For many women (myself included), pregnancy is the absolute worst. I know some lucky ladies who enjoy every minute, but that certainly wasn't my experience. As an expectant mother, you have to deal with physical indignities like vomiting, lethargy, back ache, heartburn, weight gain, stretch marks, and swollen ankles. Which is why, of course, you deserve some freakin' sympathy. Your partner will be your main source of comfort. Unfortunately, he or she may also be your main source of ire. Brace thyself: there are a number of infuriating things your partner will do when you're pregnant.
I adore my husband. I really do. However, we really didn't have any time as a married couple before we got pregnant (like literally, our daughter was born nine months and a day from our wedding). To be fair, I am a heinous sick person, and tend to lean on the side of "unpleasant" when I'm feeling, you know, unpleasant. But when you're pregnant and there is a long list of things you can and can't do, you just want some time, love, and tenderness; at a rate that you wouldn't normally want and/or need.
The fact is, unless your partner has personally experienced pregnancy, they can't understand what's going on in your body. That undeniable inability to completely understand, unfortunately, will lead them to do some things that will make you want to poke your eyes out.
They Keep Drinking Libations, Even Though You Can't
I've heard plenty of stories about partners giving up or curbing their drinking in solidarity with their pregnant loved one, but I've yet to meet one in the flesh. This girl loves her red wine, and watching hubby with that glass of cabernet at dinner was torture. He would always accuse me of kissing him just to have the taste of wine on my lips and, well, he wasn't wrong.
Dearest husband was not so much interested in moderating his alcohol intake, especially considering the unpredictable status of my hormones. I get that, but the man actually suggested that we drive through wine country on the way to a California wedding so I could be his designated driver. I don't think so, buddy.
They Eat Things You Can't
There are plenty of foods you are supposed to avoid during pregnancy. You can't eat certain fish, raw shellfish, lunchmeat, soft cheeses, and you have to watch your caffeine intake. A partner who takes you to a sushi restaurant deserves a swift kick in the ass, but honestly, it's just as frustrating to watch them devour brie at a Christmas party.
You're also likely to discover that the way your partners eats, is obnoxious. Like, if you chew one more cracker like that, I will kill you in your sleep.
They Take A Trip
It's entirely possible that your partner will leave you for a work trip or out-of-town bachelor/bachelorette party during your, shall we say, convalescence. You may even give this little adventure your blessing, but that's before you're answering drunk dials mid-puke (yours). It sucks when your partner and friends are living it up in Vegas while you've been relegated to Netflix and chill (and not in the fun way), but he'll make up for it when he brings home a baby-sized visor for your future gambler.
They Take Unflattering Pictures Of You
Why are our partners obsessed with our bellies? I was much more of a fan of the boobs, and I thought he would be, too. But no. It was all about, "Your belly's so big! Let's take a picture and send it to your sister."
One time, when I was nine months along, I treated myself to a bath and a coffee scrub on my belly. When my husband got home from work, he opened the bathroom door, shut it, and returned with his iPhone to take a picture. I'm pretty sure I looked like a hippo wallowing in the mud.
They Get Sick
When you're pregnant, there's very little you can take in terms of medicine if you get sick. So, if your partner brings a nasty bug into the house, you're within your rights to insist on a quarantine. You're also counting on them to help take care of you, and you need them healthy (you know, so you can be the sad sick person.)
The biggest fight of my relationship with my husband happened when he refused to seek treatment for an infection on his elbow. It turned into staph and he had to be hospitalized. I was absolutely incensed that he had exposed his pregnant wife and unborn child to staph (at the time, we feared it was MRSA), and he was pissed that I wouldn't come to the hospital (who knew what else my fetus would be exposed to?).
They Tell You You're Overreacting...
Partners take note: no one in the history of calming down has ever calmed down after they were told to calm down. If your partner can't get off the couch because she's too nauseated, she can't get off the couch. If she pees herself a little, it's because she can't get to the bathroom on time. For real.
My husband was convinced that my mom raised me to believe I was a delicate snowflake, which is why I handled my pregnancy complications so poorly. Seriously, climb into my body and experience hemorrhoids the size of a newborn's fist and then tell me how you feel.
...And Then Overreact (While Failing To See The Irony)
Yep. Ironically, your partner's going to do it, too. They might overpack your hospital bag, check the route to your place of delivery ten times, or sign you up for all the classes. (Classes are great, especially for first-time parents, but eight hours on a Saturday is rough on anybody.)
After listening to a story on NPR, my spouse came home in an absolute tizzy and attempted to throw all the plastic bottles we'd received at our shower in the trash in favor of glass ones. I had to calmly inform him that all products for babies have to be BPA-free.
They Tease You Mercilessly
There are parts of your pregnancy that your partner will inexplicably find hilarious. This may come in the form of "junk in the trunk" jokes or comments such as, "You sure you've only got one in there?"
How much you eat will be an endless source of amusement. My better half loved to tell people that he brought me a milkshake every day of my third trimester (neglecting to mention he picked up a treat for himself, too). One time, we were out to dinner with his family at a place with free soft serve. When we took a family picture, instead of saying "cheese," my husband instructed everyone to say, "Kimmie had three ice creams cones!"
They Don't Read The Books
You know that scene in Knocked Up where Katherine Heigl's character finds all the unread baby books? Yeah, that's real. It would be so much easier if your partner would read the week-by-week chapters so they would know exactly what's going in your body and stop asking you what size fruit the baby is (for the hundredth time, it's a jackfruit so please google that sh*t yourself). They might also be more sympathetic if they knew that while you lay on the couch all day watching cute puppy videos on YouTube, you also grew lungs.
When my husband offered me any suggestions during my pregnancy, I always asked where he read it (knowing full well he hadn't). He joked that he read it in The Everything You Need to Know About Babies in the World Book, which naturally, he co-authored.
They Act Like They Know More Than You
Perhaps even worse than the know-nothing partner, is the know-it-all partner. Thanks, bro. I know vegetables are good for me and the baby. However, if I have to choke down another brussel sprout, I'm going to throw up in my mouth.
Some partners like to encourage exercise ("If you'd just get up, you'd feel better"). It's not bad advice, but it can feel accusatory. If you're going to work out, it will be on your own terms, and with a soothing yoga instructor in a room full of ladies who also know what it's like to carry a bowling ball in their abdomen.
Pregnancy is full of infuriating moments, courtesy of your partner (and, I hate to break it to you, so is labor and delivery). Still, there will be times when they are perfectly supportive, and you'll wonder how you could have done it without them. And that moment you see your partner hold your precious baby for the first time? Prepare to have your heart explode.