I give mad props to my partner during both my pregnancies, especially the second one. When I hit the fourth month, my whole attitude changed. I was constantly angry, and I was having trouble finding the joy in motherhood with our willful 2-year-old daughter, a full-time job, and very few clothes that fit. It just felt like a lot, and my husband rode the tide of my varying emotions like a sport. Still, he wasn’t immune from my intermittent wrath. There are things every pregnant woman wishes she could say to her partner, even if he isn’t doing anything wrong. But we don’t voice these complaints because, well, relationships.
Frequent, clear communication in a partnership is vital. I know this, but I don’t always practice it. We mess up a lot because we’re human, and because it’s exhausting to talk things out all the time. Most of my frustration with my husband stems from being illogically annoyed that he can’t just read my mind. However, during those prickly periods of my pregnancy, it was probably a very good thing he couldn’t read my thoughts. Because some of them, like the ones below, could have definitely called the strength of our relationship into question.
I have perspective now, and that perspective has allowed me to see the ridiculousness of these thoughts. But at the time, when I was just so fed up with pregnancy and all the obstacles it presented, I felt totally legitimate to think these things:
“I Love My Body Pillow More Than You Right Now”
I am six years postpartum and I still refuse to part from that benevolent body pillow. That was the only thing that comforted me when I couldn’t sleep at night (which was often), failing to find a comfortable position as my belly expanded. I don’t use it for support any more, but I still want it around as a fond reminder of a true partner in my hours of need.
“Stop Asking Me If I Need Anything”
Once is sweet. Twice is cute. However, more than that, within a two-hour window, is annoying. I so appreciate you making it known that you care about my wellbeing. Can we just leave it at that, though, and assume I will ask you if I need you to do anything? And by “anything,” I mean conjure up weird food at odd hours when my candy corn craving hits.
“I Hate That You’re Asleep”
“Everything Is Your Fault”
“If You Don’t Give Me Complete Control Of Our Baby Registry, I Will End You”
Luckily, my husband learned (when we registered for our wedding) that I had a lot stronger opinions about a lot more household items than he did. He relinquished much of the registry selecting to me.
When it was time to register for the birth of our first baby, he mostly deferred to me, since I had done the lion’s share of research on baby products. In the rare occasions we didn’t agree on something — monkeys versus stars for blanket patterns, for example — I just had to give him a “look,” and he knew it wasn’t worth arguing about it with the woman carrying his child.
“There Is No Way We Are Naming Our Baby After A Video Game Character”
My daughter’s middle name is that of a Final Fantasy character. My son’s middle name is from a Metal Gear Solid game. So yeah. Good thing I never said this. Blergh.
“You Try Being Pregnant”
It is so tempting to blurt this out when your husband is, again, innocently looking over his shoulder when you’ve fallen behind on a walk somewhere, due to the enormity of your pregnant self. Eventually, my partner learned I could no longer keep up with our usual New York City walking pace. However, until he got used to my slow-going, he would leave me in his dust and I’d hurl insults at him (in my mind) until he noticed.
“Your Dinner Repulses Me”
I had no problem letting my husband know about my new pregnancy-induced food aversions. Raw spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli were banned from my plate. Unfortunately, broccoli was the only vegetable my partner ate. I ended up doing a lot of mouth-breathing to avoid smelling his dinner, because who am I to tell a man not to eat his greens, even if they make me nauseous?
“You Can Choose What We Watch Tonight Because I’m Just Going To Sleep Through It”
I experienced extreme tiredness in my first trimester, both times I was pregnant. Making it through the workday was a challenge, so all I wanted to do was get home, eat, and collapse.
However, I wasn’t about to give up our quality time watching our nightly hour of TV on the couch. It didn’t take my partner long to catch on that I was not going to make it past the first act of a half-hour show before passing out. I wanted to stay awake, so I never said anything. My intentions of spending time with him were true, I just didn’t want to specify that I’d be unconscious during our hangs.
“This Baby Better Not Have Your [Insert Annoying Habit Here]”
The more pregnant I became, the more irritable I got, especially with my second baby since we had a toddler tearing around. The tiniest things annoyed me. One day it was how he folded his socks, the next it was how he cut a sandwich. There was no way of knowing what would irk me on any given day, so I was wise to keep my mouth shut. I think my husband go the message though. I’m an expert eye-roller.