There's just nothing else in life to compare it to. Pregnancy is a singular miracle. That being said, only one person in a relationship goes through the many (nearly daily) changes. Those changes happen to her body, her emotions, and her plans for the future. While her partner can try to support her as well as hold on for the fast paced ride, often the transition can lead to frustrations and humorous fails. Communication is vital during this time and some turn to social media to help us understand the antics going on behind the scenes.
Also, some pregnant women (hands up from this lady) know they're being irrational while not knowing how to stop. Those pregnancy hormones and the resultant emotions can move like tornadoes. It can mean that both the lady carrying the baby and her partner may be confused by what she's feeling, smelling, or how she's reacting. And, she's earned it. After all, she's making a human which is a pretty daunting task. That gives her immediately leeway to feel a little irritation with whatever the hell she wants. Listen, we know partners don't mean to be unhelpful. We know that they're facing the fast approaching parenting gauntlet, too. However, they're not feeling a baby knee in their ribs or a pressing head on their bladders. We're complaining about partners, sure, but lightheartedly.
Don't. Do. It. Not while she's pregnant. Just because she doesn't want that last ice cream sandwich or tangerine now doesn't mean that she won't want it later. No one wants to tell their hungry and pregnant honey, "Uh, yeah, I ate that a few hours ago." At least, don't say it unless you're fully willing to go out and replace whatever it is that got eaten. In fact, keep this in mind both during pregnancy and afterward while she's breastfeeding. During both stages, a woman's body needs additional calories to help sustain a healthy baby. Eating the last of her favorite foods is only going to make everyone in the house miserable.
There's so much a pregnant woman can't have, and that's hard for her. It's not nice to eat things like sushi, unheated lunch meat, or soft cheeses in front of her. Worse, she can't have booze. Does that mean that her partner has to lay off drinking, too? Nope, it doesn't. She probably just doesn't want to see her significant other rubbing it in. A beer at night, if that's how you roll, is probably fine. Going to a wine tasting at the vineyard she's been wanting to try is not such a good move. Also, she probably doesn't want to see any liquor escapades on her partner's social media. It doesn't say "baby ready."
We hope that any household with a pregnant woman has more than one toilet. However, that's definitely not always the case. What's worse, men seem to live in the bathroom at the most inappropriate times. Cafe Mom explains it like this, "It's a stereotype we're all familiar with -- the man who disappears into the bathroom with a newspaper and emerges four hours later claiming he just had to take a poop. In 2018, it's more likely he's sitting in there with a cell phone than a physical newspaper, but the parameters are the same. They go off to sit atop their porcelain throne, and their partners are left waiting, tending to the kids solo, and wondering if the toilet is actually a tear in the space-time continuum that they didn't know existed." Seriously, just let the pregnant women pee for the 100th time. She can't help it.
Image: Twitter/Kidglo India
Your wardrobe is made up of things you bought throughout the years. You have your favorites, as well as probably some less favorites that have fallen to the bottom of drawers or the back of your closet. Pregnancy dictates that nearly all of those clothes will be rendered unwearable. That bump means that your partner's clothes might be the comfiest option for lazing around in. Other than that, either some serious online shopping or a trip to Motherhood may be in store. While the need for as well as the reluctance to do may confuse or result in exclamations of, "but that's mine!" your partner will get over it.
Pregnancy really throws that sense of smell into overdrive. Experts have theorized that this heightened sense of smell was a protective adaption women have made to protect their unborn babies from spoiled food. Protective adaption or not, things that once didn't bother her or even smelled good to her are unbearable now. Whether it's her partner's cologne, their personal scent after a trip to the gym, or that same partner's decision to eat a bag of corn chips a good partner needs to adjust to her new preferences (on a daily maybe). She probably can't predict what's going to make her gag better than anyone else.
This is specifically for those later stages of pregnancy (the ones where you have to rock like a seesaw in order to vacate a chair). If your partner is there, it is their job to help you up. An extended hand really does help here. The same goes for getting out of bed to pee, grab a snack, or because you've had another weird pregnancy dream. That sweet person that impregnated you, yeah they can get up to help haul you up. It's good practice for when the baby's there and you're sharing overnight duties. You can't exactly share the weight of the baby sitting on your bladder, but this way your partner can help you be a touch more comfortable.
Between morning sickness, food aversions, mood swings, not ever having the right thing to wear since your wardrobe is suddenly limited, and the constant bathroom trips it's totally acceptable to want to do nothing but hang out at home. When your partner says 'yes' to plans with friends or family, that can be quite irritating. Whether you've worked all day in the house or in an office, you probably hope that getting home means throwing your feet up, not getting ready to go back out in the world. Plus, whoever your partner has made plans with is inevitable going to ask those well meaning but oft repeated questions. How are you feeling? Is everything ready? When will this baby finally get here? The real answers- like I've been pregnant since the dawn of time, ready? pfft, you wanna come get my house ready?!, and never. Nope, I'm just going to carry this kid around until it's time for it to graduate from high school.
When I was pregnant with my third daughter I poked my bump with the handle of the vacuum while trying to clean our carpets. Everyone was fine, but the somersaulting baby let me know she was not impressed. The point of the story is that pregnant women should be excused from housework. They're busy. Making a tiny human isn't easy and having your center of balance shifted is no picnic either. Significant others can pick up the workload around the house for at least the last three months of gestation. It'll make everyone happier. Chores will actually get done in a timely manner, Mama won't have to cover her nose and mouth to clean the bathroom, and she won't spend the entire time cleaning giving her partner some serious side eye.
