Having a child is usually a happy time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, as we wait longer to have children, infertility and trouble conceiving can become a part of the family making process. Unbearable addresses these difficulties.
For those of you just joining, my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for over two years now. It’s been a long and emotional struggle, but it’s one that I’ve always considered to be a shared struggle. Even if I do take a perverse pleasure out of watching my husband suffer through nauseating natural fertility treatments. I can admit, it’s nice to see him be physically affected by the process like I am.
But even if my husband weren’t choking down horse pills everyday, I would still consider this a joint effort to have a baby. After all, as Marvin Gaye would say, “It takes two, baby.”
When people ask whether our not my husband and I are planning on having another child, something we get asked with surprising regularity, the question is always directed at both of us. When we answer, we normally say that, “We’re trying.” And should the day ever come when we are finally blessed with good news at the end of the month, I’ll probably announce the miracle by that we are pregnant. Not, “I’m pregnant,” but we.
Honestly, I had never considered that anyone would have a problem with a man and woman sharing the title of pregnancy, even if only one of them was carrying the little one around all day. I assumed that two people are going to be parents, which means that two people are expecting a baby, two people are pregnant.
Then, suddenly, my naivety was shattered. On yesterday’s amazing STFU, Parents post about the truly ridiculous ways some people decide to share their news on Facebook, one commenter came out against that whole, “We’re Pregnant,” business. They said, “When I hear ‘we’re pregnant!’, I automatically assume you are assholes. One of you is pregnant, one of you is going to be posting statuses about your wife ‘glorious womb’.” A pregnant woman concurred, pointing out all of the pregnancy joys that her husband wasn’t exactly dealing with, “Lord. *I* am pregnant right now. And if my darling husband dared to use the phrase ‘we’ are pregnant, there would be trouble. ‘We’ are not suffering from edema. ‘We’ are not getting stretch marks. ‘We’ are not dealing with rib kicks and bladder punches. And ‘we’ sure as hell are not going through childbirth. It’s also such a lovey-dovey dithery limp phrase to me.”
Wow. That’s a whole lot of “we” hatred.
Honestly, it never occurred to me that something as silly as a pronoun would infuriate people. As a couple that’s been trying to conceive for quite a while, I think that pregnancy will be another joint venture. In fact, I think for lots of couples, no matter how long it takes to have a baby, they look at pregnancy as a two-person experience.
I realize that men aren’t physically carrying children around in their abdomens. But don’t we want men to take a little bit of ownership in the process? Don’t we want them to be involved from the start, and feel connected to the process as it happens?
Yes, pregnancy only occurs in one womb. But it takes two people to make it happen. And once the baby is born, two people are going to be parents. Personally, I can’t imagine cutting my husband out after finally get there. With all the work and time we’ve put in to having another child, you better bet that we will be pregnant.