I’m not pregnant, but my wife is. So, in reality, we both are. It might be T’s belly that’s forming a telling little bump, but make no mistake, we are both undeniably pregnant.
Sometimes that’s really fun, like going and having an ultrasound. All the voyeurism without the goo–neato! Sometimes, though, it’s a lot of work having to lift and carry everything, and the zero help with the cat box thing stinks, etc., but since I like taking care of T, that’s okay too. I don’t even mind that she banned dinner for two months. I could have done without a few of her ill-timed meltdowns, but overall, T’s been very strong and rightfully expects me to be as well. We’ve always been good about making the other rise to the occasion.
Being pregnant has meant a lot of changes, obviously, some which I anticipated and some, not so much. For example, I don’t drink a bottle of wine a night or smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, which is both good and bad. Good because, let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger, and bad because psssssst…..I’m not really pregnant and sometimes I want a glass of wine or two or three. But that bugs the shit out of T, so I try to avoid it. Same with all things smoking related. I’ve done a decent job of giving up smoking, a few slips notwithstanding. We spend money differently too, in part because of my current unemployment status, but as much of it has to do with shifting priorities as well. A ten dollar bottle of wine could buy a package of diapers; do I need a new pair of flip flops this summer when my old ones are holding up just fine? You get my drift.
We’ve been gobbling up information about Egghead’s progress, eagerly awaiting each Dr.’s visit, and working to make room in our small home for the baby. What the books don’t tell you about pregnancy is that there is this emotional housecleaning that takes place as well. I know that has been true with me at least. All kinds of stuff has surfaced in my life, some in the form of unpleasant memories, and some actual people/incidents rearing their heads again after being dormant for years. Why now? Why, when I have so much to look forward to and planning to do must I spend valuable time thinking about a shitty past that I can’t change and have already dealt with/confronted/analyzed the crap out of? But there you have it. Just as I excavate boxes of old stuff, throwing most of it away, I too must sift through the mental and emotional clutter and figure out what the hell it all means. I feel this is very important to my becoming a mother. I don’t even have a choice about it really. It’s happening whether I want it to or not. Someone should write a book about the mental and emotional preparation that happens during pregnancy. Not a single book warned of this.
Additionally, I’ve managed to rack up some of my very own pregnancy symptoms. Here’s a short list:
- food aversion (eggs)
- multiple trips to the bathroom/waking up at night
- exhaustion/sleeping often
- nausea (this is explained by the Chanti.x I was taking to quit smoking)
There are others, which I can’t recall off the top of my head, but wow. I’m not sure if this makes me a codependent weirdo or just a sympathetic partner. I can say that I thought pregnancy would be a lot funner than it is turning out to be. It’s stressful to try to change all of my bad habits at once, sort through painful emotional clutter, do all the house cleaning, and desperately look for a job all while being a loving partner who doesn’t get mad when she’s told that she’s not “stepping up.” It’s really hard, in fact.
But that’s not a complaint about pregnancy or about my wife. It just happens to be a fact that, at least for me, getting ready for this baby is hard work. I can just hear those in the Mommy Club saying “Just you wait! Oh you haven’t seen anything yet.” Well, one step at a time. We’ll commiserate on the “really hard stuff” later.
I love T beyond measure, and that she is making this baby for us, this baby that we’ve wanted for so long, is at the forefront of almost every thought I have. I adore her, adore listening to an hourlong cost/benefit analysis of the all-in-one diapers and the tri-folds with a cover. I love bringing her pickles, rubbing lotion on her belly, and reaching over in bed to rest my hand on her growing stomach. I love all of this. It makes every difficult, challenging, unpleasant thing I’ve had to endure since Dec. 31, 2008 worth it.