Lotte, 29, is six months pregnant and would rather stay home under a blanket on the sofa. Her boyfriend Sven (24) prefers to go out with his friends, much to Lotte’s chagrin. Is she just watching Netflix again?
Lotte: “Last Sunday, just when I thought: Hey, how cozy we are, each under a blanket on the sofa, while watching a romantic Christmas movie, my friend Sven got a call. His football buddies. They were ‘drinking beer’ at the pub in Village: Is he coming too? You don’t mind if I go for another drink with my friends, do you? Well, what can I say to that? I knew it wasn’t going to be just one drink or an hour and that when Sven was out with his friends, I’d spend the rest of the night watching Netflix. Just like I already did Thursday and Friday evenings this week. But I didn’t want to be A bitch too. Soon we’ll have a baby, and there’ll probably be little time for such spontaneous outbursts in the pub. ‘Go on,’ I said gently, while I could cry inside. The good moment is gone.”
“Sven and I met in February 2020, during the last real carnival before the pandemic. I was immediately hit on the first night: I was dressed in a sexy cowgirl costume, it was an American cowboy. It immediately led to a good opening line and turned out to be the start of a fun carnival weekend We are not only a perfect match in terms of clothes, but also in terms of interests and hobbies. We are both Burgundians, love good food and drinks, sociable, fond of family and love Dutch music. The only thing we differ is in age. I am five years older. But I didn’t notice much of it.
It wasn’t until recently that I got worried about it. Isn’t Sven too young to settle down now? Shouldn’t we wait with a child? Partly because of all the halo measures, we moved in quickly together. I already had my own house, and Sven still lives with his parents. It was only natural for us to get together to spend as much time together as possible.
We had a great time together and soon imagined our future: children, buying a bigger house, traveling. We both turned out to have a strong desire to have children. They both also wanted to be young mom and dad. That’s why we decided to go there last summer.”
No exercise, hit the spot right away
“After I threw the pill away, I never got my period again. It hit right away. Sven and I were of course happy with it. But it also surprised us a bit. It didn’t have to be done in a minute, as crazy as it sounds. We didn’t expect it. My sister Sven involuntarily had no children, my sister had been trying to conceive for three years and had epididymitis, which I had been warned of as a possible decline in fertility.We took into account that it would take some time and did the ‘practice’ for a year at least.
So it turned out differently. After the first week we were thrilled and told the whole family straight away, came the shock – especially for Sven. It was as if he suddenly realized that fatherhood also involves a great sense of responsibility. As a father, he couldn’t work more nights. Or he drinks until he’s drunk and then wanders the street, he thought. Not that he did that often. Anyway, the first two years of our relationship, we could hardly go out due to all the corona restrictions. Sven sometimes drank beer “in the third half” at the football club or at a teammate’s house, but quickly returned home. When we can go out, we go together. Then we’d each be at the bar with our friends, on a different corner, but we came along and we ended up together.”
“How different now. It seems as if Sven wants to make up for all the steps he will miss in the years to come, as long as he can now. And without me. I actually gave up pretty quickly. For the first three months I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum. This is nausea and vomiting.” I was so tired during pregnancy. In those weeks I spat my lungs out of my body and couldn’t take a step. I couldn’t hold anything down and couldn’t hold anything on my body. I was too tired and just wanted to sleep or rest on the bed. I just loved the fact that Sven was Looking for fun outside. I felt guilty for being so lame. So if he stayed an extra hour after working out: that’s fine. Often I didn’t even notice when he came home.
But now about five months later, I feel great again. I still get tired faster, but I don’t have to get hung up on pot and work full time again. And now that I have an appetite again, the kilograms fly by quickly too. I like to lie on the couch after a full week of work in the evening like some kind of washed up whale.
When Sven suggests we go for a drink together at the café — apple cider for me — I often brush it off. no puff. But just because I don’t feel like it doesn’t mean he always has to go it alone. I don’t mind once, but I also want to spend time with Sven. Or eat pizza somewhere and then go home.
But Sven sees it differently. Especially on the weekends, when we’ve spent an entire Saturday shopping for the baby’s room, he sees no harm in visiting with some friends for the evening. Then he suggests I have a nice meal with my sister or mom and the baby faints. Foldable rompers, draw cute animals on the baby’s room wall. Then I can go to bed on time again and he will crawl again during the evening or night. According to him, this is the best solution: we both do what we want.
Nothing pregnant together
“Per se he’s right. We’re not on the same page now that I’m pregnant. I feel clumsy and unattractive and I’m tired. I don’t feel like wrapping myself in a pretty maternity dress. And definitely not hanging out at the bar. I understand it’s different for Sven and he feels Sometimes it feels like a break. Until a few years ago, I also went out every weekend. I wish him all kinds of things, but it drives me crazy because he got out of the house while he was napping inside.
I haven’t had a drop of alcohol since I got pregnant. Sven finds this uncomfortable. Likes to drink in the company. At home, he now sometimes has a beer when we get Chinese, but he really doesn’t want to drink a lot of alcohol in my neighborhood, because he thinks it’s ridiculous for me. And if he drinks with his friends in the football canteen or in the cafe, it doesn’t bother me, he claims.
But for me in the meantime, pregnancy seems to be all about me. Nothing is “pregnant together” as you may hear many couples say. But my stomach is my concern. On average, Sven-and goes out about two nights a week, in addition to his regular two evenings of football and game day. Very uncommunicative. Then finally on Sunday afternoon. I usually sit alone, because I don’t want to go to my family or invite someone every time. Netflix is now my best friend.
I find it difficult to talk to Sven about his night life. I point out that I find him annoying and would rather be with him, but I don’t forbid him. I’m not his mother and I don’t want to be a whiner. I understand he wants to enjoy it for a while, but the fun is different.
I’m already worried about the upcoming carnival later. Sven, of course, gets out to the limit again. He lives for the carnival – just like I always did. But then, I’m really pregnant, more than watching a parade or drinking an hour’s worth of hot chocolate on the hot porch, wouldn’t be possible. I’m not at all afraid that Sven will come out so aggressive that he cheats or does something to another girl. I put my hand in the fire for him. He is crazy about me and very loyal. But I know I will hardly see him in those days.”
“As soon as I give birth, Sven will stop walking, he promised. Is that really the case, when the baby is there? I doubt it. Sven remains a social animal and won’t give up on football. I don’t need that either, I also want to start Exercise later… But then the temptation to “stay after training” remains.
I also wonder if he will do more around the house. Now very often we will “deliver food”, if he is really going to cook. Soon we won’t have the money for that and I also want to live a healthier life. We have vaguely divided roles, but this only applies to work. We have arranged for me to work less than two days which is one day. We didn’t make any concrete agreements about what other days our daughter would visit grandparents. Who will take her and bring her? Who cooks or does the shopping?
I sincerely hope Sven is tired of being angry and has the inner peace to be with his family and take care of us. He himself is convinced of this. “If I had two girls later on, I’d be crazy to leave them alone,” he jokes. I’ll be happy to remind him by then.”
Text: Joan Mackenbach. For privacy reasons, all names have been changed, and the real names are known to the editors.
Photo: Getty Images
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