Pregnant Man: How Nature Makes Fathers Out of Men [NOOK Book]

Overview

Gordon Churchwell his a problem he's never faced before?his wife, Julie, is pregnant.

"What is happening to me? It's 6:30 A.M. My Wife is peeing on what looks like a scale model of the spaceship from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's an early pregnancy test called something like First Alert, or Early Response, some name that sounds like a smoke detector or a piece of EMS equipment."

From this unavoidable physiological fact follows the greatest psychological crisis of his life, a ...

See more details below
Pregnant Man: How Nature Makes Fathers Out of Men

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$0.99
BN.com price

Overview

Gordon Churchwell his a problem he's never faced before—his wife, Julie, is pregnant.

"What is happening to me? It's 6:30 A.M. My Wife is peeing on what looks like a scale model of the spaceship from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's an early pregnancy test called something like First Alert, or Early Response, some name that sounds like a smoke detector or a piece of EMS equipment."

From this unavoidable physiological fact follows the greatest psychological crisis of his life, a story that eventually illuminates the journey of all men and women as they make the passage to becoming parents.

What really goes through a "pregnant" man's mind? Combining his personal story with interviews with doctors, midwives, evolutionary scientists, and other fathers-to-be, Gordon Churchwell delivers the gritty, intimate details, as well as important new information, in an irreverent style that mixes poignancy, wit, and laugh-out-loud humor.

He covers all the issues without flinching. On relationships: "There are moments when you are not just individuals trying to solve a personal problem, but representatives of your gender, acting out some social drama. Over Julie's shoulder I see a chorus of angry women. . . ."

On sex: "While the party line is that Julie remains 'my beautiful partner to whom I am devoted,' to Mr. Weenie, she is beginning to look like Danny DeVito in Batman Returns. . . ."

On why men find change difficult: "Why do I feel like a bystander in the most important 280 days of my life? Where are the stories that make a man feel like he's in it, and not out of it? The answer is simple. When it comes to the stories of fatherhood, our culture has discarded them."

When he starts having morning sickness, Churchwell turns science detective and makes some startling discoveries: He finds out that male pregnancy symptoms are extremely common and uncovers evidence of a physiological paternal response-men have hormonal changes, too, which help prepare them emotionally for fatherhood.

Does nature make fathers out of men? Working with a leading evolutionary psychologist, Churchwell argues for a revolutionary new perspective on a man's role in reproduction. Parental investment on both sides is not automatic. Pregnancy behavior is part of a continual process of negotiation about parental commitment. A man's response to pregnancy, including sympathetic symptoms, may signal his plans about investing in the child. His behavior can directly affect the mother's own response, including the quality of her maternal care.

By showing that men have a physiological transformation of their own that integrates them into the biology of the family, Churchwell restores men to the story of reproduction.

Expecting is an important contribution to the new literature of fatherhood that will amuse and inspire men and women as they transform themselves into parents. This personal story ends where it began, with him and his wife, Julie, struggling-this time as a team-through a harrowing thirty-five-hour birth ordeal, and welcoming their daughter, Olivia, into the world.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061955709
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/16/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 778,298
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Gordon Churchwell writtes for magazines, television, and book publications across a wide range of topics. His piece "Atalanta: The Riddle of Fathers and Daughters" appeared in Room to Grow, a multiauthor collection of essays about parenthood. He recently hosted an hour-long documentary on Pregnant Man for the Discovery Channel. He lives in Cold Spring, New York, with his wife, Julie, and his daughter, Olivia.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One



Month One



In the Beginning...



Ambivalence doesn't even begin to do justice to what is happening to me.

It's 6:30 A.M. My wife is peeing on what looks like a scale model of the spaceship from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It's an early pregnancy test called something like First Alert, or Early Response, some name that sounds like a smoke detector or a piece of EMS equipment. I should remember the name, because I went to a lot of trouble to be the one to go out and buy it, so that I could show how positive I was about our plans to have a baby, to telegraph, to signal what a sensitive and "proactive" partner I was going to be.

I know as we peer at the little window that I am going to be required to display some emotion, whether the window remains light mauve, indicating negative, or turns darker mauve, indicating positive.

