Back before two years of infertility sucked much of the whimsy out of trying to conceive a child, one of the ways Kristin and I toyed with announcing our pregnancy was to show the commercial below and threaten to name our child “Ubaldo.”
That obviously didn’t happen (although I still love that commercial), and instead I ended up writing six articles about various aspects of infertility culminating with an announcement that ended up being the most viewed article ever published on this site. Thank you all for that.
But to be perfectly honest, as cathartic and therapeutic as that series of articles was to write, I’m happy to be done with the heaviness of it all. Because we’re pregnant, dammit! Let’s lighten the mood! We’re bringing life into the world. There should be joy! So in that spirit, here are some things I’ve learned about pregnancy so far.
1. I say “we’re” pregnant because I feel like it signifies unity and I want to be always as helpful as I can be (also because I’m a modern, pro-feminism dweeb), but I’m not any more pregnant than I ever have been. Kristin’s been the one with this tiny little life-force sucking all of her energy, resources and strength fighting for survival inside a dark, gooey sack that only serves to exhaust her, make her feel nauseous, and basically just beat the metaphorical shit out of her.
2. Which, by the way, I’m told the worse my wife feels, the better the baby’s doing, so… hooray? I mean, given our troubles willing this little guy or gal into existence, health and vitality are terrific, but it’s sort of tough to get excited about when your wife feels, in her own words, “hungover all the time with none of beginning fun part that usually leads to a hangover.”
3. As a result, her appetite has gone to hell, and I’ve learned something important. I would suck as a bachelor, if I ever had to go back to it. Kristin does much of the cooking (and ALL of the prep, like thawing out meat and marinating for that night’s dinner), and since she’s not been feeling well, I’ve been left to figure out many of my own meals. I am not good at it!
How did I ever cook for just myself? It’s alchemy I cannot crack. I never remember to thaw shit out in the morning, I feel like fixing a salad just for me is a waste of energy and resources (also manly!), and I’m basically just a hard day away from digging my fingers into the Jif jar and calling that dinner.
4. I’m glad we no longer go to the infertility clinic and now have appointments at Kristin’s regular OB-GYN. Which is not to say the staff at the infertility place wasn’t lovely; they were. But it is to say that I appreciate going to a new waiting room where behind one of the doors I haven’t jerked off on 5 separate occasions and get a weird Pavlovian urge. It’s nice not to feel sexual at the doctor’s office.
5. I miss my drinking buddy. Anyone who is friends with us on Facebook knows we’re not shy about checking into breweries and trying their entire slate of offerings. That’s way less fun when you’re drinking alone. Which isn’t to say Kristin hasn’t been a total gamer about it. She’s gone with, she’s not discouraged me from drinking in the least (case in point: I got ridiculously blasted in San Diego last week thanks to California’s unyielding love of super high alcohol and hoppy IPAs), and it’s sort of nice not having to fret about how you’re getting home. But it’s all… I don’t know, less fun without her.
6. And that’s been the hardest part to watch. I try to be as supportive as possible, but it feels almost futile. Kristin is functioning at approximately 60% of normal, and I feel for her. I’m not going to pretend to know how any of it feels, nor am I going to put words in her mouth. I just know what my wife at full speed is like, and what my wife pregnant is like. And I can tell it’s wearing her down. It looks like she’s putting one foot in front of the other in a dry, hot-ass desert just laboring to keep it going.
They say the second trimester is much better. I’m excited by the possibility of that being true. For my own sake, sure – I’ll certainly be happy to have my running buddy, my partner in crime, and my wife who feels as sexy as she looks back – but more importantly for her own sake. I hope the fog of feeling shitty lifts, and she emerges from its cocoon like a butterfly, its wings dipped in hope or whatever the fuck flowery metaphor I’ll never be able to convey properly.
The point is, pregnancy looks tough, I’m happy I don’t have to go through it, and I’ll help wherever I can. There will be more for sure. Stay tuned. You’ve gotten to know me better than you ever expected throughout this process. Why would I stop with the candor now?