When you first discover you’re pregnant, all you want is for everything to be OK. You worry, because all moms-to-be worry, but you undergo tests and hope for the best. When you’re going through a high-risk pregnancy, however, that need to hold your breath — that sinking feeling that something might be wrong that only comes around once in a blue for other pregnant folks — is a daily occurrence for you. This of course, affects both you and your partner. As such, you’re destined to learn many things about your relationship after a high-risk pregnancy.
After I lost my first child to prematurity, I got pregnant again the following year and was immediately labeled high-risk. It was an unbelievably stressful time in my life. For one, I had to go to my doctor every week to sit (well, lay down) through an ultrasound to measure my cervix. I also had to get weekly progesterone shots, which my husband lovingly administered to my posterior. I was also put on pelvic rest early on, meaning I wasn’t allowed to have sex or even have an orgasm for months (and, yes, it was hell).
About halfway through my pregnancy, I had to have an emergency cerclage and was placed on bed rest. It was a rough experience, but it made me appreciate my partner so much and connect with him on a whole other level. There are just some of the lessons I gleaned from being in a relationship during my high-risk pregnancy, and I have a feeling I'm not alone in that learning experience.
How Patient Your Partner Can Be
It’s not to say my husband was the most patient person in the world during those difficult days. He was patient, sure, but I also learned that while he had lots of patience with me, his patience thinned around medical staff when he noticed an ounce of incompetence. Either way, you’ll quickly find out just how much patience your significant other has during a high-risk pregnancy.
How Informed They're Willing To Be
It’s important to be well-informed when becoming a parent, and this goes double when you might be experiencing difficulties with your pregnancy. I appreciated that my husband was willing to come along with me to appointments and learn about my various conditions. He knew it was important to know just what was going on with me and the baby and he definitely stuck it out.
How Squeamish Your Partner Is (Or Isn’t)
Pregnancy and childbirth are not for those with weak stomachs, and this is even more true when you’re going through a high-risk pregnancy. Your partner might need to assist you with things like hormone shots (like I needed) or giving you sponge baths if you’re on extreme bed rest. If they’re at all squeamish about these sorts of things, you’ll find out right away.
How Truly Thoughtful Your Partner Can Be
Every kind gesture my husband threw my way was well-received during my high-risk pregnancy. I was already scared enough, and every bit of kindness really helped to keep my sometimes flailing morale high. You’ll quickly realize whether your partner is worth keeping around if they’re actually keeping you in mind and making your life a little easier.
How Much Your Partner Is Willing To Advocate For You
My husband is usually pretty lousy at speaking to doctors and nurses when it comes to anything related to him. However, when I needed him to advocate for me and speak on my behalf, he was always willing to do so. If your partner isn’t doing this for you (perhaps because it hasn’t occurred to them), you’ll certainly want to ask them to.
How To Be There For One Another Even When You're Exhausted
Consider this a precursor to the even more exhausting (but hopefully not as stressful) days of new parenthood. You’ll have many late nights during a high-risk pregnancy when you’ll need a sympathetic ear or a helping hand. Hopefully, you find that it’s your partner that can provide these things, and that you can also provide them for your partner
How Optimistic You Can Both Be Under The Most Stressful Circumstances
There might be some dark days during a high-risk pregnancy, like when a test result comes back unfavorably or a diagnosis is given that you’re rather not hear. But hopefully, you can both remain calm and maybe even optimistic despite it all. At the end of the day, it’s a positive outlook that helps you survive a high-risk pregnancy the most.
How Long You Can Both Go Without Sex
Sex is often discouraged for those undergoing a high-risk pregnancy. Even when it isn’t explicitly stated, many pregnant persons end up losing their libido or otherwise not wanting anything to do with sex. This could put a strain on your relationship, but it could also show you how well you can handle it, which is often a testament to its strength.
How Incredibly Strong Your Relationship Is
Not every relationship can survive something as emotionally taxing (not to mention physically demanding and financially draining) as a high-risk pregnancy. If you go into this with a shaky relationship, you might discover you’re both better off alone. But others will also find that their relationship is actually more powerful than ever.