Try as I might – and Lord knows I have tried mightily – I’ve had difficulty procuring a significant amount of pregnancy empathy from my husband. Perhaps this is because he is not pregnant. I very much want to be understood so I work overtime to create word pictures and comparable scenarios so he can “experience” my particular symptoms. I tell him how it feels like my internal organs are getting shoved up into my rib cage. I describe in extensive detail the stretching of my skin after a big meal. Despite my grand efforts, he would rather I stop with the overly graphic imagery and consult with my fellow pregos instead. Girls, I need help. Although it appears he may be unwilling, he is simply unable to comprehend the mystery, the wonder, the weirdness that is pregnancy.
I talked to my friend, Jessica, who is only a few weeks behind me in pre-momhood. We shared our mutual experiences attempting to talk our husbands into feeling pregnant. She’d had no success either. It appears there is a pattern here. We decided to band together, have a telephone book club with Childbirth without Fear, empathize, whine and support each other. She has a midwife and is neck-deep in natural childbirth techniques, literature and whatnot. I haven’t made up my mind yet. My mother had back labor during all four births but chose to labor naturally. Either she is a glutton for punishment or has an other-worldly tolerance for pain. I am not a fan of pain, or discomfort for that matter, and I feel like I want to keep that epidural needle on standby, just in case I freak out.
This morning as I talked with Josh about the birthing process, I talked round and round about birthing methods and how I hoped for his informed participation. It took about 20 minutes before I realized what I truly wanted. I knew it was the real issue because I started crying. Typical, I know. What I wanted was someone with me. I feel alone in this pregnancy thing, even with my husband’s support and friends with babies and all the stories from women who have gone before me. I want to know that the labor and the pain and the experience matters to Josh and that he would be willing to sit with me in it, and not bail if it gets messy. This he finally understood. Feels nice to be staring at the same page.
I still haven’t picked a childbirth method. I don’t know very much yet. I’m still scared. But knowing that my man has my back, and my belly, and whatever else may proceed from there, puts my little mind at ease.