.
My slackened jaw is all Rachelle recalls of the incident. She had no idea how amazed I was which turns out to be pretty typical of my gender when it comes to maternal matters. "Men can have very complex feelings about what happens to their wives during pregnancy, but they often don't share them," says Greg Bishop, president of New Fathers Foundation, a nonprofit organization for first-time fathers in Irvine, California.
This is especially true of issues involving our partner's body -- particularly when it becomes rotund, streaked with stretch marks, and punctuated with occasional oddities like facial hair. So what's on our mind?