By the time you've made it to the last week of your pregnancy, the physical discomforts can make certain everyday tasks feel unbearable. You'll probably start (or have already been) relying on the help and emotional support of family and friends to get you to that proverbial finish line. One member you'll want to have on your team? A grown-ass man. He could be your partner, your family member, or your good friend, but there are definitely things your grown-ass man should do for you a week before your due date.
By the time my last week of pregnancy rolled around, I couldn't believe it was humanly possible to be as huge as I was. Two months before, I thought I had reached "capacity," and then boom. Somehow my baby grew even more and, well, so did my accommodating body. Every muscle ached and I couldn't tell if those were Braxton Hicks or if I was finally approaching labor.
Unfortunately, there were still so many things on my "baby to do list" that were unfinished. Why hadn't my grown-ass man done those things? I had a meltdown. "I can't live in this uncertainty!" I screamed in my hormonal rage. I added a million things to my Amazon cart to cope. Then, just like that, a few of the grown-ass men in my life showed up on my doorstep to address the moment's problem: my brother, my husband, and my brother-in-law. They helped assemble baby furniture and move some other stuff out of the basement (where we were living) to make room for the human being I had been growing inside my body for 40 (more or less) weeks.
I didn't say grown-ass men are mind readers. Sometimes they have to be nudged or reminded. The important thing is that you communicate with the man (or men) in your life and that they have ability to take in what you are saying, and to respond in a meaningful way. I'm grateful my grown-ass man did (because Lord help him if he didn't).
He Doesn't Complain About His Own Aches & Pains
Did you say your back hurts from a long day of sitting in an office chair? Let me go grab this tiny violin over here. Oh wait, I can't bend down to get it because I have a freaking pumpkin inside my belly that's preparing to make a slow descent of my vagina. But sure, let's talk about that knot between your shoulder blades. I mean, come on.
Please take your body ache complaints to your own mom or someone else who still maintains an ounce of compassion for another person's body because right now I just have zero f*cks to give about, well, anything really. You're a grown-ass man. Keep your complaining about Man Pains when you're around a pregnant woman to a minimum. As in, don't do it.
He Gives You Multiple Massages
Speaking of aches and pains, can you please be a grown-ass man and take your big "man hands" and place them on this spot on my hip? I'd love if you could press really hard like you're trying to puncture the skin. The pressure the baby has been putting on me when I walk is unreal. And when you're done with that, it would be so lovely if you could also do a nice neck massage. My tense neck isn't really the baby's fault, but I am getting pretty anxious thinking about how life-changing this whole baby thing is going to be.
He Finished The List Of Stuff You Wanted Completed Five Months Ago
Remember when I asked you to put the crib together, put up the decals in the baby's room, hang the mobile, and assemble the stroller, like, five months ago? I know, that seemed like you had all the time in the world, right? Well, now the clock is ticking. This baby could be here at any moment. Crazy, huh?
A grown-ass-man would not dither any longer. He would have that crap done and done, without my having to have asked a million times in the first place. Just saying.
He Refuses To Minimize Your Extreme Physical Discomfort
Your go-to reaction to any time your partner is feeling pain or discomfort may normally be to say, "You're fine, it's NBD." My advice? Don't do that in this instance. For a woman approaching her due date, you can be pretty sure that whatever she is suffering does not feel "fine" at all, especially if she's a first-time mom and she has no idea what to expect labor is going to feel like. Also, if you were born a male-bodied person and have never experienced the act of growing a human inside of you, you wouldn't know anything about what your partner is feeling at this tail end of her pregnancy.
For me, it was almost unbearable. I constantly felt tight in my lower abdomen, I couldn't breathe well, I had consistent cramps, and it felt like my legs dislocated from my hip every time I walked at any pace that wasn't a slow stroll. I needed a grown-ass man to acknowledge that my mere existence was painful and agonizing and, thankfully, that's just what my partner did.
He Prepares Food For You Ahead Of Time
I was so grateful that my husband and his grandma had planned ahead of time, cooking food and then freezing it a week or so before my due date. It was amazing to have food that we could just heat up and inhale. It was also severely helpful to know we had a nice, already-prepared, home-cooked meal to look forward to when we were dealing with a newborn who took up every second of our lives. Food? What is food other than fuel when you're just home from the hospital?
He Tells You He's Going To Miss Your Beautiful Pregnant Body
Even if a woman absolutely loved her pregnant physique throughout the pregnancy, it is rare for a woman to still be thrilled with the shape of her body in the last week of pregnancy. The belly is very pronounced, usually low, and sometimes the woman gains a few more pounds towards the end.
So a grown-as man telling her that he'll miss the way she looked pregnant let's her know that all those pregnancy compliments weren't fake.
He Facilitates Your Netflix Sessions
A grown-ass man will never judge a pregnant woman for claiming ownership to the entire couch for an extended period of time. In fact, he asks her what he can do to make her viewing experience more pleasurable.
In the week before my due date I pretty much contributed nothing to society. I sat on a couch and walked Netflix movie after Netflix movie, trying to escape into other people's bodies and imagine a world in which I was not able to use my stomach as a tabletop and weird discharge was not coming out of my vagina in preparation for birth.