Living with a pregnant person isn't an easy job. I'm the first to defend a pregnant woman, because gestation isn't a walk in the park, but I also recognize that it has to be weird, confusing, and frustrating for our partners. It's a complete transformation for us, and that must be equal parts terrifying and fascinating to watch. I'm sure every non-pregnant partner has any number of thoughts about the pregnant lady they live with. But even I can't help them if they make the mistake of saying them aloud.
I have an objectively great husband, and he is a wonderful partner during pregnancy. I do not make it easy for him. I'm mean as sh*t (Me: I hate all your music. Him: You. Are. Pleasant.), I don't let him touch me, and he has to pick up a lot of slack around the house. During this pregnancy, I've called him my weekend warrior because he takes over toddler (and laundry and meals and dishes) duty to give me a break. This time around, he's definitely learned what not say, but I can't help but wonder sometimes what's going on in that mind of his.
So here it is: the good, the bad, and the ugly of what I imagine partners are thinking as they watch their loved one go through nine months of the grand adventure that is pregnancy:
Pregnancy is such a transformational experience that you can't blame partners for secretly wondering if the pregnant lady the live with has actually been abducted by aliens and replaced by a heinous b*tch monster of death.
Those pregnancy hormones have your emotions all over the place, and I don't know about you, but they give me a seriously short fuse. The angry lump on the couch that I resemble during pregnancy has very little in common with my normally energetic, funny self.
As pregnant women, it's important that we remember that our partners are worried about us. There are lots of scary things that can happen, and we're their priority (whereas we usually put the baby first). We count on our partners to be our rocks, so they can't always show how concerned they are. But believe me, if they're involved they're on pins and needles.
On Thanksgiving, I was experiencing some intense cramping at about eight weeks along. I thought I might be miscarrying. My husband assured me that it was normal and that everything would be OK, but he later admitted how freaked out he'd been.
As the non-pregnant individual in the house, partners are often called on to take on more household duties (and rightly so — they're not the ones growing arms and legs in their off-time). You need to stay away from harsh chemicals and you can't scoop the litter box, so it's on them.
They don't get to resent you for any of that, but if you're like me and the energy you have for showing your appreciation is a little on the low side, they might understandably be a tad bitter.
The pregnancy pillow can come as a big shock to first-time partners of pregnant people. It's just something they have to get used to. First, there's the presence of a giant body pillow in your bed. Then there's the realization that your loved one no longer needs you for cuddling or comfort. It's a tough pill to swallow, I'm sure, but as a sleep-deprived pregnant lady #sorrynotsorry.
My husband is in the military, and he's sometimes required to perform what's known as "staff duty." It's an overnight responsibility. With his absences during my first pregnancy, I latched on to my Leachco Snoogle, dubbed it Staff Duty, and never looked back.
Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this right. Yesterday, the mere thought of tuna sent you running to the bathroom and today you want pickles and ice cream? One minute you're crying at a commercial and the next you're yelling at me for squeaking my shoes? That's right. All this and more can be yours when you have a pregnant lady in your life!
I won't pretend that much of anything I do makes sense when I'm pregnant (you're talking to the person who gave the cat's thyroid medication to the dog), so I really don't blame my husband for being confused.
When it's your first time, neither pregnant lady nor non-pregnant partner really knows what to expect. Her constant need to pee, the strange dark line down her belly, and the sheer volume of vomit she's able to produce can be shocking to the uninitiated.
My partner is astonished by my need for sleep during pregnancy. When I take an afternoon nap and then hit the hay at 8:00 p.m., I know he's thinking, "How can you possibly be tired?"
40 weeks is a long time for everyone involved. I'm not taking anything away from the individual who's actually carrying the child, but I do feel for the people who have to deal with us. This is especially true as we get close to the end and increasingly impatient for baby's arrival.
In the last week before my due date, I developed hemorrhoids the size of a newborn's fist and had to have surgery on them twice. Sitting around on my butt cushion, I was one pissed preggo, and I know my husband was willing our baby to come sooner rather than later.
Feeling your baby move inside you is a singular experience, but it must be really strange to see your partner's stomach rippling with the movement of the child inside them. And when you can identify a foot or a butt? So bizarre.
My husband refuses to look at the pictures in A Child Is Born because he thinks they're creepy. He doesn't want to admit it, but I know the fact that our baby once had a tail really upsets him.
I'll admit I have a hard time believing it, because I certainly don't feel beautiful when I'm pregnant. I'm convinced, however, that there is "something" about pregnancy that really does change us, and that that "something" is apparent to others. Call it a glow or whatever, but our partners really do think we're beautiful.
My partner has told me enough times for me to believe he does mean it, but I roll my eyes every time, so he mostly keeps it to himself. Poor guy.
Your baby is real to you as soon as you see that pink line on the stick, but it probably won't hit your partner until you start showing. But I think that moment must be nothing short of magical for them — when they realize the person they love most in the world is carrying a little person they'll love more than they ever thought possible.
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