Does it seem like most men just skip right over childbirth in their minds? Like 'awesome, I get to make her pregnant' to 'yay, a kid to throw a ball around with.' There're some step in between those events. One of them, the one most women spend nine months or more preparing for, is labor and delivery. Until their partners are in the birthing suite, most men have never seen an actual birth. This may need to change. Why, you ask? Because at least five percent of dads pass out during the birth of their first child. Another eight percent of papas ended up having to stand outside in the hall or otherwise leave the room.
Image: Pinterest/Violet Dawn
Just like some people can't handle the intensity of witnessing labor and delivery, some people can't hold it together at the OBGYN's office. They're all those diagrams and anatomical models! Vaginas everywhere! Most men haven't received proper sex ed to begin with, and then they're thrown into an office where everything is female focused. It can bring out the inner twelve year old inside him. For a good laugh, check out this couple's OBGYN mishap. They're both pretty upbeat about such a slip up. Keep in mind, this is a dad of three with his fourth on the way. If he still finds OB visits amusing, we're guessing the weirdness never runs out.
If there's one time you don't want to be interrupted by surprise pictures, it's while you're pregnant. You're front facing camera already hates you and surprises you with the view beneath your chin on the reg. You don't need your partner doing so too while you feel puffy and like you haven't shaved you legs in months. Pictures that you're able to prepare for are one thing. Pregnancy is a beautiful time, and when it's all over you'll want to remember it. Maybe you'll even look back and finally see that glow everyone talks about. That glow, though, it's just not going to show up in a surprise picture when you're at home slumped on the couch taken with an iPhone. Just stop, man.
During those last months of pregnancy, have you noticed that everyone answers their phone after the first ring? You may be calling to remind your partner to pick up a sandwich on the way home but they're like, "IS IT TIME NOW?!" Seriously, mamas might want to tell their partners to calm the f*** down. Just relax. Even when it is time, it's not like a slip and slide down there. Labor is called labor for a reason. Some exceptions happen, but it's pretty rare for a local significant other not to make it to the hospital in time. Remember, stay calm.
One time not to gripe about dieting and body appearance is during a partner's pregnancy. Why? She's hungry constantly and gaining weight, which every doctor appointment reminds her of. Did anyone else hate stepping on the scale at the beginning of each appointment? Do you expect me to be nice to you after you tell me I've gained three pounds in the past week? Not likely. Add that to her diminishing wardrobe and swollen ankles, and you have the perfect recipe for 'I don't give a shit about your diet' pie. If you want to watch what you eat, that's fine. Just don't complain about it to a pregnant lady.
Image: Twitter/Amanda Clark
Don't tell her that! Being pregnant anywhere that's not in front of an open fridge or in a pool during those hottest months is miserable. A woman's body temperature naturally rises during pregnancy and her body holds and produces more blood. She gets the night sweats. Don't even mention all the active things you're doing in the sun to her. She doesn't care, she won't appreciate being reminded of all the things she can't do, and don't expect her to help with yard work at all. It ain't happening this year. Instead, bring her ice water and offer to rub her feet. All you have to do is look up 'summer pregnancy swelling' and you'll know why.
Image: Pinterest/Belly Bandit
Just like partners get the heebie jeebies t at the OBGYN, many don't understand the powerful drive that is nesting. To them, the house or apartment may appear totally clean. To the mom whose hormones are screaming at her to sanitize everything for a new baby, it looks like a bacteria infested rat hole. Worse, some partners can't help but look at her like she's lost her mind. Lock down the need for the judgey face and jump in with help. The quicker the drawer organizing, carpet shampooing, and bottle boiling gets done the quicker both partners can kick back.
Image: quickmeme/Annoying Pregnant Facebook Girl
For most women, the last thing they're thinking about during those final days of pregnancy is sex. In fact, she hasn't seen her nether regions for a while. She's most likely feeling the baby deeply engaged in her pelvis, her bladder constantly feels full, and she's lost nearly all flexibility. Her boobs, while bigger than ever, are sore and leaking. Her favorite intimate positions? Probably off the table for the moment. While it's true that doctors often recommend the act to help jump start labor, for many women it's the last thing they want to do. Let her suggest this if it's a viable option for bringing about the big day.
Image: Tenor/Next Time
Keep the "next time" talk in. The last thing she wants to think about is being pregnant again. She's not even through this one! Pregnancy takes a pretty hard toll on the body, even for women who manage to not gain too much weight or suffer complications. Every time a woman gets pregnant, she's sacrificing nine months and more of comfort in her own body. Plus, if she's one of the unlucky ones that's bent over the toilet for the majority of her pregnancy, she really doesn't want to hear that her partner wants her to do it all again. Trade, "let's have another" for "you're a goddess and you're rocking this pregnancy thing."
Supportive partners do a lot, really. It's important to remember that they're preparing for and going through a momentous life change as well. This is the case whether it's kid #1 or kid #5. Each baby changes a family and each pregnancy is different. Still, it's best if partners don't act like those midnight taco trips or shopping trips for nursing bras are so taxing. Whatever stress they're under is probably threefold for their pregnant significant other. After all, she's under the same pressure and has to pee every half hour whether she's sleeping or not. Almost no one is pleasant when they're tired, hormonal, and ready to pop. Honestly, humor is the best policy here. Laugh at her request, then fulfill it for her. She'll be thankful and have a full belly. Wins all around.