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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

A Survival Guide to Your First Pregnancy: The Partner Edition

Finding out that you as a couple are pregnant is undoubtedly one of the best and scariest moments of your life. You begin to ask yourself all sorts of questions like, “Will I be good as a parent?” and “Who should I tell?” However, it’s important to know that the second that line appears on the pregnancy test, the question that you really need to ask yourself is, “How am I going to survive the next three trimesters?”

This is because you are now part of a “dangered” species known only by what characteristics you don’t possess. Need an explanation? Of course you do, because this is your first time and you have no idea what’s in store. But know that most of it’s due to one universal truth: While you as a couple may be expecting a little bundle of joy, you will not be the one carrying it. Once your partner realizes this (and trust me—she will catch onto that very fast) you are no longer “Babe” or “Honey” or whatever term of endearment you may have been designated before. That’s because you have now become the sole proprietor of fault for the complete and utter end of her normal existence, or simply “Pregnancy Enemy #1.”

Sounds scary doesn’t it? Well being pregnant is definitely one of the hardest and scariest things anyone would ever have to deal with, so it’s only fair that the non-pregnant persons have it rough as well. You think I’m over-selling this? Do you remember everyone who laughed at Randy in the movie Scream? They thought he was over-selling it too and looked what happened to them…just saying. Anyway, the guidelines that follow should help you make it through your first pregnancy installment (relatively) unscathed.

Routine? What Routine?

pregnancy allergies

Fun fact: depending on her allergies, your partner might not be able to take the same type of allergy medicine while she’s pregnant. Remember this before you complain about her unwillingness to go to outdoor events. (Image Credit: Mojpe via Pixabay)

It goes without saying that things change during pregnancy and one of those things is your routine. During points of the first trimester you may find yourself late to work on a few occasions because you’re coaxing her to not think about the nausea that is starting to hit. You may also find yourself doubling back out for fast food instead of going to the gym. Welcome to parenthood (and you’re technically not even raising a kid yet).

Your routine is one of the things that you’re just going to have to accept will be scrapped. If you’re not okay with this, keep it to yourself as you don’t want your child having to visit their mother in jail—for murder in case you were wondering.  Remember, your partner is carrying a fetus (or parasite as your baby may sometimes be referred to) and towards the middle to late trimesters, she’s going to start feeling more tired, weak, and possibly even sick. If you’re used to running in the park after work or blueberry pancakes on Saturday mornings, temper those expectations as each day of pregnancy is guaranteed to be different from the last.

What’s That Smell?

During the pregnancy, you may notice her on Pinterest or websites like The Bump. You’re probably thinking that she’s looking for fun ways to announce your pregnancy or cute toddler clothes, but in reality she’s frantically searching for a way to keep her food down. A number of the senses heighten during pregnancy, not least of all the sense of smell.

If you love to leave sweaty clothes on the floor or haven’t finished off that takeout from the other night, chances are you’re going to hear about it one way or the other. If you have pets that hang outside or in litter boxes, you’ll need to be ready to clean them for her at any given moment. You’ll also find that she might turn down a number of restaurants or areas you two may have visited in the past because now they make her feel like throwing up. Bottom line, if it smells then it may get tossed with the trash (which you’ll also be taking out later).

5 Phrases to Remove From Your Vocab

  • “What’s for dinner?”
  • “Didn’t you just take a nap?”
  • “But the game’s on…”
  • “I don’t know if I like that on you…” (just as a FYI – you shouldn’t even be using any combination of this to begin with)
  • “You were supposed to _________ yesterday…”

Beware the Pit of Despair

pregnancy hormones

Fun Fact: Even sad moments in comedies can bring about the dreaded pit of despair. Stick to game shows. (Pub Domain Pics via Pixabay)

A common warning about pregnant women that most of us were given as early as we were able to faux-comprehend was that pregnant women are highly emotional. Question, do you know exactly how wide the emotional spectrum range is? It’s a lot more complicated than simply avoiding making her angry. Treat it like a catalog of emoticons. She could be super pensive, or sensitive, or ambivalent, or even the emoticon with the squiggly mouth (what is that, anyway?). Forrest Gump said it best when he said life— or pregnancy in this case—was like a box of chocolates.

Now most of these emotions aren’t nearly as bad as the rumors would have you believe. However, if there is one that you want to avoid inspiring, it’s the dreaded pit of despair. Avoid sad movies, commercials with Sarah McLachlan music, and saying anything that can be perceived as negative about the parenthood experience. Because once those tears start flowing, that energy-zapping baby who would have otherwise stepped in to tire her out is going to pull a no-show. Crying, sobbing, damp—that is what lies in the pit.

What Do You Mean, Pregnancy Brain?

Q: “Does pregnancy brain exist?”

A: “Yes and no.”

Q: “I don’t get it. How can it be both?”

A: “Yes—she will tend to forget things. No—never bring it up or tell her that I told you it exists.”

Q: “But…”

A: “Never.”

Final Notes

It’s important to remember that every person is different which makes every pregnancy different. If your partner is one of the mythical few that doesn’t experience any of the peculiar happenings of pregnancy, enjoy it.

Just as a disclaimer, my wife is currently pregnant (and reading this) so I just wanted to throw it out there that these guidelines were compiled from not just our experience, but a number of other first time parents as well. So if you look at these guidelines and think you have some experiences that could help others like you, be sure to pay it forward—you could be saving someone’s life.

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