I’ve nearly got to the end of Jess‘s pregnancy now, so before I start on the labour and the arrival of our little girl, I wanted to talk about the pregnancy as a whole.
While Jess was the one that was pregnant, we were both expecting, so this pregnancy needed to be a partnership. And that’s always the case, whether you’re married and trying for children, or your relationship turned sour after discovering the pregnancy, or even if the pregnancy was unexpected, you should support each other, and put your differences aside. I’m not saying “stay together for the kids” but you can still appreciate and support one another.
I found a whole new admiration for Jess. In the early stages of the pregnancy, she suffered with hyperemesis, which is severe nausea, often leading to vomiting. She really struggles with being sick, as all of the blood vessels in her face and eyes burst and cause her agony. It was difficult to watch her go through that, as I was helpless. No medication seemed to work as it would come straight back up, and all I could do was hold her hair, and cuddle her when it got too much. But while it was difficult, that was enough.
She also went off all kinds of food, and even the smell of some foods made her poorly, especially poultry. So, because we live and eat together, I adjusted my diet to match hers. This meant that we could continue to share some quality time eating and talking at the dinner table. It was small, but the time together only helped our relationship grow.
Towards the end of the pregnancy, she really struggled with heart burn and indigestion. This, and the others I’ve mentioned, are all totally normal symptoms, and I’m so glad that I, as a man, do not have to go through it. We really do have it easy, women are incredible.
And lastly, hormones. The dreaded H word that even the mention of can wreak havoc. There are times when Mum will just be upset or angry, for no reason. A TV commercial might even set her off. So just be there for her. Listen, cuddle, try to distract her, whatever, just try not to take anything she says personally, don’t make her feel crazy, she’s just a little hormonal, it’s to be expected.
We were in lock down so it was quite difficult, but if you and Mum are still together, or trying to make it work, carry on as if you weren’t pregnant. Go on dates, go shopping, make time for each other, have a laugh. If you’re not together, just try and be a friend. You might realise you admire each other even more than you thought.
Me and Jess went pumpkin picking, we went for walks in the park, we even went walking through a sunflower field that popped up near where we live. And, in August, the government launched a “Eat Out to Help Out Scheme”, which intended to encourage people to support the hospitality industry which had been so badly effected by the pandemic. It meant that guests got up to 50% off their order, so of course, we also took advantage of that.
As the pregnancy progressed, Jess started to struggle to do things that she would usually take for granted. Things like reaching for things, standing for long periods of time and bending down. This meant that things that she usually enjoys doing, like cooking and cleaning, became more of a challenge. And, while there were things she struggled to do, there were also things that she was advised not to do, like cleaning with strong chemicals, using step ladders for decorating, and even clearing Nala‘s litter tray due to the strong ammonia smell. But we are a team, and wherever she struggled, I offered to help. And even better, helping without being asked will go a long way.