"Women Have Grit"
"Swollen ankles stand out for me," says Mike Downey of Bryan, Texas, whose two kids are now 8 and 12. "A lot of the difficulties of pregnancy, like breast tenderness, have some positive aspect because they're directly related to nurturing the baby. But getting swollen ankles during the third trimester on top of morning sickness earlier and everything else just didn't seem fair."
It's these sorts of uncomfortable side effects that let us see just what the women we love are made of. Some expectant dads are almost envious of their partner for doing the gutsy grunt work of carrying a baby and going through the painful rigors of labor and childbirth. After all, physical endurance has always been a test of manhood. Not that we want to trade places (but you knew that). Instead, our admiration often translates into a swell of affection. "I have so much respect for how well my wife handled the whole thing that I feel more in love with her than ever," says Jim Gorman of Philadelphia, a dad of two girls, ages 1 and 3.
"And it's almost a competitive thing," he adds. "I've had conversations with other guys along the lines of 'Oh, yeah? You should've seen what happened to my wife.'"