I’ve been pregnant one (and a half) times so far and, with both experiences, I’ve been struck at how much I’ve relied on my partner. Not just for the obvious parts, either. I mean, yes, he played a very important role at conception, but he’s also been a crucial support system at various other stages, too. I’m roughly halfway through my second pregnancy now, and there’s a number of things this pregnant woman wants (and needs) her partner to know.
For the record, I’m not talking about the nitty gritty details and physical side effects I’m dealing with when the bathroom door is closed (some things are better left unsaid, at least for us). I'm talking about things that are significant for me that I don’t always have the opportunity to express to him.
Of course, every relationship (and every pregnancy) is different, so my experiences with my husband may not sound familiar to everyone out there. Still, I hope I’m not alone in that my partner’s been a crucial presence for me (and surely for our son, especially when I’ve been trapped in bed due to fatigue or illness or whatever else is plaguing me that day). Here are a few more specifics things I hope he knows:
The Food Cravings Aren’t So Much Cravings As They Are Full-Body Obsessions
I think of cravings as like, "OMG I really want to eat this one particular thing right now." However, when it comes to donuts during pregnancy, it's more like "the entire world has ceased to exist and the only thing between me and a horrific, dark place is a chocolate frosted pastry."
I think I've done an adequate job of conveying the severity of the situation to my partner but, just in case, it's probably worth repeating.
It’s Possible To Love And Hate Something Equally, At The Same Time
Of course, I love the fact that our family is growing and we're going to have another baby. Yes, for the record, pregnancy is a glorious miracle and each day is a gift. However, this does not mean that I enjoy endless nausea, fatigue and congestion, (Seriously, congestion? Really, body? You couldn't have eased up on one of the simplest symptoms?)
I Recognize This Is Taxing For You, Too…
My spouse has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting in our household as of late, both figuratively and literally (we brought home a new piece of furniture yesterday, which I didn't really think through). He's also handled more than his fair share of diapers and play sessions with our toddler while I was trapped on the couch. We tend to play fairly equal roles in parenting (or at least, we try to), but lately, he's been pulling extra weight and deserves some credit, too.
...But Definitely Not As Taxing As It Is For Me
Of course, the reason he's pulling extra weight is because I'm physically limited. I would love to be able to piggyback our toddler around the living room and play "T-Rex" for an hour straight, but it's just not possible. Plus, my body's working overtime in pretty much every capacity so, yes, there's that, too.
I Am Thankful For Your Extra Efforts...
I'm fully capable of appreciating his efforts while giving myself a break, too. Lately, this looks a lot like me laying on the couch while he and our toddler play on the floor. It may not look like much since I'm just laying there sedentary, but I feel very thankful.
...And I Totally Plan On Showing You My Gratitude By Birthing Your Baby
I had a fleeting thought the other day, "maybe I should get him a gift after this pregnancy's over to show him how much I appreciate him." Then I was like, "Oh yeah, he's getting a baby out of this process. Never mind."
It’s Very Strange To Experience So Many Weird Bodily Changes In Such A Short Period Time
I'm not a medical professional, but the speed at which this process moves is mind-blowing. One day, I look and feel like myself, and the next day, I look and feel completely different. Seeing your body change so quickly can mess with one's head a little bit. At least, it did for me. For this reason, I appreciate my partner's calm rationale about the whole process.
I Couldn’t Do It Without You
I mean, there have been some amazing scientific advances in recent years so I suppose technically I could do it without him.
I really don't want to.
I Just Wish You Liked The Names I’m Suggesting More
Names are hard, guys. One of us is going to have to give in at some point. I see no other way around it.
I Hope Our Baby Is Just Like You
By "just like you," I mean "completely and totally wonderful and with a generous tendency to make me love you more everyday." I'll take personal responsibility for ensuring both our kids know how lucky we all are to have you.
Wait, is someone peeling onions in here?