Pregnancy is marvellously at odds with 21st century values in the western world. Unless we are brought up by parents who read The Daily Mail, we are taught that men and women are on an even footing, that neither one is better than the other. Research in psychology and neuroscience backs this up; we now know that (a) there is far more variation within the genders than between them, and (b) that it is not possible to tell whether a brain is male or female from its anatomy (despite what I once wrote in The Guardian). In a world of mechanical rubbish disposal and gadgets for opening jars of jam, there is no practical difference between men and women. Feminism really has changed the way we live.

Except where pregnancy is concerned. I cannot carry this child, however much I want to (and however much Eva wants me to, now and then). She cannot go out to work or carry the shopping home. The truth is, that as we enter week 36, she cannot even put her shoes on.

How she feels about things, and her priorities, have changed a great deal. She, along with virtually all pregnant women, feels vulnerable in a way that she never has before. My priorities have changed a bit too, and I am generally a bit more cautious. I also have a strong instinct to provide, to sort things out so that we sail on an even keel, so that everyone involved has the material things they need and that they are happy.

These describe quite traditional caricatures. For the period of the pregnancy at least, the female party is cast in a certain role that is not negotiable. The male party has, to an extent, cast himself in the complementary role, but the alternatives are either to be lazy and irresponsible, or just irresponsible (i.e.absent).

The question that this raises for me, is at what point the roles revert to what is commonplace in 21st century Europe. I cannot breastfeed, so presumably it cannot be in the first six months or year. In our case it seems rather selfish for me to dominate the childrearing in the early years as Eva has spent a long time looking after children whilst she was a student. So, she is better informed than I about what is good and bad for children, what does and does not work and so on. I also wonder about later on–should I take the role of teaching my child(ren) how to ride and how to cycle?

Perhaps the answer is that our roles have changed forever, and part of our task as prospective parents is to decide our own way. This gives us a nice flexibility, but it also gives us the task of deciding the structure we wish to adopt.

I do not think this realisation has changed my politics. I remain an occasional Telegraph reader, I think Nigel Farage is a thinly-disguised [cut to avoid a libel suit] and that pink lego is a bit patronising. What has really changed is that there are more questions than answers.