Pregnancy and Nothing to Fix
Our boys have learned how to pretend like they are vomiting on each other. That is what Thursday looks like in our CoupleDumb. So welcome to pregnancy week where we talk about having kids, from wanting them to making them to trying to give them back. (No matter how hard you push, you can’t put them back. Trust us.)
Paul says: The male perspective on pregnancy is that of a general contractor adding a wing to a house. It is matter-of-fact, faux casual, never as scheduled and completely under someone else’s control no matter how much we want to think otherwise. For nine months, the man is filled with a sense of fear, confusing, helplessness and hope, assuming that he is not a Neanderthal type who drops his sperm without caring where it lands. Pregnancy is a very exclusive club to which no man has entered. (Not that we want to be. It looks painful.) We are the infamous third wheel that the mom-to-be will soon learn is the spare and will be very, very useful.
It is also a time of great love and bonding (and some amazing sex) if you can elevate your collective minds out of the pool of stupid that created our society and really enjoy that time together. Men are socialized to fix things with short term, rapid solutions. When the caveman got hungry, he hit something and ate it. We fill holes. Yes, use the double entendre because it applies here. From where we put our penises to how we use spackle, we fill holes and hope that that fixes it.
Unfortunately, a pregnant mom is not broken. There is nothing to fix. She may be hot, cranky, horny, emotional, sore, or asleep at all the wrong times but she is not something to fix. Trust me gentlemen, the worst thing that you can do is make an attempt to repair your pregnant partner’s busted emotional compass. And, even if you should, you are not qualified. Unless you are the Buddha of broken condoms, you are going through the same fears, doubts and excitements that she is.
I think that for Lee and me, the turning point came with the acceptance that there was nothing to do. Yes, rooms needed to be painted and the crib needed to go up but the actual act of baby making was done. I had nothing to fix and, no disrespect meant to the miracle of child birth or to Lee, she wasn’t doing much to create a baby outside of staying healthy and suffering the consequences of a parasite growing inside her. Truth be told, it was not like she was bent over her whoo whoo every night tinkering with the embryo and my job was to hold the flashlight. This child was going to be borne by divine grace and not what Lee and I did or did not do. (Please don’t get all stupid on me and misconstrue what I am saying. Prenatal care is important. See your doctor.)
Once we figured that part out, life became smooth. With Bobby, Lee and I walked, made monkey love daily (or more), and ate Mexican food almost as much as we had sex. It was ideal. Then the little poop came out and…well…see the first paragraph of this post.
Lee says: Have I mentioned before how much I love my husband? Thursdays are dedicated to couples and what we do to screw things up. Paul, who writes so-matter-of-factly about sending our kids back and using his penis to fill holes, is the perfect example of a man who loves. He is willing to do whatever is needed and neither his intelligence nor ego gets in the way. This means that if he needs to look stupid or mean or weak or brutish he does. He is affectionate and caring and our boys have the best example of manhood in their dad.
Now that all the gushy stuff is out, Paul speaks of the pregnancies so nonchalantly but I recall the man squealing like a little girl the first time he held his daughter (repeating ‘My baby, my baby…’) to the first time he saw his son (‘He’s here, he’s here!). Ricky was met with a different reaction since he was not breathing. He simply followed the doctor and encouraged him to start breathing. No fear, just gentle support. He needed to be a life coach and he was the perfect combo of encouragement and welcoming love that that boy could meet the moment he took his first breath. True, his participation consisted of a grunt at the very beginning but his participation when they were out has been well worth the wait.