Growing up, my mother always told me that one of the amazing things about being a woman was the fact that women were (generally) capable of having babies. For years this woman extolled the virtues of pregnancy and childbirth and, as a result, I expected a cosmically profound experience. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for my babies, but it wasn't exactly the pinnacle of female experience for me. And I definitely was jealous when my partner left the hospital after I gave birth. Birth wasn't magical enough, and the hospital wasn't fun enough, for me to look at all that my husband could do and feel "at peace."
Hey, you know what I love? Recovering from bodily trauma! Also, like, living by other people's schedules. And not having access to the creature comforts of home. All those things are basically my favorite. And my husband? He didn't have the opportunity to go through any of that, the dear man. Why, when we talk about staying in the hospital after childbirth, do we never talk about our poor partners who live normal, mostly unchanged lives back home before their postpartum partner and new child are discharged? This has to change!
Here are some of the things my partner did after leaving the hospital that in no way, shape, or form, made me a bitter, resentful hag. Not even a little. (Hint: it was a lot.)
No matter how a baby comes out of you, it slows you down for a bit. After my C-section I shuffled. After my vaginal delivery, well, a nine pound baby burst from my loins so I was slow moving for a very long time. And even for moms who have orgasmic births and instantaneous recoveries, they still have to waddle with a phone book-sized pad between their legs for weeks.
My husband? Easy, breezy, beautiful, that one. His gait was unperturbed by the pains of childbirth. Bless his heart.
Pee Like Nobody's Watching
Because nobody was watching him. The same cannot be said of my postpartum ass... or, more accurately, postpartum urethra. To be honest, I'm still not exactly clear on why this is done, but it is. Not for my husband, though. Must be nice.
Eat Whatever The Hell He Wanted
Through a clerical error, my post C-section diet was liquid for almost my entire hospital stay. So I was exhausted, hormonal, clueless, in pain, and starving. And every time I asked if we could get it switched to regular food a nurse would say, "Oh, that is weird, I'll ask about that..." and no one did until the day before I left. I was there five days, people!
Do you know what the guy at the halal cart just outside of the hospital asked my husband every night when he left? "Do you want tahini with that?"
Do you know how much I love tahini, guys? A lot. Nobody asked me if I wanted tahini. Not once.
Sleep Without Interruptions From A Baby
When my husband went home every night from the hospital do you know what wasn't there? A baby who woke up every 20 minutes to breastfeed. That baby was with me. My husband escaped that baby every night. My husband. So wise. So rested.
Sleep In His Own Bed
But it's OK, because this hospital bed that people have probably died in is so comfortable. I love it.
Sleep Without Interruptions From Medical Staff
I'm sure he wishes he could have been awoken three minutes after falling asleep (after hours of being unable to) because someone had to take his blood pressure. I'm sure that's his favorite thing, especially after birthing a baby. So, like, why should I be jealous of him and his unprodded sleep?
Get All The Channels
It's OK. I didn't need to watch the season finale of Game of Thrones. I'm sure it won't be spoiled for me if I don't watch it right away because, as we all know, the internet is totally cool about things like that. Besides, I'm trying to go more minimalist, so not having all the best channels totally plays into that goal.
Not Have A Roommate
OMG, you guys, I loved that one chick who shared my hospital room for the last night of my stay! Her and the 900 people who came to visit her and talk loudly to one another while she watched TV until they were kicked out at 11:00 p.m were my absolute favorites. And it was so cute how, after that, she continued to watch TV at full volume. It was like having a sister whose name I never learned because we never talked to each other and she wouldn't let me sleep. We're basically still BFFs. My husband doesn't know what he's missing out on. I was oh-so-sad when the hospital where I delivered my second child told me that every maternity room was private.
Not Be Required To Be Wheeled Out In A Wheelchair
I'm not knocking wheelchairs. Wheelchairs are great! Wheelchairs provide freedom for people who have mobility issues! But I didn't have mobility issues when I was discharged, none that prevented me from walking out the door on my own, anyway. And yet the chair was required... for... reasons?
My husband, who also didn't have mobility issues, did not require a chair. Which is great. Good for him. I'm so happy.
Not Need To Be Checked Out
Poor husband. No one cared when he waltzed in and out of the hospital, unfettered and free. Sure he needed to sign in and show ID and stuff but he didn't require the 45 minute long check-out protocols that I did. The ones I had to wait hours for, by the way. Nothing makes me feel special and loved than medical professionals refusing to let me go until their elaborate procedures are completed. I'm so sad to think my husband never experienced such loving bureaucracy and inconvenience.
Not Look Pregnant At Time Of Departure
This was me two days after the birth of my baby. Please note that I still absolutely look pregnant... even though I definitely wasn't.
My husband definitely didn't look pregnant. He looked completely normal. That was great. I was so great. I was feeling really great about that. How could I possibly be jealous about any of this when I felt so damn great?