"We Love Swollen Bellies"
"I didn't see it as my wife getting bigger, I saw it as my baby getting bigger," says David Avrin of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, who has a 3-month-old son, a 4-year-old daughter, and a 9-year-old stepdaughter. "Though I was glad staying in shape was important to her. When she continued to walk on the treadmill, both she and the baby benefited."
Part of the sentiment arises from sheer astonishment. Chris Horner of St. Louis, who has five kids, ages 4 to 15, has never gotten over the wonder of a baby's growth. "The whole process of going from something that wasn't there at all before to a real live human being -- my child -- is just amazing," he says.
Pregnancy also brings about newly minted ideas of what's beautiful about a woman. "You're no longer looking at your wife only in sexual terms -- though I certainly found mine to be sexy when she was expecting -- but as a mother as well. This image of her was more profound somehow," says Paul Wirth, a dad of a 4-year-old daughter in Holly Springs, North Carolina. And as for all those quirky physical developments -- acne, nosebleeds, belly veins, or worse -- we certainly notice them but simply chalk them up to part of the process.
"I think all pregnant women look really cool," says Gorman. "The way they go through all sorts of wonderful transformations, it's almost like watching a construction project."