My husband is pregnant. Well, not physically. (Obviously) We are prone to forgetting that while our many symptoms as pregnant women are felt by us first hand, our partners are experiencing it too and not less strongly, just differently. Be mindful I speak of supportive and committed partners, not ‘baby daddies‘. We may find that we underestimate what a man goes through when the woman he loves goes through this trying time. We think they don’t understand and while that may be true, we also do not understand their position. Our bodies, ache and weird things happen. We are uncomfortable. Hormones take the lead and we have to constantly measure if our reactions and or concerns are justified or not. We sometimes aren’t able to eat what we want to eat, do the things we want to and it may at one time or another make us miserable.
While we suffer all that as the pregnant woman, our husbands/boyfriends suffer as well seeing us go through it and quite simply, the resulting chaos. All at once, the person they know and love is touchy and testy, so they must now consider their every word as an advanced strategist. She has outbursts they can’t understand regarding things bothering her. Things he is certain never bothered her before. He may or may not get an explanation as to why. They watch the woman they love being wrought with sickness and being unable to eat or sleep. And they cannot do anything to stop it. They are effectively made to sit and watch. They feel powerless and incapable of protecting us.
It took me a moment to recognize fully the frustrations my husband experienced during my pregnancy as we wander deeper into this journey and the first time we discussed it, I found myself horrified. During my first trimester, I found food an abomination. If smelled awful, it tasted awful. I wanted no part of it. Yet, this made for one nauseous, hungry, miserable woman. He wasn’t able to do more than ask me what I wanted to eat. The question annoyed me in itself because I had no answer. The answer was nothing, but it had to be something and he could make no attempts to get me something if I wanted nothing. There was a very real likelihood that if he attempted to get me something without my input, I wouldn’t eat it. So he had to ask, but I had no answer and therefore despised the question. Stalemate. During this time, however, I realized something. He ate less. A lot less. I didn’t like it. I figured out why, but I asked anyway.
Of course, the answer was that it was difficult for him to eat, knowing that I was having a terrible time doing so. My husband is pregnant, too! He found it difficult to happily eat when I couldn’t and was barely able to at all in front of me. Besides the fact that I gagged at almost everything, he had to watch me eat two bites and lay down. He’d lose his appetite for that particular meal and in general. I was initially annoyed. Wondering how he thought it wise for both of us to be weak and sick. I needed him to eat. He needed to be strong, how would he be if he wouldn’t eat? I couldn’t help him any more than he could help me. As the period dragged on, his worry increased. People who aren’t eating become ill. I was losing weight I couldn’t really afford.
I had no energy. I slept from 7 to 7 and could just barely manage work in between. So he did it all. He cooked, washed, cleaned, went to work. All while remaining at my beck and call. Seeing to whatever small comforts (if any) he could provide. Making tentative suggestions for me. Making me meatless soup. (Wonderful meatless, cock soup). While all of this goes on, I was mean. I thought he didn’t understand what I was going through because it wasn’t his body that felt absolutely alien. Like he didn’t belong in it. I was right, he didn’t know. He just has to watch the woman he loves go through it and become mulish, petulant and insecure. I had emotional outbursts I really couldn’t justify, not even to myself. I wanted him so close all the time, but to remain away. For him to instinctively know what I wanted and needed even when I didn’t know myself or didn’t say. That was just the first trimester! He’s preparing for a child just as I am. Preparing to be a parent just as I am. He’s making adjustments for a baby too.
Looking back now, even as I continue this journey, I am hurt I may have and continue to hurt him. I can admit, it makes me angry anyone has subjected him to the feelings I may have, even if this person is me because he does not deserve it. Hindsight is 20/20 right? The most humbling part of it all is that he accepts it fully as his role in the process. He was wonderful and continues to be a wonderfully exceptional husband providing unwavering support in the journey that carries us to meet our first child. I should know better. He’s never mentioned that I’m pregnant. He cognizant that we are pregnant. And in this whirlwind of journey, it’s terribly easy for me to forget…. he’s pregnant too.
To my wonderful husband, Boobles. I love you and appreciate all that are and all that you do. I appreciate the love and support you offer and being pregnant with you has afforded me the blessed opportunity to fall in love and respect you a thousand times more.
From Pepperseed and I, thank you!.