Even the happiest couples can clash during pregnancy. There’s the hormonal-induced misunderstandings, the pressure created by a looming due date, and seemingly endless appointments and questions and research. And when you’re experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, your relationship can experience an even more intense strain. With all the stress and fear involved, it’s no wonder there are specific fights every couple has when a pregnancy is high-risk. But don’t worry, those "fights" aren't all bad and can, in certain situations, even be beneficial.
I speak from personal experience, too. After losing my first baby to prematurity, I never thought I’d get pregnant again, let alone so soon. But less than a year later, I missed my period and boom: pregnant. My partner and I were terrified, of course. Neither of us had even really started to heal from our grief. In fact, the doctors couldn't even tell us, for sure, why we lost our daughter. So we did our best to keep our cool throughout the pregnancy, but sometimes those unavoidable tensions still won out.
Before my partner and I knew it, we were navigating a snarky remark here and a forgotten appointment there. Our relationship also started to lack intimacy, which made the tension seem even more unavoidable. It was rough, to be sure, but we made it through and, now, we have a wonderful soon-to-be 4-year-old son to show for it. So if you’re worried about what your high-risk pregnancy might mean for your relationship, have no fear. You’ll probably disagree with your partner more than a few times, and those disagreements might turn into arguments, but it's all pretty standard. And, hopefully, temporary.
The “Which Doctor Is The Right Doctor?” Fight
My husband wasn’t all that concerned with the OB-GYN I chose during the first pregnancy. He met her and liked her just fine. But after our loss, he really wanted to be sure I was receiving all the right care, which meant we sometimes disagreed on whether I was going with the “right choice” or not.
The “Which Hospital Is The Best?” Fight
We visited one hospital during my first pregnancy and didn’t really have much to compare it to. But for the high-risk one? Well, my partner and I went on about four different hospital tours. Each and every time, I wasn’t fully satisfied. My husband just wanted me to pick one and, in the end, it became a source of contention.
The “Don’t Carry Heavy Things!” Fight
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you've probably heard someone tell you to "take it easy" more times than you'd care to admit. This is nice and all, sure. But sometimes it can be downright obnoxious. After a while, I would flip the you-know-what out when someone tried to tell me how to think, feel, or act.
The “Should We Just Choose Bed Rest?” Fight
Bed rest comes with its own set of pros and cons. Not every high-risk mom-to-be has to do be bedridden, but it’s often recommended for most women experiencing pregnancy complications. My doctor recommended bed rest in moderation, but there were times when my husband wanted me to simply lie there forever (out of fear for the baby, of course) and I could not deal with that request.
The “I’m Tired Of Having To Do Everything For You” Fight
Non-pregnant partners really have to step it up during a high-risk pregnancy. I'm sure it can be more than frustrating when us pregnant people send you non-pregnant people to the store for cookies and burgers, then we text you as you’re walking out the door so you can also bring us noodles. And then maybe we call you as you’re driving back home to remind you that, yes, we also want burritos. I mean, I get it. But make no mistake, we're carrying the bulk of the pregnancy work on our aching shoulders, so you can do your part.
The “Will We Ever Have Sex Again” Fight
These were never actual fight fights, but I know it was a source of frustration. When you’re high-risk you’re often placed on “pelvic rest,” which is basically a nice way of saying “no sex" for the foreseeable future. In fact, it’s also no masturbation, which means no possible way of enjoying an orgasm at all.
Yeah, that made me a little snippy.
The “Should We Get A Second Opinion?” Fight
My partner and I often had disagreements as to whether certain recommendations by the doctor were, well, accurate. I trusted my doctor, at first. But my partner felt like she didn’t worry enough, wasn’t cautious enough, and didn't take our concerns seriously. So we had more than a few discussions about second options. Honestly, though, those discussions can be a pain in the ass.
The “Do We Need To Go To The Hospital?” Fight
Any time I felt sick or weird or off, I wanted to head to the emergency room. I know it's not, but at the time, it felt like life or death, especially since we lost our daughter. My husband hates hospitals, though, so he was reluctant to take me in every single time I felt "off" during my high-risk pregnancy.
The “You’re Too Stressed Out" Fight
Did I mention how very stressful a high-risk pregnancy can be? My partner and I tried to act like we were the cool cucumber of the bunch, but underneath the surface we were low-key taking turns being worry warts. Hey, we're human, and pregnancy is a stressful time, regardless.
So if you're experiencing your own high-risk pregnancy, don’t stress too hard. Instead, try to listen to your partner when they say they're overwhelmed. Instead of fighting, hug it out, dance it out, watch something silly on TV, or do whatever it takes to remind yourselves that this, too, shall pass. You’re in it for the long haul, baby.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.