It's the moment of truth, when the, "pregnant or not pregnant?" question will be answered and a plethora of varying, valid emotions are sure to follow. Some women are upset, some are scared, and some are elated. Either way, you can be sure most women are bound to do a couple of things immediately after reading a positive pregnancy test (like re-reading the box, for one). So, it's kind of annoying when someone else's actions seem to undermine your own. In fact, there are a lot of infuriating things your partner will do when you find out your pregnant, essentially adding "rage" to the list of overwhelming emotions every first-time pregnant woman feels.
My husband and I had been "sort of" trying to get pregnant for six months. The goalie was out of the net (meaning there was absolutely no birth control being used) but I wasn't really doing anything (like charting or taking my temperature) to make sure that I was going to get pregnant as quickly as possible. Every month, I'd take a pregnancy test "just to see." I'd never had regular periods anyway, so there was never, like, an, "Oh my god, I'm late!" kind of moment.
My husband was out walking the dog when I got out of bed to pee on the stick that I'd excitedly laid out by the toilet the night before. I saw that double line, I peed on two more sticks, and then I jumped around with joy. I couldn't wait to run up to my partner and show him one (of the many) positive pregnancy tests when he got home with our dog. His reaction was, however, a little bit underwhelming and kind of infuriating, as you'll see in my saga below:
They'll Ask, "Are You Sure?"
We get it. This is one of the biggest "reveals" a woman can make to her partner. However, when a woman tells her partner that she is pregnant — unless she is relying solely on intuitive feminine powers or ancient methods of pregnancy detection — it is very likely that she is telling you some very real truth.
Still, on the day I showed my husband our first positive pee stick, his immediate response was, "Are you sure?" I know he didn't actually mean it as in, "Can you tell the difference between a plus or minus sign," but, you know, still. This shouldn't be coming out of so many people's mouths when they find out their partner is expecting. People, listen. When we tell you we are pregnant, it is because we actually, um, are.
They'll Request You Take A Second (Or Third, Or Fourth) Test...
Now listen, folks. If I have gone ahead and made the call that I am pregnant, you can be pretty sure that I've already peed on more than one stick, just to be sure.
Every time I've had a positive pregnancy test, I was too excited to just see the pink line just one time. I had to have two or three, money be damned (because those babies are expensive). So yeah, I found it pretty obnoxious that my husband asked me to take another test as if I would have relied on just one (although, technically, I believe you can rely on just one). I am way ahead of you, Babe!
...Then They Will Reread The Directions On The Box And Consult The Internet
Once again, major life changing moment here, so a significant other is not likely to take this big announcement lightly. If a woman shows her partner the pink stick or plus sign stick or whatever, it is basically scientific fact that said partner will request the box the stick came in. They'll read the directions (twice) and check the expiration date on the box (a few times), just to be absolutely sure.
What I want to know is, what did my partner need to be absolutely sure about? That pregnancy brain has already kicked in and affected my ability to comprehend simple directions? The directions on a box of mac and cheese are harder to follow than the instructions on how to take a pregnancy test.
They Make A Lame Joke About Paternity
Expectant fathers, usually, seem to love this one. So many of my friends have partners who fancy themselves stand up comedians the second they hear they are going to be fathers. "You sure this one's mine?"
My husband's joke had the added pizazz of, "What about that weekend with the girls in Miami last spring?" Ha. Ha. Ha.
They'll Start Worrying About Your Physical Health, Immediately
Sometimes partners will go completely overboard within the super early days of pregnancy, taking sound bites of things that they've heard about pregnant ladies and applying them to the very, very early pregnant person they now feel responsible for. For example, when a woman is late into her pregnancy it might be uncomfortable for her to walk long distances. However, when a woman is not even at the end of her first trimester, like I was when I found out I was pregnant, she can walk as far and long as she would like.
On the morning when I found out I was pregnant and I wanted to go to my favorite breakfast place that was a fifteen minute walk away my husband was like, "Maybe we should walk to the closer breakfast place?" Um, no honey, that place is just fine thanks. Also, I am absolutely craving a particular breakfast sandwich and if I don't eat it I might have to kill something with my bare hands. Yay pregnancy cravings!
They'll Start Worrying About Your Diet, Immediately
OK, maybe we can admit that it a little cute that the parenting instinct kicks in so quickly. However, it's less than cute when you haven't even had the opportunity to completely wrap your head around this whole pregnancy thing, yet. I mean, if I haven't even met with my doctor for the first time, and all of a sudden someone else (who is not pregnant) is imposing big red stop signs on things like coffee, or cheese, or smoked meat, I'm going to be unhappy.
For example, I was about to eat a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich the morning I found out I was pregnant. That's when it happened. "Wait, are you sure you can eat that?" my husband asked. I was like, "Dude! I had a martini last night! Now you're worried about this piece of bacon?"
They're Skeptical Of Your Early Pregnancy Symptoms...
It is all well and good when the worry comes from their part, but if the pregnant woman starts freaking out about a perceived (read: real) pregnancy symptom, often a partner will tell her that she is being irrational. You know, because she's now classified as a "crazy pregnant person." Maybe some of the very early symptoms are completely conjured up from all the obsessive internet reading we pregnant women do, but some of the symptoms are very, very real.
Please tell me more about how I'm not "pregnancy starving" and it's just my regular hunger level. I love hearing you say that.
...Then Try To Solve Every Pregnancy Symptom
Partners mean well when trying to help out but, more often than not, the mystery and wonder of pregnancy symptoms cannot be fixed.
So no, that ginger ale my husband made for me in his home soda making machine did not stop me from vomiting five times a day for seven months straight, but the bubbles felt nice. The yoga classes he helped me find in our neighborhood didn't do much for my back pain, but I did make a lifelong mama friend there. In retrospect, what he did for me was helpful, but not in the ways I had expected they would be (or that he had thought they would be). Most of the time I just wanted him to say, "That really sucks and I'm sorry you're so uncomfortable."
They Keep Telling You To Not Get Too Excited Just Yet
This one is a bummer. Some partners can get easily caught up in the excitement and thrill of the prospect of a new baby. Other partners are more realistic about all of the different possible ways in which things could or might go wrong with a pregnancy.
In my relationship, I am the romantic and my husband is the pragmatist. I was ready to share our big news with the world, but my husband (and I'm glad he urged this) told us to wait until more time had passed and we knew more about my pregnancy. Everything with this particular pregnancy turned out fine. This one was lucky. It was really hard keeping the news to ourselves, and at the time I remember resenting the hell out of him for "making me" keep it a secret. However, I also remember that he was quick to talk about the baby and be excited with me, just within the confines of our own relationship. Plus, it was really awesome when we did finally share the news together. So, I guess this is one of those things that felt infuriating at the time, but in hindsight I'm grateful for.
There are a lot of things that partners do that can feel infuriating in the moment – especially to a pregnant woman. But in the end, when the outcome is a healthy baby, all that stuff that came before, especially in the early days, becomes nothing more than a silly back story.