The media constantly shows us beautiful pregnant women with perfectly round, high baby bumps. I carried high my first pregnancy, and assumed that's how every pregnancy feels. But during my second pregnancy I carried "low" and, well, things were different. I felt miserable, couldn't wear cute maternity clothes, and my body constantly ached in places I never even knew existed. In other words, I needed my husband to do the things every soon-to-be dad should do when their pregnant partner when they're carrying "low."
Pregnancy can be a struggle, and there are struggles only pregnant women who carry "low" truly know. It feels like you have a bowling ball between your legs, which leaves you suffering from full body aches and waddling like giant, uncomfortable duck. My pelvis felt like it would break in half with every step, and my lower back felt like I was carrying an extra 25 pounds. My baby rested on my bladder for months, so I always had to pee. My sex drive was impacted, too, and pregnancy sex required some serious creativity from me and my partner for me to feel good.
Fortunately, I learned firsthand that having a loving partner can make a huge difference. My husband did everything from carrying heavy stuff to learning how to massage my hips, back, and pelvis to relieve my aches and pains. He let me take the lead in the bedroom, and in general, and had no problem with me telling him what I needed to make carrying our baby low a bit less of a struggle. So if you have a pregnant woman in your life, and she happens to be carrying low, take some notes and do the following:
They Carry Stuff For You
This actually became somewhat of a private joke. I would carry the groceries inside from the car, claiming that I was fine, while my partner protested that I should let him help. Eventually, and in no uncertain terms, my body let me know that I needed to stop. My pelvis and lower back hurt so badly that I willingly let my partner carry heavy loads, even when it made me feel weak.
They Give Massages
My husband gives the best massages. When I was pregnant, he learned how to ease the unique pains of having a baby resting on your pelvis and between your legs all day.
They Try New Sex Positions
Yeah, when you are pregnant — and especially when you are carrying low — you have to get creative in the bedroom in order to find positions that work. Having a supportive partner that doesn't make you feel uncomfortable is vital.
They Don't Complain About A Lack Of Sexy Time
And when I hurt so badly that I didn't feel like having sexy time, or our attempts at pregnancy sex didn't pan out? My husband never complained. We found other ways to be intimate, and those moments were just as beneficial to our relationships as sex.
They Help Out Around The House
My husband did all of the heavy lifting at home, as well as taking on more than his fair share of meal prep, bedtime, laundry, and carrying for our other kids.
They Encourage You To Put Your Feet Up
My partner was always encouraging me to do whatever I needed to feel better, including but not limited to: putting my feet up, taking a bath, resting, or taking a nap. He also took care of our kids and our home so I could actually relax.
They Drop You Off At The Door
When you are carrying low, even walking (or waddling) short distances can be a challenge. My partner would do little things — like dropping me off close to the door so I wouldn't have walk far, or picking activities that didn't require me to walk at all — that let me know he was taking into consideration just how painful it is to carry low when you're pregnant. He was always thinking of me, and that made the pregnancy just a little more manageable.
They Never Comment About Your Body
No matter how many times I waddled, peed myself, or outgrew my maternity pants, my husband never made a single negative comment about my arguably-not-beautiful pregnant body. He pretty much spent my last pregnancy making me feel like a goddess.
They Follow Their Partner's Lead
Of course, every pregnant person is different, so every awesome co-parent knows they should follow their partner's lead. Some pregnant people might like a spa day, while others might just want someone to listen to them vent about their aching back. Some might want you to hold the door or carry the laundry, while others might want to do it themselves. The best way to find out what your partner needs is to ask, which is good advice for all co-parents with pregnant partners, regardless.
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