Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

11 Pregnancy Moments Your Partner Just Can't Understand

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My pregnancy was exciting for our whole family. My husband and I had just started trying to conceive and then, surprise, the second line appeared on that pregnancy test. While the next nine months were full of exciting, terrifying, fun, not-so-fun, and pretty damn gross moments for both of us, there are some pregnancy moments your partner just can't understand.

Some of these moments are amazing and beautiful. Feeling your baby move from the first flitter (like butterfly wings or gas bubbles), to the laps my son seemed to swim every evening while I was trying to get some sleep. Wrapping your arms around your growing belly and knowing that a tiny human was growing inside you that is part of you, and you are part of them.

Some were surreal and silly. Like what it feels like to feel like your body is not your own. My body that ran marathons and held balancing poses in yoga class was growing, stretching, and moving with less grace than a hippopotamus. Feeling your baby move while having sex was so odd. Not odd enough to kill the mood (for me), but I didn't mention it to my husband in case it was a deal breaker for him.

Some were scary and private. Like when I saw spots of blood on my underwear or when I wouldn't feel the baby move for an hour and frantically drink some cold juice and find the right position before calling my doctor in a panic, only only to hear some variation of, "Well, wait and see."

Others were so terrible I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, let alone my partner in crime. I had uncontrollable nausea and vomiting, punctuated by weird cravings for foods I literally would never eat otherwise. Constipation and hemorrhoids made going to the bathroom frightening. My whole body hurt at times.

These are just some of the WTF, TMI, and OMG pregnancy moments you can't describe, let alone share with your partner.

Physical Changes

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

These were huge. Literally. Not only did my body change pretty drastically, it felt different. Everything hurt. I felt like a stranger in my own body. Weeks later and after the birth of my son, I am just starting to feel like myself again.

Pregnancy Orgasms

Having never felt a male orgasm, I have no idea how good they feel. However, I can tell you that, for me, pregnancy orgasms were the freaking best. Think fireworks, the crescendo of an orchestra, and warm, gooey caramel sauce.

Nausea

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

I had hyperemesis gravidarium my last two pregnancies. I spent months dealing with uncontrollable nausea and vomiting that laughed at crackers and ginger ale. I vomited every day, some days 10-12 times a day, for months. I was so sick that I had to go on leave early from my job teaching yoga and fitness classes, which was the one thing that kept me sane. I got seriously depressed, was hospitalized for treatment and fluids, had to take some serious medications on a daily basis in order to simply survive, but not really function. It was one of the worst experiences of my life, at a time when I should have felt overwhelmingly happy.

Spotting

Even though I spotted during the first trimester of all of my pregnancies, there's no way to explain the panic when you see blood on your underwear or toilet paper during pregnancy. Made me not want to look.

Feeling The Baby Move

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How can I explain this? It's really not possible. Wonderful, amazing, weird, uncomfortable, silly, sweet, beautiful (and did I mention weird?), all at the same time. Sometimes it felt like he was turning over, other times like he was punching my diaphragm, and yet others like he was touching my cervix from the inside like lightening striking (ouch).

Not Feeling Movement

There were the times when I didn't feel him move for a while, too. I would totally panic on the inside, but not want to freak my husband out or call the doctor (again) only to be told that I needed to do what I was doing for hours before coming in to labor and delivery. My anxiety was so severe about losing my pregnancy, that I had to stop reading baby groups on the internet. I felt so many moments of terror alone, while I drank cold juice and patted my belly to inevitably feel an annoyed response from baby.

Pain

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Pregnancy can really suck. So many things can hurt all at once.

Nesting

I have no way to describe the overwhelming urge to prepare for baby that came over me, especially during the third trimester. The compulsion to clean, do laundry, fold cloth diapers, pack and repack my hospital bag, and buy everything in sight. So bizarre.

Feeling Complete

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Pregnancy is flipping amazing. While at times I felt like an stranger in my awkward body, at other times it felt so perfectly right, like I was meant to be their mom and they completed me.

Contractions

I wish I could share this one, both the tightness of Braxton Hicks and the pain and pressure of the real thing.

Child Birth

Courtesy of Steph Montgomery

It's so amazing, challenging, frightening, empowering, nauseating, hilarious, serene, intense, and badass to bring a baby into the world, followed by an intense rush of adrenaline, and in my case, feelings of both love and relief and of being empty and alone, all at the same time. I hope I never forget those special moments of empowerment and vulnerability when I met my babies for the first time. Those were amazing moments, uniquely belonging to me and my babies and no one else.