So, I’m pregnant. Again. And my husband is ecstatic. Of course. But the worst thing about it is that he keeps using that word “we” about the whole process. “We” are pregnant. “We” are having a baby. “We” are in this together. But, all I keep thinking is – no, “we” are NOT! This party is mine and mine alone!
Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. And our marriage is a rock. Rather like one of those briny ones at the bottom of the sea, it’s not shiny or spectacular. It’s just sort of there. And, thankfully, it’s been there so long that there aren’t many natural disasters that could disturb it or divers interested in plucking us from our spot. We are here to stay. For better or worse. BUT, as much as this is all true – the fact that I love him and we are for keeps – he needs to know that there’s no “we” in pregnancy.
Yes, it took two of us for this blessed event to occur. As his two seconds of work began and ended his part of the equation, my body was left holding the bag to do the rest by itself. There was no “we” after the egg and sperm met. Once his little buddy got sucked in there, my body took over the rest of the show. And since that time, all of the organ-making and body-forming has been on my end. Me! Not “we!”
It’s not just about the work and the creation part, either. It’s also about the pain. Who am I kidding – it’s mostly about the pain. And, believe me, there is no “we” in any of that. He doesn’t share my momentary dry heaves or the sort of fatigue that leaves me feeling like a zombie after doing almost nothing. He is just fine! Ready to conquer the world!! He’s still planning get-togethers with friends and family outings like nothing has changed. Meanwhile, I just get tired from picking grapes off of their stems. It’s hard work creating a new life. And I am the one working. Me! Not “we!”
Sometimes, when I’m feeling bad, he holds me and lovingly looks into my eyes. In those moments, I almost forget how much I hate the words that will follow. The whole ‘“we” can get through anything together’ and ‘“we” can make this all work’ speech. “We.” Not me. Even though, really, who are we kidding? I’m the one who will have to get through the torn vagina and cracked nipples. I am the one who will have to figure out the sleepless nights and the feeding schedules. I am the one who will learn the habits, allergies, and temperament of my new baby – and then, after all of that, I will find the way in which to make this whole thing work. Me. Not “we!”
The problem is he doesn’t get it. The male gene doesn’t allow for this sort of reasoning. They are so used to team sports and shared victories, they have mistakenly evolved their brains to believe that something done by one is done by all. But it’s not. And they are lucky for that level of ignorance. Really lucky, in fact.
If there were a way that I could give birth to a baby without having little trickles of urine dribble out after every sneeze, or without huge clumps of hair falling out of my scalp post-partum, it would seem all the more magical. But, I can’t. Because I am the mother. Me. Not “we!” And until “we” realizes the fact that I am suffering more than he, I just can’t stomach that darn word.
I love him. I’m happy to have another kid with him. But to hell with that word – “we!” Pregnancy is all me. And it sucks! Proverbially speaking, it’s the hardest work that I, or any mother, will ever do. And, in retrospect, after I have years of healing behind me, I’m sure I will believe that it was the best thing I’ve ever accomplished, too. But, as I’m living it right now, with discomfort and queasiness and heartburn being my daily routine, I’m taking full credit for this event. Me! Not “we!” Because, even though we are in this, I’m doing the heavy lifting.
After the baby arrives, I will test out his theory of “we” status! Any chance I get – smelly diapers, crying jags, grocery jaunts – I will be on top of capitalizing on this “we” ideal. However, for the moment, as there can be only one of us in my body, this pregnancy thing is all about me. Me! Not “we!” Not yet. One day, we will see. But for now we’re just in this – me more than he.