We synch up for a moment to decide with nervous giggles that whoever designed this test is either a sadist or a moron. Why can't the little window say "Yes" or "No," "Win" or "Lose," "Continue with Your Perfect Life" or "Risk Everything"?

With both of us raptly looking on, the window darkens. Mauve, dark mauve is storming across the window like a Panzer division. It's definite. Mauve has asserted itself. The dye is cast.

My wife looks up from our little science project, a smile radiating upward and outward from her lips, carried on a hundred million capillaries of happiness. "Well, what do you think? Aren't you happy?" she asks me.

I'm thinking: "Isn't that what Marie Curie said to her husband when she discoveredradioactivity?"

Let's just say my reaction is a little more subtle, a little more complex. What I'm really worried about is the fact that I can't seem to summon up any emotion at all. I know I'm supposed to feel something, but inside my emotional self is on a ventilator. To top it all off, I'm having an out-of-body experience like you read about as you're checking out of the supermarket. You know, those near-death testimonials: "There I was hovering over the O.R. while they operated desperately, trying to save my life." I'm thinking, perhaps the shock of all this has actually killed me.

I'm about to turn toward the "long tunnel of light" when I notice that what I've been watching is my expression reflected in the bathroom mirror. One look at my blank face and I realize that I have to do something to save myself. I pull an Ali "rope-a-dope" and pull Julie toward me with a hug, mumbling with as much conviction as I can muster, "Yes doll, of course I'm happy. This is so wonderful."

I glance at ourselves clinching in the mirror. Julie, her head tucked into my shoulder, is the very picture of mother-to-be bliss. And me? The expectant zombie-father. I give myself the eye. Whatever part of me is still alive knows I'm in deep trouble. "Women are creatures of biology and destiny with philosophies synchronized to a progressive vision of history with the same certainty as their uteruses are timed to the cycles of nature and the clock of the cosmos.

"Men are ahistorical, transitory, emotion-deferring, future-obsessed creatures whose only bonds with biology are hunger and libido -- mobile GI tracts with egos and penises.

"What makes women women makes them relationship-driven, life-perpetuating, and family-centered.

"What makes men men makes them self-intoxicated, death-seeking, isolationist..."

It's not easy living under the same roof with a Smith College education, if you're a man. My wife, who is better educated and smarter than I am, is telling me all this a few days later while standing in front of the mirror, naked, stabbing the air with her toothbrush, her breasts tremoring slightly with every thrust. I'm staring down past my slight paunch, so I don't have to look at Julie's face, watching my penis shrivel from some errant wintry draft. I'm having this weird out-of-body feeling again, except this time instead of being dead I am stuck in some installation put on at the Whitney Museum. Adam & Eve Argument. Morning After the Expulsion. I glance up for a moment to steal a look at Julie's face. On closer inspection, the foam at the corners of her mouth is only Tom's of Maine.

There are moments in a relationship when you feel that you are not just individuals trying to solve a personal problem, but representatives of your gender, acting out some social drama. Over Julie's shoulder I see a chorus of angry women, between the ages of thirty and forty, hundreds of thousands strong, all being channeled through my wife.

I can't quite make out everything they are saying, but I sure know what it means: revolution.

After decades of trying to get to the promised land, women have finally figured out that success, as defined by men, is not necessarily what they bargained for. Never mind pay parity and glass ceilings -- the dirty little secret that women have discovered is that the world of male work is a temple full of false gods. Its treacherous theology works like this: After years of killing yourself to get to the top of the pyramid, you arrive, expecting to find the celestial executive dining room, only to have your heart ripped out and eaten and the smoking hulk of your body tossed over the edge to be cannibalized by those coming after you. Yes, it's perverse, but for some reason men find pleasure in it.

Women, of course, have the option of having better things to do -- like perpetuating the species, for instance. But here the problem becomes more complex. Pregnant Man. Copyright © by Gordon Churchwell. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2003

    Fantastic!

    A must read for father's to be. Absolutely hilarious. But there's also a serious side- almost a Sociobiological take on things- but a sensible one. Really worth the read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)