Pregnancy is hard, and not just for the woman whose feet are swelling, whose back is hurting, and whose hormones are running circles around her logic. Those nine months can be trying for the whole family, particularly Daddy Dearest.
Never lose hope, however. Pregnancy is survivable, for everyone. Head to you local Casper bookstore and stock up on books about pregnancy written for men. Then just remember why you fell in love with the woman carrying your child in the first place.
The first week or so after the test says, “yes” is euphoric. Knowing that you did it, you created a new life, is an amazing feeling. Then morning sickness hits. The love of your life wakes up with her head in the toilet, loses weight because she can’t keep anything in her stomach, and camps out on the sofa. What should any good partner do? Find some saltines and ginger ale made with real ginger. Clean the bathroom for her. She’s worried about miscarriage and sick as a dog. She doesn’t want to feel like this, and she also is fully aware that you haven’t had sex in a couple of weeks. The best thing you can do is let it be, unless you want a vomit covered bedsheet which you will then have to wash.
Once the second trimester hits, many women feel much better. This is the favorite trimester for most, in fact. She’s stopped being so sick, the threat of miscarriage is low, and she may even have a little more energy. However, now her hormones are raging. You’ll leave for work in the morning with a kiss on your cheek and return home to the woman of your dreams throwing things at your head. It’s not your fault. There are so many things going on in your partner’s brain right now that she can’t think straight. In fact, she may even say to herself, “you are hormonal, get ahold of yourself, woman, it’s not a big deal,” but still manage to break into tears over the fact that you forgot to replace the toilet paper. Remember, it’s nothing personal, and this too shall pass.
Then comes the third trimester. The trimester of nesting, of backaches, of credit cards and prenatal classes. While the joys of feeling your little baby kick and squirm will amaze and fascinate you, this is the time to tread carefully. Sometimes the kicking hurts, and the pressure on Mom’s bladder means trips to the bathroom triple. Invest in a couple extra pillows, to ease her sleep and yours.
Help her nest by listening to her when she tells you about something she wants, then find it online for less than the price in the store. Convince her that hand-me-downs are awesome, and that the baby really only needs 7 outfits at a time. Help clean and paint. Take the prenatal classes with her and remember that you are both parents, not just her. Keep in mind that she has a lot to think about; labor, hospital stays, breast-feeding, and much more. There is a lot of pressure on mothers in the world today, and hormones aside, she’s probably overwhelmed and exhausted.
To stay sane throughout, keep one phrase in your back pocket at all times, “Did you mean that, or was that hormones speaking?” Used gently, this phrase may help soften your love’s anger, as she steps back to think about her own actions. Used in anger, this phrase will reign havoc upon your head for days to come. She’s crazy, but she’s yours, and never forget that you are in this together.