In both of my full-term pregnancies, my partner and I experienced what I refer to as "the dark times." This is when I'm near that blessed due date finish line, undoubtedly at my most miserable, and we're arguing over every last thing. Some fights every couple has in the third trimester may, or may not, include ridiculously petty nitpicking because, well, hormones. I wish I had a better excuse, but in my case hormones ruled all. Well, hormones and the physical ailments from a growing baby smashed up against my ribcage, swollen feet that made walking impossible, and all the bathroom breaks. OK, clearly it wasn't just the hormones.
The first time I experienced the third trimester, I wasn't prepared for the way my relationship would change as my partner and I approached parenthood. Nerves officially set in the closer got to my due date, and the fights about dumb stuff became more and more frequent. Luckily, this phase passes, but for my partner and I the damn third trimester "dark times" feel like the longest part of any pregnancy.
Of those fights, I can honestly say not a single one of them matters now. Really. They're insignificant blips of in-the-moment fury that evaporate once I've moved onto something else — like having the damn baby. It's all part of this beautiful thing called pregnancy, I guess. With that, here's some of the absurd, time-wasting, pointless fights we, and every couple, as during the dark times. Er, I mean third trimester.
The"When To Have The Hospital Bag Packed" Fight
I'm the type who had her hospital bag packed the day I took my pregnancy test. I like to be prepared, and though I kept revising what was part of that bag, I felt it to be my prerogative. What I didn't need was a partner telling me how "unnecessary" some of the items were. How in the hell did he know I wouldn't need the manicure set or a stack of novels?
The "Am I Really In Labor?" Fight
Braxton Hicks contractions are pretty convincing, especially if you're experiencing your first pregnancy and you don't have a point of reference. Some of the disagreements between my partner and I stemmed from the multiple times I thought I was in labor, all the way to the day I was induced (because my body never actually did start the labor process). It could happen to anyone.
The "Who's Allowed In The Birthing Room?" Fight
It's a sensitive subject, I know. I only wanted my partner in the delivery room, and even then I was hesitant. Why would I want anyone standing "down there" while I pushed a human out of me? The answer: I didn't. This attitude caused a bit of friction. Eventually I extended the offer to both of our mothers, but only after a few "conversations."
The "Look At How Much Freedom You Have" Fight
Don't even get me started. When I'm waddling around, out of breath, cranky, hungry, tired, and uncomfortable, I don't really need to hear about the fun time my partner had playing a relaxing game of golf, or that delicious meal he had with his coworkers.
The "What's For Dinner?" Fight
OK, honestly? This has been an ongoing fight since our relationship's inception and continues to this day. When mealtime rolls around and we plan to go out, no one will decide where to go eat.
During my third trimester, I had even less patience for this argument because I was so freakin' hungry all the damn time. For the sake of the baby, and my remaining sanity, just decide already!
The "Pregnancy Sex" Fight
During my first pregnancy I had zero sex drive. I don't know if most pregnancies with a girl have this side effect, but I certainly experienced it. It didn't cause "fights," per se, but it did create tension that led to more arguments.
The "We're Not Even Remotely Ready" Fight
I'll admit that I picked a lot of miscellaneous fights just, well, because. It was partly hormones, but also raging insecurity as we were about to embark on parenthood for the first time and were horrifically unprepared. The third trimester was, in a sense, the end of just us. How in the world were we going to take care of another human being? How was taking care of another human being going to impact our relationship?
Of course we didn't know how much stronger and closer having a baby would eventually make us. At the time, though, picking fights was my way of holding on before everything changed.