When Babble invited me to blog for Being Pregnant, I wasted no time in accepting. That said, I did wrestle with one tiny logistical concern. I’m not pregnant — a fact my pregnant wife has delighted in pointing out on numerous occasions. This helpful observation is offered as irrefutable proof that I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be her. At least that’s what I’ve gathered when she follows “you’re not pregnant” with “so you can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be me.”
Touché. But two can play that game, my friends. For there’s something that my wife cannot possibly imagine — what it’s like to be married to someone who often holds biological impossibilities against me during hormone-fueled attacks.
As the stepfather of a 9-year-old and the father of toddler triplets, I’m not exactly a rookie over here. And I understand that most of my slopes for the next six months will be slippery ones. So I’ve decided to make the best out of it by learning as much as I possibly can about this condition with which I’ll never be burdened. (Directly burdened, that is.)
And here are five extremely valuable lessons I’ve learned this go ’round.
1. A singleton pregnancy is much more difficult than a triplet pregnancy. When my wife and I learned of unexpected child number five, we quickly searched for any consolation we could find. (After we regained consciousness.) One was that a singleton pregnancy could not possibly be as difficult her triplet pregnancy had been. But in making such an assessment, we had forgotten to factor in the three entities which the triplet pregnancy had provided, two boys and one girl who, at age 3-1/2, climb all over my poor wife like a knocked up jungle jim.
Sadly, this pregnancy has proven to be extremely difficult. Unlike last time, it’s not because of all this mom has to juggle on the inside, but rather what this mom has to juggle on the outside.
2. Lay the ice cream down, put your hands in the air, and slowly back away from the table. Around 8 weeks into her pregnancy, Caroline happened upon me with a look that would have given Dirty Harry second thoughts. I was enjoying a modest serving of ice cream at the time. “Let’s get one thing straight, tough guy,” she began. “The ice cream? Don’t mess with it. It’s mine.”
I didn’t bother to tell her that there was over half of a pint left. Her point was crystal clear. I’ve not had a scoop since.
3. Don’t compare your wife’s pregnancy to the NFL. Just don’t. Okay? This one may seem obvious to you, but it wasn’t to me. See, as a writerly type, I’m required to ramble on from time to time at various websites, one of my favorites being ManOfTheHouse. And the other day, I wrote one about how my wife’s pregnancy has begun to resemble the NFL playoffs. Probably not the best metaphor to use in describing her pregnancy. Especially when Caroline’s a bit more emotional than usual. Or so I gathered when she told me why the tongue-in-cheek post bothered her so much. Or at least when she tried to tell me.
“You’re not pregnant so you can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be me.”
4. Our dog knows Caroline is pregnant. Or so she claims. I called BS for the first week or two, but eventually even I had to concede that our dog (Briggs) was acting differently. He follows Caroline around 24/7, constantly by her side. He used to only shadow me, but ever since she’s become pregnant, my entrances into the house garner nothing more than a dismissive glance and maybe a yawn before he lies back down right next to his new number one.
Kinda sweet, no?
No. Because Caroline doesn’t really like Briggs all that much. She’s allergic to him, not to mention she thinks he’s gross (perineal lipstick licking isn’t helping, Briggs). Still, he’s clearly her new wingman, and she’s reluctantly accepted that fact.
5. A pregnant woman shopping for maternity clothes should never be rushed. Even if she’s been at it for two hours. And here I was thinking I was a good guy for taking her to Atlanta last weekend — without the little monsters, mind you. But whatever good holing up in a Buckhead hotel for a couple of nights did was undone by my impatience while waiting inside A Pea in the Pod.
She says that many of her irritable idiosyncrasies stem from the fact that she doesn’t feel good about herself. She feels as if she looks gross.
And that’s where I wish my wife could learn something about this pregnancy.
Because she’s never looked more beautiful to me in her entire life. Which is no small feat. For Caroline is a truly beautiful woman.