Let's be honest: early pregnancy doesn't always bring out the best in people. Now, I've heard of some magical unicorns who love every minute of those first three months, but for the rest of us (and our partners), it's straight up misery. Unless your partner's had a baby, they can't possibly know what you're going through, and you're not exactly flush in the patience, understanding, and reasonableness department. That's why there are fights every couple has in the first trimester. Fortunately, most of these disagreements aren't deal breakers, and looking back, they're kinda hilarious.
Truly, my husband was a pretty stand-up dude most of the time, but that doesn't mean we didn't have our moments. We conceived almost immediately following our wedding because, you know, why not give our fledgling marriage the ultimate test? And test it we did. The worst was when my husband was hospitalized. His arm had swollen up and he'd refused medical attention. When he finally went in to the doctor, he was diagnosed with a staph infection. I was furious and accused him of exposing his wife and unborn child to something that's not only contagious, but involves boils and oozing blisters.
We worked it out, but not before I came home from work to see him packing to spend the night at our vacant rental home. It was rough, but our relationship came out of it stronger than ever. Because when you find the person who will hold your hair back and deal with your crazy, you've got your keeper. Try to remember that when they're sleeping soundly while you've gotten up to pee for the seventeenth time.
The "Just Get Up" Fight
I spent a lot of quality time on the couch during the first trimester. I continued to work full-time teaching third grade with constant nausea and frequent vomiting, so on evenings and weekends I just wanted to lie there and moan. My husband was convinced I'd feel better if I "just got up." This made me want to kill him. He was probably right, but I felt like he was minimizing my physical symptoms, and I let him know about it.
The "You Can't Have That Around Me" Fight
Almost immediately after seeing that double pink line, I developed a serious food aversion. I couldn't stand the sight, taste, or texture of one of my prior staples: chicken. Not only was I not cooking it, I didn't want it in my house. Like, if you eat that, I will channel preggo Pam when Dwight eats a hard-boiled egg at the office and make you vomit with my vomit. So yeah, catering to my pregnancy food aversions was definitely a "conversation."
The "Should You Be Eating That?" Fight
When you're pregnant, there's a veritable laundry list of things you can't eat, and you do your best to comply. Still, heaven help the partner who channels their inner pregnancy police. If you call your pregnant partner out for that sip of champagne and lose an eyeball, you have no one to blame but yourself. Here's what this type of argument sounded like in my house:
Husband: *hears string cheese wrapper* Should you be eating that?
Me: Shut up. I can have whatever I want.
Husband: I thought you weren't supposed to have soft cheeses.
Me: Oh my God. That's not what that means.
Husband: But it's cheese, and it's soft.
Me: Babe, it's f*cking mozzarella. Lay off.
The "What Did You Do All Day?" Fight
Feel free to ask this question, as long as you're comfortable with your pregnant partner unleashing holy hellfire on your insensitive ass. You know what she did while she was lying in bed with her feet up? She grew the bones of your child. That's right — human life from her own personal body. My partner learned the hard way to reframe this question, and the lesson has stuck even two years postpartum and now that I'm a stay-at-home mom. Self-preservation is an essential skill, people.
The "Go Get Some Exercise" Fight
I was very active in the year before I got pregnant. I competed as an amateur pole dancer, auditioned for a show, and was in the studio three or four times a week. That stopped as soon as my first trimester symptoms kicked in. I quit, fearful that dizziness would cause a fall and unable or unwilling to exert myself physically. I was just too tired, and I nearly bit my partner's head off when he suggested I go for a walk. I also get really pissed when I feel criticized and the person is, you know, right.
The "We Never Have Sex Anymore" Fight
I know I'm glowing and my boobs are amazing, but if you touch me I will end you. All those hormone changes in the first trimester can make a woman too tired or ill to be interested in sex. My personal libido was at a zero. My husband once called me out for only making out with him when he'd been drinking red wine for the sole purpose of getting the taste of it in my mouth. He wasn't wrong.
The "Your Breathing Annoys Me" Fight
You know you're really pregnant when every damn thing your partner does makes you want to poke your eyes out. My husband's chewing, which I'd never noticed before, was suddenly like nails on a chalkboard to pregnant me. I also became super resentful of his snoring because I was having trouble sleeping myself. When I snapped at him, it seemed to him to come "out of nowhere."
The "You Told Who?" Fight
Like many couples, my partner and I decided to wait until after the 12-week mark to announce our pregnancy. We told a few family members before that, but otherwise, it was supposed to be a secret. I definitely got my nose out of joint when my husband told a co-worker in passing. Especially because the guy was like, "Yeah, man. Pregnant women are the worst."
The "It Can't Be That Bad" Fight
Oh, this is my personal favorite. I'm sorry, did you somehow jump into my body and experience what I'm feeling and now you know? I don't think so. I had many a talk with my husband about how he didn't get to make that judgment because he hadn't (and couldn't) walk a mile in my shoes.
The "Where Did My Partner Go?" Fight
I can only imagine how difficult it is for partners to feel like their loved one has been abducted by aliens and is now a host to an exhausted, cranky, stranger. The "you're not you anymore" fight is perhaps the most painful because she feels like a different person, too.
Arguments in relationships are normal, and nothing puts a strain on one like when you're expecting a child. A little bit of grace, on both sides, goes a long way. Many fights can be avoided if we can all be a little more like Thumper: "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."