Why Men Can’t Have Babies

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fat-man-tvImage via Shutterstock

The most obvious reason I can’t give birth is that I don’t have a uterus, vagina, or any of the other parts required to do so. Fallopian tubes, maybe? But, if by some bizarre environmental mishap, I were to grow the proper equipment, I’m fairly certain I could do it—I could definitely push a baby out.

That might sound naive, and I know women take great pride in the strength it requires, but having been an emotional witness to the entire process twice now, it seems that labor is easy compared to pregnancy. And that’s what men could never do: be pregnant. Most of us are good at enduring pain for very short periods; it’s a sprint, and seeing the finish line makes it tolerable. But men simply aren’t wired for a protracted drama of nausea, fatigue, mysterious rashes and emotional instability. We’re good with big muscle groups, but long-term queasiness and sudden weeping? Nope, we’re out.

I know some women love being pregnant, “Oh it’s just the most amazing feeling!” but I’m pretty sure they’re in the minority, and quite possibly full of shit. Real women—those for whom pregnancy is a meandering ride through the Tuscan hills in the back of a poorly ventilated 1980’s station wagon—want the Gaia mothers to eat their tempeh wraps and pipe down.

As I’ve seen it, pregnancy is like having botulism for six months, followed by three months of being fat, wearing elastic, peeing a little in your pants and crying onto a pizza. I rather like pizza and could possibly even handle the tears, but it’s those first six months that only women seem capable of enduring. It’s the innate maternal qualities of patience, hope, and utter resolve that keep the human race from going extinct. The moment a woman becomes pregnant, all the space in her brain containing facts and memory is replaced with emotional strength. I think that’s called, “Mommy Brain”.

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When my wife was pregnant, she was sick nonstop for five months. I was incredulous. “So wait, you’ve been nauseous and debilitatingly tired for 60 days straight and even after you throw-up you don’t feel better? ” “Yes”, she replied, in that don’t talk about it or I’m gonna ralph on your shoes kind of way.

In my drinking days, if I got the spins, I would simply make myself puke. It almost felt manly—almost. I had the stomach flu twice last year. One of those times, my wife had it too and while I lay in bed barely able to turn my head, it was she who took care of the kids.

Puke.

Unwrap a cheese stick.

Lie down.

Bring husband water.

Roll eyes because husband is such a wuss.

Puke.

Puncture juice box…

Repeat.

I’m not proud of it, but given my inability to finish (or even consciously start) a marathon of malaise, I have little doubt that after 48 hours of pregnancy, I would go to the emergency room convinced I had, not a fetus inside of me, but a steaming orb of Ebola. I might also just give up and jump off a mountain wearing only a faulty hang glider while yelling, “It’s…not…worth…it…”

Clearly, I’m marveled by female fortitude. But don’t get too confident, ladies. Just because I’m slack-jawed by your ability to endure the conditions necessary to cook a human inside your body, doesn’t mean I can’t crush any of you broads in a game of one-on-one basketball (maximum game length = 7 minutes.)

Related post: There Is No WE In Pregnancy

Comments

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  1. My Half Assed Life says

    This is a hilarious tribute to the strength of women! Personally I loved being pregnant, every single minute of it, right up to the last 4 weeks. The last 4 weeks is when you get very afraid that if someone were to poke you in the belly you’d fly away like an overinflated balloon.

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    • Mollie says

      Wow! I’m impressed. Clearly you are either a robot, or you had a really easy 1st trimester. :) I always say that I could give birth again wayyyyyy more easily than I could cope with 3 months of puking my brains out. 1st tri was 1000x worse than 3rd tri for me, and I had complications and was on bed rest at the very end, so it says a lot!

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      • Rachel says

        I’ve done both, the fairly easy pregnancy and the one with horrible morning sickness and pain. Even the easy one I was SO ready to be done by the time I hit the 8th month. I just wanted him/her OUT. And out NOW! Upon reflection though, I did enjoy most of it because it gave me my 2 beautiful children. However, covering the front seat of the car in amnionic fluid while screaming at the hubs and simultaneously squeezing his hand to death with each contraction in the middle of morning rush hour traffic…yea, not so much.

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  2. Woolies says

    I usually just want to murder my husband when he is sick. If he has the sniffles, he walks around the house all hunched over, moaning, with tissue stuck up his nose. Then he goes to bed for 6 hours. At 11AM. On Christmas. Yes, I might just kill him the next time. Fair Warning.

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    • julia says

      Two nights ago I had the worst migraine I’ve ever had…sensitivity to light, sound & movement, the whole 9 yards. I’m also 37 weeks pregnant, so of course while dealing with the worst migraine the baby started dancing around (not helping the situation at all). The movement of the baby made me nauseous. This lasted for 7 excruciating hours. This morning my husband tells me he thinks he “caught my migraine.” Seriously? Then he pops a couple of Tylenol, calls in to work & spends most of this morning playing video games…ugh lol

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    • Emily says

      Hahaha!! I agree. I’m over a cold my husband has now caught. He will he act like he’s dying for a week. It will be up to me to take care of the kids and EVERTYTHING. Oh, I’m nursing, working full time, and functioning on minimal sleep. Oh, they’re such wimps.

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  3. Mama Melch says

    Spot on! My husband also marveled at my ability to barf and nap during pregnancy, and he is such a sick wussy. Oh well, at least he changes dirty diapers like a champ.

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    • Teri says

      Oh thank your lucky stars. I threw up 10-12 times a day for 23 weeks. I was for sure I had some mysterious alien disease. Also got to know my local ER nurses pretty well having been so many times for being dehydrated. And that’s why I only have 1 kid. Because pregnancy was the Bataan death march for me.

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      • Rachel says

        From someone who’s done it twice, each pregnancy can be different. My first one, morning sickness from hell… 2nd one? Not even one bout of nausea. I was so thankful…

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        • Rebecca says

          Lucky duck! I’m on my second pregnancy and while I was only struck down with morning sickness for 20 weeks each time, the second pregnancy was even worse than the first. This baby’s definitely out to one-up its brother!

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    • Elise says

      Yeah, same here. No morning sickness, not even one day of nausea. I had an amazing pregnancy, no pains, lots of energy, etc. The labour on the other hand… Must have been Karma ;-)

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  4. Kara says

    I think you’re right about all those things. I have an inability to stand consistent pain, and my husband has the inability to stand pain that comes and goes. Also, he’s the worst sick person. Plus, most men can’t stand to see women crying. They’re always like, “Oh, they’re doing it again?! Now any chance of … is out!”
    For women, it’s interesting being so hormonal. Your brain splits in two at times and one goes, “BUT I HATE THAT YOU PUT SOCKS THERE. I CAN’T STAND IT! YOU MAKE ME SO MAD!” while the other sits, watches, and wonders why such a tiny thing is so infuriating. Really, it’s like the rational and irrational brain have a war in women…

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  5. Kristen Mae says

    Funniest thing I’ve read in a while. It was a laugh I needed, especially after my little tongue-in-cheek piece about men and their ‘selfishness’ (it’s not what you’d think, I swear) and a few people thought I was leaving my feminist brethren in the lurch. ;)

    Will be following you at Jasongood. =)

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